T Journal

This is my T Journal where I will post all the changes I notice while taking testosterone. I will include weekly photos and detailed changes in acne, body shape, hair growth, muscle mass and definition, mood changes, changes that occur in my drawers, voice changes, and any other noticeable or mentionable changes related to Testosterone.
Here's a a couple pics of me before T:





I started taking testosterone May 20th, 2010. The first photo was taken May 27th.

The First Month:

I have been on T for a month at a dose of 100mg/week. So far there have only been a couple noticeable changes:
Week 4
1. Acne: My skin has become more oily and I have been washing it 2-3 times a day. Acne has definitely increased on my face and the odd few pimples have appeared randomly on my back and chest. It has not been bad but it has increased for sure.

2. Body: Have been a little bloated and notice that my pants are fitting a little tighter in the thighs, my fingers have swelled up a bit, but I am growing shoulders! I have definitely put on muscle, have more definition in my arms and back, and I feel stronger. I am still waiting for the metabolism to kick into high gear. to help me get rid of some of this chubb!

3. Drawers: Well this is a little awkward but I know I was looking for information about this so I will post any noticeable changes that happen in my drawers. After one month on T there hasn't been any noticeable change in my size but I have definitely noticed a change in my sensitivity. Dryness is not an issue nor have I noticed any major increase in sex drive although I find I am more quickly and easily turned on. My partner says I taste differently than I did before starting T. In other news, so far I have not seen hide nor hair of mother nature's monthly gift. Sweet.

4. Hair: Haven't noticed too much in the way of hair growth on my body. I definitely think I am fuzzier in places, my belly and upper arms mostly. I shave about once a week and the peach fuzz is growing in more quickly every week. A few darker hairs are growing in on my chin and in my sideburns.

5. Mood: This has been awesome. I feel way more in control of my emotions, more confident, less moody. There has been no crying for no reason, no depression, no hormone psychosis. I am also finding it easier to stick up for myself, say no, and say what is really on my mind without worrying what other people think.

6. Voice: This has definitely changed. Within the first twelve hours of my first shot I felt like there was something in my throat; it was scratchy almost as if I was getting a cold. I have lost the uppermost notes of my voice and once in a while my voice cracks like I am a thirteen year old boy. Once in a while I feel a vibration in my chest from the drop in my voice, it hasn't dropped a lot but it has dropped some for sure.

7. Other: Once in a while I feel muscle twitches or something akin to that in different places. I imagine it is things turning on and off. For example, I sometimes felt twitches in my abdomen where I used to get cramps. I feel muscle-like twitches between my legs sometimes and I don't know if I should attribute that to growth and changes or my imagination. Besides that one swelling incident, I haven't had any negative issues with Testosterone.


Two Months:

Here it is two months already! I feel like things are still moving at a snail's pace. I would love the metabolism to kick in any time and burn some of this extra weight off.  My pants are getting tight in the thighs and it seems like I am putting muscle only on one side of my body. Anyhow here's the two month update.
Week 8

1. Acne: Oh my god. The combination of summer heat and sweat and being stuffed inside a binder for most of the day has not done anything to help my acne. Breakouts that seemed to occur only on my back have now spread to my chest. I am hoping that this is a sign that hair will begin to appear there sooner than later. My skin is getting more oily and I find I need to wash my face at least twice a day and use some type of product to tame single blemishes on my face and neck.

2. Body: Hello Chubb! Well the increase in my appetite has not been offset in any way by a migration of body fat or an increase in metabolism or ability to burn fat. My jeans are getting tighter in the thighs and around the waist. My feet used to get cold all the time but haven’t had that problem for quite a while now. I have noticed an increase in my body temperature and I am drinking a lot more water and sweating a lot more too. It is summer so there’s a chance this is all just related to the weather! I have noticed that my legs are quite a bit thicker and my forearms are filling out. My neck is bigger because my necklace tells me so as it gets tighter!But I am getting the shoulders I have always dreamt of!

3. Drawers: Increased in size. Increase in sex drive. Increase in sensitivity. Still no sign of mother nature. I love testosterone.

4. Hair: Facial hair is growing in faster but still shave only about once a  week. The hair is getting stiffer but not coarse and darker hairs are appearing one by one mostly on my chin. Upper thighs are getting fuzzy. I haven't got any distinctly manly hairs yet, except the thirty or so on my chin. It might be an illusion but I think my eyebrows are getting thicker?

5. Mood: Stable. I am feeling more confident, stable, normal. I am able to control my emotions and I am less easily upset by things. I am less likely to back down in an argument or disagreement and more likely to stand up for myself. I say a lot less than I used to and I don't feel a lot like talking much these days. I am isolating myself from social situations a little more and feeling the need to have a significant amount of "alone time". I'm not depressed just like being by myself right now.

6. Voice: Getting deeper bit by bit notice some cracking when I try to call my cats in from outside!

7. Other: The skin on my face is more masculine somehow. I can see where my hair is going to grow and my pores seem larger. I sweat a lot more and I definitely notice that my body fluids smell differently. I am feeling awkward in my body right now and very self-conscious about my chest if I am not binding, particularly around strangers. Also I have had pain in my legs like cramping a couple days after my injection. Switched to a 1" 22 gauge needle from a 1" 21 guage. Poking myself in the leg is getting harder...got to learn to landmark the glutes!


Month Three

Week 12
1. Acne: Well the acne is getting worse but I have asked around and other guys say that this will subside. I have been lucky that most of the worst of it is on my back and chest and since I don’t yet run around topless it is easily hidden under clothes. I am thinking I will look into going to the tanning salon again for the winter to try and curb the outbreaks. I have found that it has helped with acne in the past so will give it a try again. Also Pears glycerine soap the orange coloured stuff seems to be working its own little miracle.

