So, I’m On HRT

Yeah, I have HRT now. That’s a thing.

Nope, I’ve still not been seen by the GIC once. If anyone is worried I’m self-medding then I’m happy to confirm I’m not. I went private, meaning it wasn’t cheap but it wasn’t anywhere near as pricey as I had worried it would be either. But I have a doctor watching my back, which is worth the cost.

I won’t bore you with the details of what the appointments entailed and what I did to get here, but if any fellow UK trans folk are wanting to know about the route I took, then feel free to send me a message on Twitter and I’ll elaborate for you.

I feel like I should have had some bombastic celebration or dramatic speech ready about what it feels like to finally have HRT, but in reality it was a bit of a non-event. I chose patches and pills, rather than two sets of pills, and so far life is continuing as normal. I change the patches every 3-4 days, I pop a pill every morning, otherwise I’ve not thought about it too much…

 

HRT or Unhealthy Lifestyle? A New Fun Game!

The first night I was on HRT I was hit with a pretty bad dizzy spell. However, I had also done 12 hours of travel that day, barely drunk anything and had eaten barely a single meal. Causing me to wonder: is it HRT that caused this, or my unhealthy attitude to looking after myself that day?

Meanwhile my eczema has flared up pretty badly all of a sudden. But, I’ve been eating a lot of cheese and salty foods lately, two things that do cause it to flare up. So it’s more likely just business as usual. After being on HRT for a grand total of 24 hours, I decided to stop analysing myself and just assume that any quibbles are likely just from me being me, rather than the HRT- at least this early on anyway. As I write this I’m just coming up to the end of week 1, so it’s still laughably early days in terms of effects.

I’ve been vaguely tempted to look up HRT diaries and see what sort of timescales I can expect in terms effects over the coming weeks and months, but honestly right now I’m happy to just go with the flow.

One thing I can say though is I’ve had a lack of doubt. Right now I feel at peace with the fact I’m on HRT and this is what I’m doing. I just feel calm and a general feeling of acceptance. I credit this with the relief of actually being on it, rather than any chemical consequence.

It’s amusingly tempting to prepare myself to look for physical changes and start taking weekly photos, analysing my body for the smallest shift. But right now I’m more looking forward to how HRT will affect my emotional state than anything else. I’ve heard conflicting reports of HRT’s effects, with some saying it brought them a level of stable calm and others hurled headfirst into teenage fits of angst.

Where will I end up in a couple of months? Who knows! Stay tuned to this blog and I’m sure I’ll let y’all know.

 

E-Day

I know E-Day is a joke trans women have made for years, but it always just makes me think of this. Thankfully my own “E-Day”, the morning I first started HRT, was not quite as dramatic. As I said, it went by in a fairly mundane way. But in thinking about it lately, I’m starting to feel a bit more significance towards it.

I was talking to a friend recently, and I said that it wasn’t so much the act of being on HRT that struck me, but the fact I’m now a trans woman who is actively undergoing medical transition, via HRT. I know that’s essentially the same thing, but there is a difference in context.

What I mean is that over the last year I’ve bonded with plenty of trans folks over the mutual frustration of not having HRT, what it’s like to worry about getting older without it, the gatekeeping involved in getting it etc. etc. The fact I wasn’t on HRT was always a fact there in the background when it came to talking about being trans. It was that big blurry milestone in the future, something significant that was coming up, but I wasn’t quite sure when I’d reach it.

So to now realise that I’m actually on HRT… is profound. Almost like I’ve been so busy day dreaming I didn’t realise that I’d wandered past that milestone without thinking about it.

One moment it’s looming in the distance and I’m clamouring for it, the next I’ve already walked by it while I was busy thinking about everything else going on in life. How did that happen? Just over a year has gone by, yet it only feels like a month or so since I was in counselling and discussing my suspicion that I was going to end up transitioning…

I am now a trans woman on HRT. My transition is no longer as abstract as it was last month, it can be measured with a number. I am X weeks on HRT going forward. There is a date where the medical side of my transition started.

I realise I’m rambling here, and I do apologise for being so aimless, but I’m still trying to understand and articulate this feeling myself. I think ultimately what it is, is the sense that my transition has a tangible start point now, a clear date with a before/after.

Arguably I’ve had plenty of other dates to mark, but none of them really fit as definitive markers. For example, “Full time” as a concept is very murky to me (not to mention a term I greatly dislike due to its use in gatekeeping here in the UK), because I started presenting how I liked in a very gradual manner. I never dressed in a masculine style to begin with, so I had no dramatic purge of masculine clothes, and I’m self-employed so there was no day that I first wore makeup to work. Meanwhile I’ve always had long hair and have worn nail polish for years. There just isn’t a date where I started presenting as me for good. As far as my presentation goes, my transition on that front was always nebulous.

