Ch-ch-changes

12 06 2008

OK. So for some reason, I haven’t felt like blogging about my testosterone injections. The morning that i went to go get my first injection, I thought: “Yeah, tonight, I’m going to write about my whole experience, down to the last detail, and bla bla bla.” But after all that, I just didn’t feel like writing. I will write a post on the near future about my first shot: the experiential process of getting there with my friend, what was going on through my mind, etc. But not now.

Right now, I’m just amazed that I’m already seeing changes. They are subtle and at first I thought I must be imagining things. After all, I’m only had three weekly injections and I thought that the effects took longer. But according to some trans guys that I know, it depends on the ability of one’s body to absorb the testo. The nurse had told me that, often, people get redness at the injection site and this signifies that the body is having a hard time absorbing. I have not had that so it looks like it’s going well.

ANYWAY: here are some changes I’ve noticed. At the end of the first week, I felt this weird feeling in my throat, where the vocal chords are. Not pain but just this weird sensation. And over the course of the week that followed, I found that I was more frequenly and more easily slipping into the lower end of my vocal range. My voice isn’t deeper but it’s slipping down and, although I’m still able to go back to my traditional soft and high voice, I have to force it. It’s a weird feeling but fun. The past couple of days, I’ve been sounding like I have a cold. Now I have to rush and get a mic for my computer: I need to record myself singing some girl songs pronto before I lose it!! I also have to record some lullabies for my son.

Now, another subtle change is the hair on my legs. It seems to be denser, especially down near the ankles, and it turns up away from the skin whereas it used to grow flat against the skin. I also have more hair than I had high up on my upper thinhs, near the groin.

Finally, the sex drive. I’ve always had a high one and now it’s just plain getting scary. But it’s different. My past sex drive was mentally driven. I just always thought about sex and that made me physically horny. I would fantasise and then get aroused. Often at inappropriate times when I couldn’t do anything about it. Now, it’s the reverse. I feel physically aroused and THEN I think about sex. So, I wouldn’t say that I’m hornier if being horny simply means that one is highly sex-driven. However, the source of my horniness is VERY different.

 

 

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41 responses

12 06 2008
Mish

Hope you record the JCS songs…and then send me a copy. I like your renditions.

12 06 2008
Jacky V.

Absolutely! They are on my list. I am picking up a mic tomorrow (was too broke up until now) and will be recording tomorrow evening, hopefully.

12 06 2008
Cristopher

congratulations. The throat thing I went through and am actually still going through it 6 weeks in. It feels sort of like a sore throat without the soreness if that makes sense. How much are you on? I take 3/4 of ml each week in the thigh. I self inject and am having some rednes and itching, so maybe I ma haveing a hard timne absorbing. I wonder if anything can help that. Anyway…keep on keepin on.

cris

12 06 2008
Jacky V.

Cris;

Good to know that I’m not the only one! I remember looking it up on google and I couldn’t find anything on that, in spite of all the info there IS out there. And I didn’t feel like wading through heaps of posts on LJ.

I’m on 50 mg weekly (25 ml). I self inject also but it’s subcutaneous, not IM. I can do it either in the thigh or abdomen. I find it easier in the latter because my thighs are very muscular and it’s hard to find enough flesh.

Has your doctor or endo said anything about the redness and itching? They might change something like the type of oil that your T is in or something, who knows.

Best of luck and thanks for writing, bro!
Jack

12 06 2008
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[…] 13, 2008 — Ryan Today seems like the day for it. Who am I to resist the trend started by Jacky and […]

13 06 2008
Suvi

Heh. Sounds like you’re having lots of fun already 😀

Best of luck with all the changes!

13 06 2008
queerunity

do you write 2 blogs?

13 06 2008
Jacky V.

Suvi: Yeah, it is fun to just sit back, kick my feet up and observe what is changing. Thanks!

Queerunity: Yes, my other blog is Jacky’s Place: http://jackysplace.wordpress.com/

13 06 2008
Cristopher

ok I’m in. I started T on April 21…seven weeks as of Monday. (oh count me in for the romanian castle party) I am 44yo. I am candian, but live in California. changes…

rougher skin on face
larger clitoris…noticeable for sure
oily skin
some acne on shoulder, but am taking B5 and it helps tremendously
slight increase in sex drive, but am on anti-depressant so I thnk that kills the drive anyway…
peach fuzz getting denser- will most likely start to shave in the next week or so…
Hips have lost about two inches….(i wish it was 10 lol)
Pecs are larger ( I had top surgery with Brownstein in March)
arms are larger as are shoulders.
feet are growing slightly..

love this blog and connection. keep in touch jak. email me at madjoesranch@gmail.com

13 06 2008
Jacky V.