2. Body: The shoulders are here the shoulders are here! My body is slowly becoming more masculine and finally I can see and feel some of the changes. I am getting really excited to see my body shape changing even to the point where I can be caught by surprise. The biggest changes are still in muscle mass. My arms and legs are getting more muscular. The shape of my face seems to be changing as well and possibly my hairline. Still not having periods and since it’s been three months now will only report if for some reason they show up out of nowhere. I put myself on a bit of a diet, focusing on trying to lose some of this chubb. I feel like it’s working as my jeans are fitting better. Other clothes are not fitting as my arms and shoulders get bigger and the fat from my ass and hips slowly makes its way to my belly. Hoping that an active winter will help trim me down. I am definitely feeling like I will be comfortable when this puberty is finally over. Body temperature is warmer. Water retention is a bit of an issue and has contributed to a slight increase in blood pressure. Passed the first round of blood tests.

3. Drawers: Things are changing rapidly here. Bigger for sure, sensitive, and starting to understand why men think about sex all the time and why pubescent boys carry binders books or jackets and how advantageous baggy jeans would seem….

4. Hair:  The man hairs are growing in, finally! This month I finally noticed a significant change in my body hair. I am getting dark hair growing in on my thighs finally and my legs are starting look more masculine. I am getting a noticeable happy trail from my belly button to my pubic hairline and that has started working its way down the inside of my thighs. Still waiting for the hairy backside but I am definitely getting fuzzier. Like one guy said: the hair is creeping out like a vine. Facial hair is filling in on and under my chin. Side burns and a moustache are a ways away but perhaps not nearly as far as I had once imagined. Also got a few hairs on my chest, unfortunately they are around my nipples so they will disappear when I have my surgery.

5. Mood: Mood has been hit and miss this month. I am really enjoying the time I spend alone but I find I am really irritable and little things have started grating on my nerves, particularly the noise of other bodies. Whether it’s someone eating their lunch and chewing with their mouth open, sniffing, sneezing, coughing, snoring, licking, scratching, anything seems to be the most annoying thing ever. Maybe I am developing super sensitive hearing??? I am hot and cold with my interactions with other people as well alternately happy and friendly with annoyed and irritated. I am a difficult person to like and live with right now. I am still avoiding physical contact for the most part and feeling very insecure if I am not binding, or if I am naked.

6. Voice: Voice is definitely changing. I can’t say in my head it sounds that much different but I am interested to hear how it sounds when it finally cracks and settles into its male pattern. My family and friends have noticed it dropping and I can’t reach the “girly” octave anymore. I wish I had been recording changes but guess I could start at three, six, and twelve months and monitor the changes. Tried singing in the car to work today, more of a disaster than ever before, the bucket I have been using to carry around my tune apparently has a hole in it.

7. Other: Passing more and more these days not having as much trouble with people mistaking me for a woman anymore, which is good. Hopefully my anxiety about it will settle down and I can regain some confidence in being around people again. I am pretty antisocial and not much for hanging out unless it is with small groups of people I know. I am officially a male now having the NWT recognize me as such when I changed my drivers licence and produced the proper paperwork from a doctor.


Month Four

Week 17
Acne: All I have to say about this is the acne at this point totally sucks. I have huge deep sore welts on my and seem to have some spectacular talent for creating little blackheads. I am scrubbing my back daily with Pears soap and using a sulphur based acne cream intended for adults. It seems to work really well but if I miss a day or two and I suffer for it. I have a doctor’s appointment next week so will definitely be asking for something to help before they start scarring.

Body: The  changes that are occurring with my body seem to have slowed down a bit his month. Once in a while I definitely feel like I am retaining water which I understand is part of  t-therapy. I have experienced some swelling in my legs and hands and am definitely feeling fatter than I am used to. I am excited to be filling out and am slowly getting used to having a thicker heavier frame. It seems odd that the body I have inhabited for 35 years is no longer exactly familiar to me but is somehow feeling more comfortable…

Drawers: Still growing bit by bit, simultaneously my best friend and worst enemy… I’ve been doing research on bottom surgery options and am considering which options may or may not be right for me. 

Hair:  Hair is growing in thicker and instead of just being fuzzy the hair on my legs is starting to look more natural. I have now got hairy knees and upper thighs. My inner thighs are definitely looking more masculine. I do have the odd hairless ankles that prove how much I believe in the beauty and power of socks. My stomach is growing soft blonde hairs that are getting longer and darker every week. Haven’t grown any hair on my arms or chest or feet or back…..thank goodness. Facial hair is coming in slowly, one hair at a time on my cheeks along the jaw line and slowly creeping down my side burns. Have pretty good hairs growing on and around my chin but none on my face. I am constantly pushing back my moustache’s eta…

Mood: This month the déjà vu of pubescent antisocial behaviour has been overwhelming. I have been depressed about a lot of things and have pretty much pulled out of most of my relationships. I am not much of a friend these days, spending most of my time alone. Being away from my home in BC is hard too even though I have a really great job. I miss my friends, school, and doing something I really really enjoy. I am having trouble making friends because I feel awkward and afraid that no one will understand me and I am not sure if or when to tell people about my transition. I still feel very insecure if I am not binding and recent events around hockey and dressing rooms have made me feel more insecure about my body and my identity. 

Voice:  This has definitely changed. I don’t know if it is going to drop any more but the changes that have occurred so far are feeling more and more male to me. I speak fairly quietly these days; unsure with my new voice.  When I get excited and I raise my voice it cracks and wobbles and I usually end up coughing because the “rattle” feels like I have a cold or sore throat. Hopefully it will settle into it’s new normal sometime in the next two months.

Other: Passing. This word is pissing me off and making me feel like a liar and I am having difficulty wrapping my head round feeling the need to justify who I am. I almost never have anyone “mistake” me for a woman. It’s interesting that with  lower voice and the “right” clothes people don’t look for other clues, ie my chest.  I am going to talk to my doctor and hopefully get some help with my acne problem. I am also hoping that more physical activity will help with my mood and self-confidence.


Month Five

Acne: Well here is a photo of my back so you can see exactly what kind of special hell this acne is. There are hundreds of tiny blackheads and a number of large hard deep pimples that are extremely painful. I started an oral antibiotic a couple of weeks ago and will document any improvements with a monthly photograph. I am counting on this clearing up eventually otherwise I may switch to an androgen patch to avoid injecting oil and maybe help clear up my skin once and for all. 