Realising that I’m trans is another thing that always felt fluid and impossible to lock down. I first realised as a young teenager before going into denial, then I accepted I had gender identity issues at around age 20, then it wasn’t until 25 that I started exploring again that I was transgender. I didn’t have a grand reawakening, everything happened in separate stages of steady understanding and acceptance.

Thus I never really had a concrete date when it comes to my transition. Everything has been a hazy, progressive march forward with few specific significant milestones, but nothing with a definitive before/after point.

But now I have that date. I have a point that I can look at and say that this is definitively when the next big step of my transition begun.

I am transitioning. This is actually happening. And honestly? I’m excited.

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14 comments

  1. Jamie Ray · February 10, 2016

    Congratulations for doing what you need to do without sucking up to the NIH to do it. I hope you will like the results as they gradually appear.
    I also have a very nebulous starting line for transition. I kind of just morphed into it. I usually start with my own wake up call, but I could use my name change day, or my top surgery day, or if I ever get on T, maybe I’ll use T-day.

    Like

    • Mia (genderdrift) · February 11, 2016

      Thank you! T-Day, I like that 🙂

      But yeah, I know a few people who have specific dates for things like realising for the first time or the first time they shook up their presentation, but I’ve never really had a significant singular date until now.

      Like

  2. michellen1960 · February 11, 2016

    Congratulations. You must be simply over the moon. On the almost immediate side effects I would guess you have answered your own question by saying you had a very very long day, ate little and drank less. I would safely say you were exhaused and the dizziness was a direct consequence of that and that alone. Most treatments or drug courses whatever they be for normally take a little time to affect your body. Weeks at least.

    Good luck on your exciting journey.

    Like

    • Mia (genderdrift) · February 11, 2016

      Thanks! And yeah considering how soon that was and the fact that I’ve felt fine since, I have to just put that down to having had a rough day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fredrication · February 11, 2016

    I’m sooo happy for you!
    And a bit jealous, of course…

    Like

    • Mia (genderdrift) · February 12, 2016

      Thanks!

      Yeah, honestly I feel a tiny bit bad for making this blog post as I know how it feels to be sat waiting for HRT. I hope you’re able to get it soon. ❤

      So many people I know are still waiting, worldwide the system for helping trans folk is still so behind. I'm hoping that this increase in demand will at least push forward changes to better take into account the sense of urgency we all have.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fredrication · February 12, 2016

        My hopes is that I will get my diagnosis before the summer, and a referral to the endocrinologist. But realistically I won’t be able to start HRT until the autumn.

        Like

      • Mia (genderdrift) · February 12, 2016

        Dammit.

        If I hadn’t gone private, I really don’t know when I’d be getting it. I’m due my first GIC appointment this month, but I’ve not heard a peep from them. Considering how wait times keep ballooning I’m not betting anything on hearing about it this month.. Even then I’ve heard of people waiting 6 months after their first appointment for HRT. England is apparently the worst for GIC stuff vs. Ireland and Scotland too, friends in Scotland have said it’s not so bad these days but in England it’s still a roll of the dice how strict they’re going to be. With all this uncertainty I just hit the point where I knew I had to go private.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fredrication · February 12, 2016

        In my district it’s roughly 12 moths waiting for the first appointment to the GIC, then approx one year before one can get a referral to the endocrinologist. Then more waiting, between 3 and 6 months before the first treatment…

        Like

      • Mia (genderdrift) · February 14, 2016

        Eugh, that’s terrible. In the UK the wait times radically vary between GICs. The one I went for had an 11 month or so wait time when I joined the queue. The worst one in the country is over 3 years, while the best is only about 3 months. The average overall is a year, I believe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fredrication · February 14, 2016

        Same here I guess!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ruthmartina2014 · February 11, 2016

    Well, that one came out of the blue! Great news, especially as I know that all the potential hoop-jumping was a concern for you… Also interesting to know there is an alternative, if you know where to look. I’m not on Twitter, so if there’s some other way of sharing your secret…?? 🙂
    Good luck for the journey.

    Like

    • Mia (genderdrift) · February 12, 2016

      Yeah, the hoop jumping has always been something I’ve been worried about. I’m still a little concerned about how the GIC will react when I’m already on HRT, I’ve heard a few people say they’ve been told outright to stop and get with their timeline lest they be kicked out. But that’s a concern for another day.

      I’m not sure if WordPress has a private message function? I’ve never been able to find one. But if you are willing to quickly use Twitter, in the interest of making this as painless as possible, here is my Twitter account: https://twitter.com/OhMiaGod
      If you make an account, which should only take a couple minutes, then you can direct message me (the cog next to the Follow button on my profile will give you a Direct Message option if you click it after logging in). I’ll tweak my account settings now so that anyone can DM me so you don’t have to wait for me to follow back. That’d just be a lot easier than me doing a big info dump here and then going back and forth as comment replies 🙂

      Like

      • ruthmartina2014 · February 12, 2016

        Thanks Mia! I’ll try and take that deep breath soon and dive into Twitland… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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