My calendar says that my last injection on Wednesday, September 15 was my #65th shot, totaling 30 months on testosterone. My T tracker on the other hand said that day marked 2 years, 5 months, 1 week and 6 days since my first shot. Believe it or not, I’m not detail oriented enough to account for the difference so I’ll just say it’s been about 2 ½ years on T.
Not much has changed since my last update in June, which is part of the reason why I haven’t been posting much this year. It feels a little narcissistic to post photos now that I’m past the most visually dramatic aspect of my transition, and there’s not too much happening right now that’s directly related to that part of my life. (OK, I just read that last part back to myself and I think I’m lying: there’s still a lot of transition related stuff going on, but for one reason or another I’m not spending as much time reflecting on it.)
My Beard Is… Curly?
I mentioned in my last update how I thought the facial hair on my chin would be nicely filled in by now. As you can see from the photos below, that hasn’t really panned out. Comparing the photos (June vs. September) you can see my chin is filling in, but my chin whiskers and mustache remain somewhat scant. I know, It will come.
Something that occurred to me this summer about my beard is that it looks different from what I envisioned. For some reason, the beard I saw in my mind wasn’t curly. That’s a fairly obvious oversight on my part; I mean, why wouldn’t my beard be curly when my hair is? I’m probably going to have a rather bushy, curly beard. It’s a bit hard to imagine. Beyond some regular tidying of borders (which I just do with a head shaver, no razors) I don’t plan on shaving or cutting my hair until it gets warm again in 2011, so this winter should give me some indication of my full bushiness potential. I’ve started using a bit of Knotty Boy wax, left over from my dreadlock days, to train the unruly whiskers that threaten to go whichever way they want. On my personal grooming wishlist is some emu oil for my beard and a real beard trimmer kit.
Lowering My Testosterone Dose (Take II)
Due to my T levels still being a little high, and the recent 2x price increase of testosterone, I reduced my dose starting July 21. I actually ran out out T that day and only had enough for a 160mg shot (it’s a 3 hour trip to and from a pharmacy for me), but since then it’s been 180mg every 2 weeks. I tried this lower dose earlier this year and it wasn’t successful—I was tired and overly emotional—but it seems fine this time around. My sex drive is down, but it’s down from fairly astronomical levels on 200mg, and I can concentrate a little better now. My sleep cycles are still wacky, but I think that has more to do with caring for my 15 year old dog (she has geriatric sleep cycles) and non-transition related stress.
Stop Wishing, Start Lifting
I’m disappointed with myself for not keeping up with regular weight training. I’d like my upper body to be a lot bigger than it is—a LOT bigger—but I just haven’t managed to get weights back into my schedule. My weight is a pretty constant 135 lbs. I’d like to shed a few pounds of flab and add about 20 lbs of muscle. No excuses. “There is no try, only do.” I did get regular cardio all summer though. I really took advantage of the hot weather (summer is my “power time”) and rode my bike to the lake regularly.
I started swimming across the lake on my own this year. I say “on my own” because when I swim I have to take my glasses off and my vision isn’t great without them. That heightens the fear I have of sharks. I know: THERE ARE NO SHARKS IN THE LAKE! But I’ve always had this intense fear/fascination with sharks, and I’m afraid of the dark depths below that I cannot see into. That fear is really dulled when I’m swimming with others, but alone it lurks… So, crossing the lake on my own is more of a mental than physical exercise, and each crossing this summer was an important personal victory, small as it may seem. On the physical plane though, I noticed something very different about my swimming: I’m way more coordinated! Pre-T, I had a hard time kicking and stroking simultaneously. One hot day this summer however, I realized it took zero effort to coordinate my limbs—I was just doing it. I’ve read that testosterone does help improve coordination, so I suspect that’s source of my new found swim skills.
That’s all I have for this update, but I also have another 5 posts or so in draft form that I’ll publish very soon, including the conclusion of my life insurance human rights case, where I’m at with bottom surgery, and getting published in your favorite trans male quarterly.