Body: My ass is migrating. I am developing a bit of a belly and the love handles that formerly made their home on my hips have nearly disappeared.  I love that I am getting shoulders and the veins are starting to stand out against my muscles. My feet are bigger and I am going to need to get new winter boots. I have noticed a lot of my clothes don’t fit me like they used to especially in arms and shoulders. Shirts in particular are getting tighter as I get thicker. It goes without saying that I would still feel a lot better if I could have my chest surgery. I am still very uncomfortable even defensive about my chest and as testosterone works its magic these negative feelings about my breasts get stronger. Sometimes still feel uncomfortable even when I’m binding. 

Drawers: Growth seems to have slowed down but the drive is still in full force. In other news, I am getting a hairy butt crack. :/

Hair: Well aside from the hair creeping up the crack in my backside the hair on my legs is getting thicker particularly on my inner thighs. I have a trail of hair growing above and below my belly button and I am finally getting noticeably thicker hair on my forearms. I have noticed a few random hairs sprouting up on my chest which is definitely getting fuzzier…. a good sign that I will have at least some chest hair (I am actually hoping to be quite hairy but I guess that depends on what genes get turned on by the testosterone!) My facial hair isn’t growing in as fast or as thick as I would like but I keep shaving about twice a week.  

Mood: I am feeling quite a bit better than I was earlier and I think a lot of that has to do with getting regular exercise, eating better and feeling like I am finally getting a handle on my life and who I am. I definitely feel more grounded and more emotionally stable than I have in a long time.  Once my body matches these feelings I will have more confidence in public, feel less awkward about my body, stand up straight and probably be more sociable. I know I will definitely be less afraid of being beat up or “outed” and will feel less like I have to hide from the world.
Week 21


Voice: I tried singing along to the radio in my car on the way to work last week. Hysterical. My voice still cracks and gets really pitchy, not that I could sing before T but now it’s really prepubescent! I am sure my voice is still changing and I am not sure exactly when I will know it has stopped. I guess it can take up to a year or more to fully settle so it will be interesting to see if I notice a big difference when that finally happens. Right now I know it has dropped quite a bit but I still don’t sound that different to my own ear.

Other: Hockey has certainly helped trim down some of my body fat and getting out and sweating has certainly helped to improve my sleep and mood. My appetite is increasing and I feel a little nervous to eat as often as I am hungry because I am afraid I will build a giant fat gut in no time at all. I am still waiting for the great leap in metabolic rate  but I have noticed that I have no trouble generating my own body heat.





SIX MONTHS

Six months seemed really far away six months ago and my one year anniversary seems just as far into the future. Lots of big big changes this month both in my personal and professional life. Lots of projects and plans for the future.  Still waiting to hear from the ministry of health about my surgery. God sometimes it feels like this will never end.
Six Months

Acne: Thank god for antibiotics. I am enjoying some relief from the really bad acne. While I have some scarring I am happy to report that the large painful zits are disappearing. I still have acne mostly on my back and shoulders but I noticed there is a definite relation to the injection cycle and to diet. Cutting out fatty greasy food and cutting down on dairy has helped a lot. Drinking lots of water has helped too so I am enjoying clearer skin.

Body: Ok so I thought it would be interesting to take photo of my body before I started T and six months and a year. So far all I have learned from this is that I need to hit the gym! I have gained quite a bit of weight although I am not sure if some of it isn’t just body mass migration (or perhaps mass body migration?).  I think it’s time to start watching what I eat and trying to get a little more exercise during the week. While I still play hockey once a week the fact that I have a desk job now has impacted the amount of daily exercise I am use to getting. Being in the arctic during the cold dark winter doesn’t exactly entice one to get out and exercise either but at least I can watch what I eat. Come spring I think I will start biking to work.

Drawers:  Still no sign of mother nature! Seriously, love it. No monthly mood roller coaster, no unexplained crying, none of it. This will be the last post about my drawers… be glad there’s no more news about my hairy butt crack!

Hair: Hair is coming, slowly but surely. Arm hairs are certainly looking masculine. Hairy knees, wrists, hands, chest, belly, inner thighs, calves probably toes but I haven’t really bent down to check. I feel like I am losing some hair from my head as I seem to be shedding out a new hairline. Hairs on my towel, t shirts, sweaters and pillows. There’s a chance I’ll develop male pattern baldness…have to figure out what to do with my ears if that’s the case….maybe toques will come back in style….
 
Mood: It’s been a bit of a rocky month mood wise. Big changes including the break up of my relationship and severe bouts of homesickness are making a positive attitude challenging. I have taken on a big project every month to keep my mind and hands busy and it seems to be working. I am feeling a little more settled here for the time being but I am making a plan to return to my beloved home within the next 18 months if I can. I am hoping that my time here will create opportunities for me to move home sometime hopefully before the next arctic winter! 

Voice: My voice keeps dropping. It changes a little more every month. Singing is still out of the question and my karaoke career has been put on hold while I await the final drop and settle of the vocal chords. People who haven’t talked to me in a while have marked on how much my voice has changed. I have no record unfortunately except my videos from last summer. Made a recording at six months and will make another on the nine and twelve month markers. Should be mostly settled within the year.

Other: Been staying really busy as mentioned. Writing a novel in the month of December and hoping to get a second job in December. I am going to pay off my debts and hopefully save some money so I can return home or at least go for a visit. Unsure at this point where my life is headed. I need a plan.Clothes that used to fit are now getting too small in the arms and shoulders. My pants fit better and my belt needs a new hole. Could use a  little less around the middle but until it warms up will have to eat less ‘till I can exercise more. Got a permanent job at a the graphic design and printers owned by the same company as the newspaper. Will learn some new skills while I am there and hopefully be able to get some design work done as well… going to need a portfolio to get a kick ass job when I return.



Month Seven

Seven Months
It's been seven months since I started taking testosterone and while the first four months are definitely the most turbulent with regards to hormone therapy, the past few have not seemed as noteworthy. Once you sort of get in the swing of things and get back to your normal routine life sort of just carries on. Physical changes aren't as exciting perhaps because one can only spend so much time trying to remember if that hair was there last week...

