As of today, I’ve been on testosterone for 26.5 months, or just over 2 years.

The biggest difference we can see from the photos (below) compared to my last T update is that I cut my hair. Yes, *I* cut my own hair. This was a 1st for me. I just got that itch, and booking a haircut meant a phone call, a ferry trip and the expense, so I opted to take matters into my own hands. And damn, I think I did a fine job! The curls will be back, but not until summer has faded.

Physically, I’m constantly hairier all the time and lovin’ it. My beard is finally filling in on my chin. I find it interesting how beard growth patterns can be so different: some guys grow a goatee within months of starting T, some get a mustache first, and others get patches all over (and some get very little noticeable beard growth at all.) My beard growth started with sideburns, and that progressed evenly down to my jaw, then towards my chin. My chin fur is still scant but it now connects on both sides so I anticipate that it will be nicely filled in by the end of the summer. My mustache came on pretty early, but it remains extremely blond and invisible unless you’re within a few feet of me.That’s just fine for a Klingon, but it puts my hopes for a Fu Manchu into the distant future. For shaving, I’m trimming with an electric razor (hat tip to Team FTM for the suggestion!) I use no guard for my neck, and the first notch on the guard for the rest. I’m avoiding disposable razors for the time being because I tend to get a rash when I use them and I don’t like the feeling of a close shave anyway.

I’d really like to have a bigger, buffer upper body but I haven’t been able to commit to a more dedicated work out regimen and eating plan for lack of time and money. (Eating 6 meals a day of 30-40 grams of protein each is rather expensive!) I’ve been doing a hefty amount of gardening work lately, which is thrilling not only because it’s a great workout that also puts food on my table but also because this is the first year since 2007 that I’ve been healthy enough to garden. Spring 2008 was tied up with top surgery, and Spring 2009 was dedicated to my top surgery revision, hysterectomy and healing from my hysterectomy complication. I’m really happy to be healthy right now!

3 months ago, I experimented with reducing my T dose from 200 mg/2 weeks to 180 mg because my blood work was coming back showing out of range (high) T levels. The experiment wasn’t successful: I was noticeably more tired and feeling over-emotional. I lasted 6 weeks on that dose before going back up to 200 mg. I noticed an immediate improvement with energy and mood. My T levels remain a little high, but everything else in my lab work is excellent. Free T is just a snapshot in time really, and while it can still be a useful metric, how I’m feeling is more important (as long as other tests on the lab reports are OK.) I spoke with my sister about this, who’s a physician, and she agreed.

On a final note, my voice has been quite stable for many months now and a few nights ago I sang in public here in my community for the first time since starting transition. While I’m still getting used to my new range, my confidence is coming back and I had a really fun time sharing music with friends again.

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