Hey Chris!

Thanks for sharing about your changes too! And welcome to the WordPress 2008 T-brotherhood : ) Good to know about B5. Is that a prescription medication or over the counter? I have a touch of acne on my face but nothing alarming yet. I’ve been compulsively washing my face with Oxy pads as a preventative measure.

Interesting that you had top surgery BEFORE starting T. In Quebec, we have to have been on hormones for at least a year before we can get top surgery. At least that’s my understanding. I have to wait a few years anyway . . .I have NO money. Barely surviving while trying to raise my son pretty much on my own and paying back massive student loans. *sigh*

15 06 2008
Cristopher

The B5 is pantothenic acid. You can get it at any good vitamin store. I also take something called water factors which contains potassium and Vitamin B6…it helps with T bloat. I got some bloating as my estrogen tried to balance the T entering in my body. If you cant find water factors..go to any health food store and ask the herbalist about buchu extract..that really helps with water retention, especially after a night of drinking or lots of carbs. Carbs are the root of all evil to T..IMO. Anyway, let me know how you are progressing. I try to sweat at leat once a day with some sort of excercise or activity. My pecs are coming along nicely. cheers..
Cris

15 06 2008
Edward

Man I sounded like I had a cold for months….hope your voice changes come as you want them too. I am still getting called Ma’am on the phone.

Great idea to record those lullabys for your son!

Yes, yes…..I know what you mean on the sex drive thing. It totally chages…I tell you its better as a man but also scarry. I have felt out of control at time with it…..and it is finally settling in at a real comfortable pace for me. Enjoy the changes!

Those changes come faster than you think…how exciting right?

15 06 2008
Jacky V.

Cris: thanks for the info. Yeah, I TOTALLY have to start working out again. I was very good about it for the whole winter semester (I teach) but then when classes ended a month ago, I kinda lost my routine. I’ll look into those products you mention.

Edward: Yes, it IS exciting but scary at the same time!!! I’m glad they’re happening gradually though. I have time to enjoy the ride.

16 06 2008
genderoutlaw

Hmm, it seems the comment I submitted yesterday just went into the ether…

@Cris: Thanks for the info about B5! How much do you take? There seems to be some conflicting info about their about the effectiveness of B5 acne treatment, but I’ll grab a bottle and give it a trial run. I haven’t yet experienced any T-bloat, but maybe I’ll go for a B complex supplement and cover the B5 and B6 bases in one bottle.

Is mega dose b5 acne treatment dangerous?
Vitamin B5 Information
Vitamin B5 Gulpin’

Topical application of vitamin E capsules also comes highly recommended.

@Jacky: The T before top surgery requirement also exists in BC. Of course, all of that goes out the window if you pay privately. In BC, they are no longer covering surgeries in the province. Instead, they will ship you to Montreal at your expense. In the end, the BC government will only cover around $1500 towards top surgery anyway, and with the average surgery costing around $7000 + travel and other expenses, it amounts to very little coverage.

16 06 2008
Jacky V.

GenderOutlaw, for some reason your comments are coming to moderation now even though you’ve been commenting here for months. Weird. I never saw the other one that you mention though . .. I just looked in the moderation queue and it’s not there. I guess that one DID disappear.

Yeah, I find it ironic that, here in Montreal, we are never covered for top surgery because the only people that do it are at the private clinic but that people from other provinces are shipped here for (partially) covered top surgery.

17 06 2008
Cristopher

ahh…. how I miss Canada…lol. I am from the Island (Qualicum beach). Anyway as for the B5. I take 2000mg daily/1 gram. It seems to help. I am also fanatical about scrubbing my face three times daily with Clearasil daily face wash. I have been using that product for years and I have really clear skin. I have noticed that any acne I was getting on my torso has almost completely gone. I have had no side effects from the B5, but I am not on a really high dose. Also …water..I drink a minimum of 82 ounces daily, which helps with skin. My endo also stated that it takes an incredible amount of water for our bodies to increase muscle mass that T brings and it is crucial for our well being to consume water…so brothers drink up…and no… beer or cocktails do not count as water…lol. Lets see..as for Top surgery. Truly one of the most defining moments of my life…I wish you all to have a quicjkresolve to this. It has completely changed so much in my life. How I view myself..how I carry myself publicly..and the fact that I have no binder on this summer is truly a liberating experience. If I could afford to pay for all FTM top surgeries I would..