Either way here are the noteworthy changes for the monthly update:

Acne: I love anitbiotics. My skin is clearing up and even though I still get blemishes on my back and chest they are considerably smaller and do not scar as badly as the others did. I do not know how long I will have to be on this drug but until things settle down it is really a blessing. I have been able to wear a binder without pain or irritation but look forward to having the increased greasiness I feel disappear soon!

Body:
It's December and it's cold and it's Christmas time so I am going to have to work extra hard to lose some of this hibernation chubb. So far I haven't had to go up a pant size but spring can't get here soon enough. I hope that if rumours are true and my top surgery does happen before the summer (hey I can dream) I think I will be more likely to exercise because I will be less self conscious about my chest. I am thinking of buying a one man kayak to encourage myself to get out a bit more as well. Fishing is a great motivator!

Injection: As promised I decided to stop talking about what's going on in my drawers unless there is some big news, instead I will give you a little update on how injection stuff is going. As you may know I've had a couple scares with injections and I find myself trying not to get too anxious about having to stab myself with a syringe once a week. This month I have mostly been sticking with the gluteal injection as I find it less painful and less intimidating. Also I haven't had the nasty ill panic dizzy spells that I had twice when injecting in my thighs. I will talk to my doctor about this when I see him next week.

Hair: Arm hairs are getting manly and my facial hair is growing little by little. I have a lot of good beard under my chin but I am still awaiting the sideburns and moustache. My facial hair is looking like it's coming in salt and pepper and as my hair gets more silver by the day it will be interesting to see exactly how it all looks when I can finally grow a moustache. I can see the shadows of hairs as they get thicker over my upper lip but good wax worthy moustaches are still a long way away.

Mood: Despite being recently single I am actually in a fairly decent mood these days. The feeling I am suffering most these days is homesickness. I need to find a way to let go of home and find a new place to start a new life. I have my eye on a small northern city but will not be making any big moves until after surgery and recovery. Having a decent job to go to wouldn't hurt either! Spring weather will no doubt help lift the spirits and now that the days are getting longer seeing some more sunshine wouldn't hurt either.

Voice: I don't think I have mentioned before that I am pretty self conscious of my voice. Some people say that my voice hasn't changed that much but others say they notice a big change. Funny, it must be how well they know you! I speak pretty quietly these days as my confidence seems to have abandoned me just when I need it the most. A little more confidence that my voice won't falter and crack will likely return my voice to a pitch where normal humans can hear it again.

Other: Yeah yeah I still need more exercise and need to eat better. thinking about doing a detoxifying cleanse to kick start the metabolism again and wean myself off all the sugar! Getting off that stuff will really help and into a healthier eating pattern. I have cut down on the amount of alcohol I drink which has helped me keep in better spirits and has left me with extra money in my pocket which is nice too. A new year is a great time for a positive change and I think I will set my mind to a simple home exercise program and commit to eating better. I love cooking so maybe it's time to cook up a storm of healthy food and reap the rewards in time for spring.


Month Eight 


week 36
Eight months. Eight months and I still feel like my body has changed a LOT and not enough! With a surgery date finally set I am working on getting myself healthy in preparation. I have started eating a lot better, cutting down on soda and treats which has also helped my bank account. I am taking vitamins, and joined a beginner yoga class to build my strength, flexibility, and an opportunity to learn relaxation and stress-management techniques. I am trying to read more and set myself a schedule to make sure I get enough sleep. I am hoping that by the time my one year anniversary rolls around I will feel ready for the surgery, fit, and happy. Now here is the eight month update:

Acne: I had my antibiotic prescription renewed by a new doctor so of course I filled it and when I went to see my regular doctor he said that  I should have gone down to a maintenance dose because the medication can be hard on my liver and even more so because I am also on testosterone. I will be finishing this last batch and dropping the dose down. My acne is pretty much under control now but my back is still prone to breakouts. I am not sure if the blemishes that are there now are scars or if my skin will ever really clear up.

Body:
I have been pretty good about watching what I eat lately. I have been diligent at making my lunch to take to work, eating home made foods including fruit and vegetables and drinking more water. I quit drinking as much as I used to staying home from the pub Friday nights. I have cut the amount of sugar I take in my coffee in half and have cut down my soda intake by over half. As a reward I allow myself one lunch from the deli a week on Fridays. Usually fish n chips with out the chips or a soup and sandwich. Just because I get lunch out once a week doesn't mean it can be crap! I am feeling pretty good, going to hockey once a week and to yoga twice a week. Can't wait till it is warm enough to ride my bike to work.

Injection: I haven't injected t into my leg since my last dizzy spell. I know I am supposed to rotate injection sites but I have decided to stick to the ventral gluteal muscles for now until I can either switch to a T patch or find another painless and veinless injection site. Otherwise I am getting better at getting it over with fast and haven't had any nausea or dizziness.

Hair: My hairline is changing. I am definitely losing hair near my temples but not so much that I feel like I am going bald! The happy trail is moving in  and my legs are definitely looking manly. Chest hairs are sprouting up and my belly looks like it is going to be pretty hairy. Sadly I thinkI might lose all the hard won chest hair when I have surgery but hopefully they will repopulate the area again soon after. The hair on my arms is filling in slowly but surely and no doubt in time they will be as hairy as my legs. So far no back hair!

Mood: I am still pretty homesick but the news of surgery before the hottest part of the summer is great news. I will celebrate my first birthday without boobs since I was eight years old! I have some big plans for the future that includes a big move. I know that my mood can vary day to day but I look forward to weekends, lunch hours and little moments of peace and quiet. I am taking one day at a time but now that some dates have been set I finally feel like I can move forward.

Voice: Not much has changed, at least not to my ear. I don't know if it is still dropping... I think it might be a little but perhaps it is just settling. I notice that time to time it feels a little more unstable and sometimes I feel like I just sound like I have a cold. Still no singing in my future. I don't know what I expected my voice to sound like but I still feel like it doesn't sound male. I listen to other guys voices and they aren't deep exactly and so I am trying to figure out what differentiates a man's voice from a woman's.

Other: I started a yoga class and I am still really self conscious about my chest. I am trying not to get too hung up about it but I think I might try wearing one of my looser fitting binders and a workout shirt. I am not really afraid of confrontation as much as I am of glaring stares and I am trying to pull my head out of that space where I feel paranoid about people staring at my body. I worry a lot that I will be betrayed by my tits and outed by my body. I am sick of feeling like I am lying or in hiding but at the same time I wish I could just be me as I am right now and not care about what other people think. Why does being trans make me feel like I am a liar?




Month Nine
9 months and still no 'stache

Apparently you can make a whole baby in nine months but a moustache takes a little longer. I was hoping that by now I would have already had top surgery and a lot more facial hair but it's only been nine months. I am still noticing changes albeit little ones which is kind of frustrating but hey you can't rush perfection! Little by little I feel more at home in this body and sooner than later I hope I will finally feel complete. Here's the nine month update.

Acne: For the most part this seems to have disappeared but my skin is still a lot oilier than what I am used to. I am sure this is a side effect of both the testosterone and the cottonseed oil. I am not really sure if this will ever end but perhaps once I move down to a maintenance dose of testosterone or switch over to another delivery method this will no longer be an issue.

Body: The diligent eating habits have paid off and combined with hockey and yoga I seem to have lost a bit of weight. I don't feel so crappy all the time and while I still get wicked bouts of homesickness, so far I have been lucky enough to avoid a winter cold or flu. I am feeling pretty good, taking my vitamins and walking around downtown at lunch when it's warm enough. I don't have a physical job at all so any time I can take the stairs or walk someplace I will.I have noticed too that I have muscles in places I never had muscles before... my backside is reshaping itself, I have lats and my abdominals are sometimes visible (just above the tiny winter survival belt). With a little work (and some surgery) I will have the body I've always wanted!

Injection: I haven't been able to get a consistently pain free shot yet. some weeks I don't have any problems and others I get pain and stiffness. I have become a little more adept at distinguishing vascular tissue. If I feel like I may have passed through or am next to a vessel I aspirate the syringe to check for blood and if I find some I immediately pull the needle out, swap it for a new one and start over. I am still looking for that sweet spot or spots and might have to try the legs again if the hips get too sore. I don't want to create a build up of scar tissue but I am unsure how that might be accomplished since I will be self injecting once a week for the rest of my life.

Hair: My hairline is definitely changing. I am noticing it more and more and while I wasn't exactly prepared for a bigger forehead I haven't yet started to panic about losing it all. Male pattern baldness is supposed to fall on your mother's side but I'm not sure how that works if you're genetically female. Body hair is kind of odd honestly. It seems to fill in on one side of the body .... and then the other. So for a while I had a hairy right arm and a not so hairy left arm. All I can say to that is thank goodness it's winter and long sleeves aren't suspicious. I am hoping things even out by the time spring rolls around.

Mood: The days are noticeably longer and the increase in daylight seems to help a lot with my mood and energy. I am still waiting for warmer weather and frankly getting a little impatient about it. I still have moments where I feel awkward about my body and suffer dysphoria that usually results in depression. I try my best not to feel like everyone is looking at my chest or doubting my gender presentation. I still try to imagine the happiness of feeling at home in my own body.

Voice: Well my voice still cracks and feels pretty bumpy. I don't know how long its going to take to finally settle but I am hoping that I will see it drop into its final masculine tones around the one year mark.

Other: Yoga is going really well. While certain poses make me feel pretty self conscious, I have been wearing a pretty loose binder to class and that seems to help. The relaxation is good for my stress level. I have had a couple injuries lately that haven't helped me feel that great. I separated my shoulder then took it easy for a couple weeks before heading back to hockey then injured it again using the auger to dig a couple holes when I went ice fishing.... the ice was about 39 inches thick. So I am working on taking it a bit easy instead. Weather is looking up a bit so might go for a nice winter hike.



Month Ten

Ten Months and TaDa! There is finally enough hair on my chin I might be able grow something resembling normal facial hair. I experimented a little after lamenting my nine month mark with a sad lack of scruff so after my  job interview I quit shaving  part of my face to see just how substantial a goatee I could grow in the three weeks before I start a new job.

Acne: I've moved down to a maintenance dose of the minocycline I was prescribed for my acne problem. My back is breaking out more than usual but that could be a combination of stress and a higher fat die. I have increased my protein intake by eating more eggs. I still hold out hope that another year down the road the acne will have been just a temporary thing.

Body:
I had to have a semi physical from at the doctor to get the A-OK to have surgery. I had to be weighed and have my blood pressure taken and go through what medications I am on and so forth to determine my fitness for surgery and undergoing general anaesthetic. Ha ha...thought I lost weight last month but I have apparently put on about 20 pounds??? I thought the nurse said I weighed 82 kg which is only 180 lbs but she said I weighed 190 lbs so either her math is off or I am deaf. I know I am heavier but muscle weighs more than fat so I'm hoping it has just been an exchange or transformation of tissue....My doctor said he thought I looked thinner so I guess I am probably doing just fine.  In other news, that cold I said I hadn't got all winter..... just arrived late.  I have been fighting it for about ten days and look forward to once again using my nose.

Injection: I'm getting much better at this with practice. Not so much anxiety when stabbing myself anymore but still worry that I will have a repeat of the injection scare I had a few months ago. HAven't used the legs for a while and try to stick to the same time every week for the shot. With a couple more months of practice I'm sure I'll feel more like an expert.

Hair: Ok so I have less hair around my temples and more hair on my belly and chest. I am still trying to decide on a respectable haircut that doesn't make me look like an army deserter or a hippie. Would like to have a bit longer hair but traditional. Problem is I can't stand it when the hair gets too long over my ears so I don't go much more than a month without a trim. I have pretty hairy legs now and finally I am seeing significant changes in facial hair. For the last month I have been using the testosterone left over in the syringe on my upper lip and chin hoping to stimulate the moustache growth spurt. Combined with more protein in my diet and vitamin supplements I think it is working. Hair on my upper lip is finally visible and getting coarser and as you can see from the photo after a week without shaving there's a decent start to a small chin beard. Hoping that I might have a start on my dream moustache by fall.