Be well everyone.. Jacky- thanks for letting us blog on your blog…

cris

17 06 2008
Jacky V.

I drink a lot of water too. At least 2 litres daily.

Cris, no problem about the “blogging”. If this info can be of help to folks out there, that’s all I care about. And I love that people feel free to discuss things here. Otherwise I would just be talking to myself and that would be BORING!

17 06 2008
Jacky V.

From GenderOutlaw (It wound up in my span queue and, although I clicked it to unspam it, it got deleted with the other spam anyway. Grrr. I think it’s because of the links.

*************************************************************************
Are you saying that there is NO gov funding for top surgery in QC at all? That IS ironic considering you have the best known private clinic in the country there. If they don’t fund it, where does the requirement of “T before top” come from? Can’t one theoretically plunk the money down and get it done—how can they interfere with that?

I went to a talk at the University of Victoria last week and there is a push to get the Trans Health program back up and running in BC. The gov is being really bullish about it, despite the fact that the program could not only save the province money, but could also generate revenue by being an International recognized program. There are some good and caring minds behind the drive, so I’m hopeful.

I just noticed you said sub-cutaneous. I have not heard of other transmen doing sub-cutaneous T injections. I just did a quick search online and came up with some links (from the bodybuilding world) that suggest that subQ injections are absorbed more slowly than IM, resulting in a more stable T level. But the conversations go back and forth, with some suggesting that subQ leads to aromatization and the production of more estrogen. It’s hard to get a definitive answer about IM vs. subQ, especially since these discussions aren’t about FTM masculinization. Did your endocrinologist explain their choice? Were you given a choice?

I am very interested in the fact that FTMs get such varied testosterone treatment. It’s like there’s no real accepted standards yet, which wouldn’t be that surprising: FTMs have not been followed very closely in long term studies.

@Cris: Thanks for the extra info, I’m hitting a vitamin shop today. I’m less than an hour from Qualicum Beach.

17 06 2008
Jacky V.

Theoretically, the QC gov’t covers trans surgeries. HOWEVER, they only cover it if it’s done in a public hospital. Since there are no surgeons doing these surgeries in public hospitals, our only option if we want it covered it to go to somewhere like the Czech Republic or some other places where they have trans surgeries in public hospitals (I don’t remember why these places specifically but anyway . . . ) Otherwise, we go to Montreal’s GRS clinic or out of province and cover it ourselves.

As for the T before top requirement, that is what I remember reading on GRS’s website. It may have changed though, but that is my understanding.

As for the sub-cutaneous thing, I’m very happy about it. It seems an awful lot less complicated than IM. And yes, his experience shows good results with subcutaneous and more stability. This is also his reasoning for weekly injections rather than bi-weekly. It seems to be working as I’ve already started to see some subtle changes.

He offered me gel as well but I refused because I don’t have the luxury of time in the morning and it’s also more expensive. 20 weeks worth of injectable came out to less than $5 after I got my insurance reimbursement.

17 06 2008
Jacky V.

Oh, yeah, forgot to add: there is a gender clinic at the Montreal General and I *think* they might do surgeries. HOWEVER: you have to have gone through THEIR program which entails about 2 years of psychotheraphy (individual and group). If you’re already on testo, they take you off and you have to start all over. And I’ve heard through the local trans grapevine that they have very rigid ideas about gender, sexual orientation, etc. This could be false rumours so I’d have to find out for myself, of course, but I’m not interested in a program that has such a rigid time frame. I think that’s bullshit. They’re assuming when you start therapy, you’re just starting to question. Heck, by the time I got to therapy, I was ready to start so screw that waiting shit.

18 06 2008
Vitamins to combat testosterone side effects « Gender Outlaw

[…] on Cris’ comments found on Jacky’s Ch-Ch-changes post, along with a recommendation from my doctor and a transman friend, I hit up the vitamin section at […]

18 06 2008
genderoutlaw

Wow, talk about a loophole!