Mood: The prospect of a trip home has improved my mood considerably. That and an escape from an unsatisfying employment situation to a prospective and bright looking future with a new and expanding company have made life a lot easier of late. Knowing that I will be making more money and have opportunities for advancement in my current career are also positive things. The return of longer days and warmer temperatures haven't hurt either. Getting back outside for more than the time it takes to walk from the car to the house has been a huge mood booster. Yoga probably didn't hurt either.

Voice: I think my voice is getting a little deeper again. I was definitely feeling like it hit a plateau but now I think it is changing again. The cold may or may not have helped. Sometimes I feel likeI have to learn to speak all over again in a new octave. Calling my cats in from outside will be interesting since I can't reach the high pitched here kitty kitty I used to. Still can't sing worth a damn though.

Other: I think my toes are longer and thicker. An odd observation for sure but the shape of them is different. A lot different, in a good way. Suddenly I look like I have normal feet. I have definitely changed shoe size and fit in a men's 81/2 to 9 when before I fit comfortably  in a 7. Thinking of removing my earring and possibly my eyebrow ring as well. Will likely remove the eyebrow ring for good after top surgery, might just replace the earring with a stud.....decoration TBD
 

Month Eleven

Only one more month to go until I celebrate my one year anniversary on T! As you can see from the photos the chin hairs are coming in pretty good! That little chin beard is about a month's worth of growth...Come on moustache!

Acne: This month things have been a bit up and down. Some days are better than other but I have noticed that the more fat and dairy in my diet the worse the acne is. I have been trying to drink more water and cook healthy meals at home. I take my lunch to work and have drastically reduced the amount of greasy food I eat which has helped a lot.

Body:
Whatever weight issues I thought I had last month are quickly disappearing. Even though my body fat is distributed differently I don't feel chunky. Sure I could afford to lose a few pounds who couldn't but it's winter and it's frigging cold so I would rather keep the insulation even if only for a little while longer! I've been doing push-ups every day to try and build up a bit of chest muscle before heading into surgery...only two more months!! Can't even begin to explain how excited I am about that. That will be quite a shock to the system and I am sure that with the weight literally off my chest things like going up and down stairs and stretching are going to make me way less self conscious. I expect my posture to improve with the absence of breasts!

Injection: Everything is going swimmingly with this. Aside from keeping the cats out of the bathroom Sunday mornings, I haven't had any troubles with my injections. I am diligent in making sure I wash my hands, swab the injection site and the top of the vial with alcohol before injecting. Since the vein incident I never forget to pull back on the syringe and watch for blood. Once in a while I get a little bruise but other than that there's been no issues.

Hair: I was so excited about getting facial hair I forgot that I do actually have to shave it off once in a while...at least during the week. I am up to shaving with a razor about twice a week and trimming the thicker hairs with an electric razor in between. I finally got a decent haircut and have had random hairs appear on my upper arms. Not sure what that's about but my hairline seems to have settled into its new location without me having to panic too much more. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will stick around for a couple more decades. Arm hair is growing gung-ho, and every day my belly gets a little fuzzier. I am hoping that it continues and that I will have enough chest hair to at least partially mask the scars from top surgery.

Mood: I have to say that this month my mood has drastically improved. Starting a new job, the return of longer days, more sunshine, and sporadic days with warmish temperatures have made me feel pretty good. I got home to visit my family which was a little bittersweet, a little harder on some people that I would have liked but all in all I was really happy to see my family. I ave been busy making work and getting ready for summer's arrival. I bought myself a fishing kayak so I can get out and explore more lakes and get some exercise to boot. It's all about staying sane!

Voice: I think my voice is finally settling. I no longer feel like I have something in my throat all the time. I know it will be another year or so until it settles down for good but I am starting to feel more comfortable with it and am not at all disappointed that I can't sing. Yelling is interesting. While the voice has dropped I still haven't figured out how to get some power behind it when I need to.

Other: I have been contemplating the type of moustache I want to grow when I finally have enough hair and I have decided on a stylish yet slightly eccentric handlebar; a little retro-steampunk for the quirky little boy that's been trapped in my body all his life! What do you think??


One Year on Testosterone

I survived my first year on T. There were a LOT of changes for me this past year and they all took place so fast I can hardly believe it. I graduated from college for the second time, had arm surgery (again), re-located, met my hero, started a new job, broke up with my girlfriend, became a board member with the local SPCA, wrote a novel in a month, helped the SPCA win $300K for its first shelter, survived my first arctic winter, visited the Toronto Zoo and Port Dover, set up a home studio, finally got a surgery date, started another new job, and then another, and finally got home for a visit and help my grandma celebrate her 90th birthday. Whew! I wrote another post earlier about my First Anniversary so check it out if you want to read more.

Acne: Well I hope to report sooner than later that acne is gone. I still am not keen on having greasy skin and hair but I am hoping that eventually this clears up. I'm not sure if it is a side effect of the Testosterone suspension or if it is just what testosterone does to a body. I look at other guys and don't seem to notice they have the same issues but perhaps they have all outgrown it and since I am still in the throes of this second puberty I will have to wait a bit longer.

Body:
I rode my bike to work once. I forgot how much I enjoy riding a bike and once the ass crushing seat was replaced with something a little more cushy I have actually got out and ridden a few times....and also taken my bike for a scenic walk through a swamp, yes. I am feeling quite comfortable in this new skin and definitely loving the shape of my body more than ever. With every day that goes by I feel a little more secure in my presentation to the outside world. Even though most of the time no one gives me a second look, I hope that after chest surgery I lose the paranoia that people are suspicious of my gender.

Injection:Every week for the rest of my life....ugh. Some days I wish there was an implant like there is for birth control but hey, this is the price I have to pay for synchronicity.

Hair: Random. I have a new hair that seems to have sprung up from nowhere right in the middle of my upper arm. it's all alone there like a tree in a desert. Weird. I am not sure what to do about my hair I have never really cared that much about how it's cut but I am wishing I could have it a bit longer. I have noticed that I need to visit the barber about once a month but I really enjoy going there. The guys at the local barber are awesome and have never once made me feel out of place, whether they pegged me as transgendered or not. 

Mood: All in all I am a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of guy but being away from my friends and family has been really tough. I am finding it difficult to be away from the mountains and the special wooded places that hold so many fond memories. I am trying to make some new friends but it is difficult at this age when everyone is a couple and I am just a single guy. My best friend works two and two and spends her out time away travelling and visiting family and friends so it is difficult to see her as much as I would like. I enjoy spending time alone, making art, fishing, hiking, writing,  but once in a while it would be nice to have someone call the house and ask me to go for coffee or lunch, even better to go fishing.

Voice: My voice is definitely manly. I have had difficulty trying to call places that I may have forgotten to change my name or to get information on accounts. I still am not sure how I sound to others but I sound a lot the same to me- just like I have a cold. I don't get as much cracking and breaking as I used to thank goodness, but I do still have moments where I get a little too excited and a squeaky voice comes out.

Other: There's not much else to tell. After a year on testosterone there isn't really any more big surprises left in store. I pretty much have the framework upon which all other masculine characteristics will be built. With the exception of more facial and body hair, less head hair, and surgery there really isn't much more that testosterone will change. I still get my blood work done regularly and have to watch what I eat but the increased body temperature, fat distribution and emotional stability are the new norm. I will be keeping track of changes over the next year as well but the changes will likely be less dramatic. I still don't feel like a man, but a boy struggling to figure out what that means. I am in my mid thirties and feeling like I am still becoming an adult has been frustrating not only for me but for my family as well. Like I said before, I might just be a late-bloomer....Either way, here's to another year towards manhood!

Thirteen Months

Although I started this journey almost two years ago I have been on T for just thirteen months. I am now officially starting another year of my transition and it is going to be just as busy as the last. Top surgery fell the day before my thirteen month mark so it is needless to say I've been a little preoccupied. Changes are still occurring but not as quickly as they did during the first few months.  I think that's partly because I am taking a lower dose of T once a week instead of a higher dose every two weeks. At last check, all of my blood tests have been normal including my t-levels as well as my liver function test.

Acne: I am still battling acne and while the antibiotic has helped, I am starting to wonder if my skin will ever clear up.

Body: I guess with the top surgery finally completed I can say there is a significant change in my body – though not as a result of T! I am definitely going to need some time to fit myself into this body now that it has changed again. I am excited to see how things finally turn out but I am really happy with my results so far. The top surgery page is similar to this T-journal so if you're interested in reading about that of course check it out. Otherwise, not too much to mention except I had been doing push ups to build up my pec muscles but looks like now I'll need to work on the sit-ups!

Hair: Probably the slowest change and for me most one of the more frustrating parts of taking T. I've wanted a moustache for so long but it really is taking its sweet ass time getting here! I shave as often as I am comfortable but with the acne problem I have quit shaving quite so often. With my job it is not imperative that I am clean-shaven every day so I take advantage of that by shaving only twice a week and even then I only shave my cheeks and neck and keep the hair on my chin tidy with an electric razor. I doubt I'll be able to grow a beard by winter but it would be nice if only for the extra warmth. Oh moustache, where are you?

Mood: This has been pretty good lately. Although I experienced a significant amount of anxiety leading up to top surgery, I am feeling pretty good about how it all went. I really feel like I can be myself a little more each day and the feelings of self consciousness have almost completely disappeared. I am confident once I am out of pain and picking up speed at the bottom of the recovery hill, I will feel a lot more like getting out and getting on with my life. Hopefully I can keep busy and continue participating in things that are fulfilling.

Voice: I'm pretty sure this has settled. I think they say two years for it to completely change but I never get mistaken for a lady on the phone so that's a good place to be. I still sound like myself.  People I haven't talked to in a while still recognize my voice over the telephone so it's not like I have to fit into both a new body and a new voice. I keep trying to remember to take voice samples but since I never took one before I started T it is hard to know how much my voice has really changed.

Other: Aside from top surgery, not too much has changed. I am making an effort to involve myself in art related endeavors as the winters are long and cold and having opportunities to meet new people and show my work is a way to make the time fly by. I am going to try the novel writing again in November and I am still debating making a real commitment to Camp Nanowrimo which would give me two months to write a novel instead of one....that's only 900 words a day instead of 1667. Yeah, I guess I can do that. The next year is going to be extremely important: my body will likely have completed the majority of its changes by this time next year. Testosterone will be maintenance not a renovation, my chest will have healed and the scars flattened out and faded, my voice will be permanent, and hopefully my body and facial hair will have filled in and I won't have lost any more of  my hairline. I will have been at my job for a year and summer will once again be on the horizon. A year from now seems a long time away but then again, a year ago feels like just yesterday.

Fourteen Months

I am already fourteen months on T and there are still changes to be noted! It's true the changes come fast and furious in the beginning and the first year on T is definitely a whirlwind of changes: your body, your voice, your relationships. It really is like a second puberty but this time you go through it alone. So for the most part I haven't really noticed a huge change but there are a few things to note so as usual, here is the monthly low down:

Acne: Still. Seriously. I was hoping this would have cleared up by now. The medication is working pretty well but nothing ever worked as well as sunshine! Seeing as how we are headed into the dark cold months here being able to lie out in the sun is not really an option unless you want to freeze to death. I will ask my doc on my next visit and see if this is something that will eventually go away or not....if anyone has good news let me know would you?

Body: My body has been having it's own little roller coaster ride lately. At first I was worried about getting too chubby. It seems this second puberty works a lot like the first where you chunk out just before a growth spurt. Lately my jeans have become too big when only a few months ago I was worried I was going to tear out the seams. granted I have been eating a LOT better and I have given up alcohol for the most part....one or two beer here or there but a six pack can last me for months...not bad when it costs $18. (yes, I do know that's crazy). Top surgery also helped re-shape things and I gotta say I am happy with the results so far.

Injection: Not too much exciting news here. I'm starting to really get the hang of self injection but should probably be rotating my injection sites more than I am. I am injecting into alternating ventro-gluteal muscles every week but perhaps I should talk to my doctor about that as well. Maybe he can recommend another spot with a little more padding than the quadriceps as alternative injection locations.

Voice: It's happening. It really is getting a little deeper. I notice because it is getting more difficult for me to speak in what I would consider my normal pitch. I find I have to speak from a different spot in my throat, a little lower than I am used to. I suppose my muscles are used to the vibration being in one spot and with the vocal chords lengthening and thickening a bit that it will take a little time to relocate my voice. I can drop my voice pretty low now and I never have my gender confused over the phone. Now I can finally change my voice mail message!

Hair: I think hairs are working their way up from the bottom. My legs are spectacularly hairy except where my socks have worn it all off. My happy trail is emerging and making its way across my stomach. I didn't realize I had quite so much chest hair until i had to cover parts of it with frickin tape and adhesive bandages after surgery. With any luck it will start to fill in and thicken up. I think increasing my protein intake has helped quite a bit. Probably the vitamins didn't hurt either. As for a moustache or goatee, things are taking their time. I have to shave every couple days now otherwise my face looks like a four year old randomly pasted glitter patches all over it. Until things start growing in a more sustainable and cohesive pattern I think I'll stick to staying clean shaven. In other news random hairs are not only appearing on my upper arms they have also started to explore my shoulders.

Mood: For the most part, this has been pretty good. I got to spend time at home while recovering from surgery and I have been really busy with art proposals and projects, recovering from surgery and volunteering. Summer is short but sweet here although the weather hasn't really been cooperating. There's still a month left to get in all the kayaking and fishing I can before we return to the cooler temperatures of fall and the impending winter. I am trying to stay focused on what I want to accomplish while I am here and making sure that I make time to call home and go for a visit whenever I can wil hopefully alleviate some of the homesickness I still suffer. Making sure I stay busy over the winter will help ensure my sanity and cheerfulness.

Other: What else is there. There are definitely things that have changed as a result of T. My muscles are looking good and I am still really happy that I have shoulders and real toes. I am happier, more relaxed, less prone to flying off the handle but I do find myself suppressing a lot of anger and frustration instead of just venting it like I would have before starting T. It is definitely interesting to be able to experience both ends of the gender spectrum: a privilege most people will never have.

One Year, Three Months on T

15 Months on T
I can't believe how fast this second year has gone. Summer is nearly over once again and come spring I will have been taking testosterone for two years. It seems far now but I know it will be here in no time. It's been a crazy busy month kayaking, fishing, visiting, and of course the big boob-off. As for the rest of the month, this is how it shaped up:

Acne: Well this is pretty much staying the same. The antibiotic treatments are working to control the breakouts but what I eat definitely has an impact. I won't be posting any more about my skin unless there is a significant change.

Body: My chest is healing nicely which you can read about when I post the Two Month post op update. I finally feel like I have the body I was supposed to have. I wore a shirt and tie for the first time since top surgery: it rocked. I might consider wearing a shirt and tie to work at least one day a week. I also love that I can do pushups and lift heavy things. I love that I don't feel tired and weak anymore. Part of that is likely my blood pressure increase and the increase in red blood cells. On the downside of that I sweat a lot. I am sure my core body temperature has increased as I can't remember the last time I had cold feet. Physically I feel pretty damn good.

Injection: Well this is getting boring, again since there have been no significant advancements or injuries resulting from self-injection there's really no point in talking about it anymore. But if something exciting happens of course I'll keep you posted.

Voice: I am really starting to love my voice. Although I don't use it too much, (I seem to have become pretty shy and soft spoken since transitioning) I do like the way it sounds. I like that I still sound like me but just a different version of me. No one has ever mistaken me for someone else and everyone who knows me and/or know me before still recognizes my voice. Yeah they tell me it's deep but not so much that I sound like a different person. Next up...getting some volume behind it so I don't feel like I might break it if I use it.

Hair: It's coming. Slowly but surely the hair is growing in. I have increased the amount of protein in my diet and I am noticing that my body has been using it to make hair. Things start out fuzzy and then get really fine fuzzy then the sparse dark hairs grow in a s things thicken up. I am happy to report that the chest and belly are getting really fuzzy and the happy trail is working its way up toward my belly button. I noticed hair on my toes and I think there's a good chance it is also going to spread down from my wrists and start growing on the tops of my hands as well. Most of my hair is fine and fairly light so it's hard to tell sometimes. In other news my long awaited moustache is still coming in at a snail's pace.

Mood: My mood is a swing. Seriously. Some days are good and some are bad but for the most part life is pretty good. I feel like I have a handle on  my emotions and I am more content on a day to day basis. I am definitely not as quick to get angry as I used to be. I also seem to deal with anger a lot differently than I used to as well. I find I have the urge to do something physical to "burn it off".  I find doing something physical is the easiest and quickest way to dissipate anger. I am much better at letting things go and realizing what I should and shouldn't be worrying about. I no longer make someone else's behaviour my responsibility and try to just live my life for me and do what will make me happy. I'm a single guy and I am trying really hard to be a solid, ethical, consistent and kind man. Some days it's easier than others.

Socialization: I have been having troubles with the whole idea of stealth. I thought that perhaps a monthly update on some of the "passing" into society might be good here since I am eliminating discussion about other physical things. I am still trying to decide whether or not to "out" myself at the office. I despise being the topic of gossip but realize I have no control over what others say, all I can control is my response assuming they address me directly. A couple people at the office are quite derogatory towards others and have a narrow and rather snobbish view of others. I find it difficult to listen to them degrade others in our town and can only imagine what the gossip would be if they found out a transexual was working amongst them. This is a pretty small town still and gossip spreads like wildfire and I am sure that a lot of people that I meet know what I am and either don't care or keep their opinions to themselves....at least until they can share it with someone else behind my back. I'll have more to say about his in another post.

Other: I am staying really busy and making new friends. I am starting to enjoy this place a little more now that I have some of my own friends and opportunities at work. I might be the only one of my kind in town for now but once in a while a brother shows up to keep me company. I have things to look forward to every week (not just Fridays) and will hopefully make some more new friends and settle into my own northern rhythm.