The grsmontreal.com website? Well, those may be their requirements. I know that the surgeon in Ottawa has pretty much NO requirements. He doesn’t even ask for a letter (which I actually find a little concerning.) You just drop the money and he’ll do the surgery.

Because of the limited support the BC gov offers, I advocate just doing it privately. Yes, that requires transmen to save an extra $1500, but then you have choice of procedure, surgeon and location, and don’t have to jump through government hoops. The difference between coming up with $6500 and coming up with $8000 seems smaller in light of these benefits.

The program at the Montreal General sounds outrageous. Stop taking T and “start all over”?! Yeah, that is bullshit.

Glad to hear you’re getting good results from subQ, and nice that you get some some insurance coverage for your prescription!

18 06 2008
Jacky V.

The Ottawa guy . . .is that Silverman? Or something like that? I’ve heard he does a better job than the GRS clinic for top surgery. But I haven’t seriously looked into any of this yet since I won’t be able to afford it for several more years and I think I want to keep my breasts for a while anyway (more on that in a future post).

I would definitely be willing to pay a bit more to make sure I have more control over the process, when it’s time. My friends want to have a fundraiser for me though : )

19 06 2008
genderoutlaw

Yes, Silverman. I know three guys who had their top surgery with him. They are pleased with the results. Two of the three had/would like revisions to deal with scarring and “dog ears,” but this is pretty common so I wouldn’t assume it has to do with a lack of skill. A few years ago, Silverman was charging $5000 for double incision.

A fund raiser is a great idea!

I look forward to reading that future post…

19 06 2008
Jacky V.

One of the arguments against Montreal’s GRS clinic is that they perform the “keyhole” method regardless of breast size. Their justification is that they can always do touch ups after and that it leaves less scarring. However, many people still claim that a double-incision is the only way to deal with big breasts, regardless of scarring.

I’ll have to read more of the arguments on both sides before I decide. I can see the appeal of avoiding two U shaped scars on my chest. On the other hand, I actually like scars and do not foresee a time when I will want to camouflage my transmale status so . . . we’ll see.

19 06 2008
Cristopher

Hey guys,
I guess I can add my two cents..err…breasts…or lack there of lol. Everyone knows of transster.com yes? If you dont you can do some great pictorial research on all gender surgeries. Here is the rule of thumb I follow. There are a few things in life I wont look for a “discount” in. Dental work, Tattoos, and surgery. When chosing a DR. for my top surgery I cared littl of the cost and concentrated on results. Now some guys prefer a different look. The only Dr. I would allow touching my chest was Dr. Brownstein in SanFranciso. he is by far the best in what I was looking for. I have had a double inscicion with nipple grafts and I could not be more pleased. Most of us get dog ears from being overweight under our arms, but mine have significantly reduced from excersise. I will most likely need a revision due to some breast tissue left between my pectorals, but I understand why it was left there. Anyway…there is my two cents. Do your homework. Ask lots of questions. Dr. B. answers questions very quickly via email….He has a dry bedside manner, but I am not trying to be his friend..you know? A fundraiser is a great ideal…let me knw and I will contribute.

see ya…

cris

19 06 2008
Jacky V.

Thanks for the insight, Cris. I’ve heard that name a few times on the online trans groups. One of the things I will be looking into when I start some serious research is if there is any way in hell to have nipple sensation after surgery. I’m extremely sensitive . . .always have been and it’s become an important part of my sexuality. That’s why I’m so hesitant about top surgery. Part of me thinks I should just get an extreme reduction. Anyway, that will be MY main consideration, in addition to, of course, quality service. I’ll wait longer and save more $$ to get what I want.

19 06 2008
genderoutlaw

We’re going for a record number of comments on this one!

I agree with Cris that cost should not be the determining factor with choosing a surgeon. By quoting Silverman’s price, I didn’t mean to imply that discount was the way to go. Something I didn’t like about Silverman is that there is no mention of SRS on his website.

Dr. Bowman in Vancouver won’t do keyhole at all, at least not the common keyhole procedure. It does not remove the inframmamary fold and in his opinion removal of the i-fold is necessary for a proper male chest reconstruction.

Brownstein has an incredible reputation for double incision, but I am really pleased I didn’t go to him. He recommended double incision for me at $8000, while Dr. Bowman said that was overkill considering my breast size and skin elasticity, and did peri-areolar concentric circle (which does remove the i-fold) for $6000. From what I gather, concentric circle is a newer technique, and one that Brownstein doesn’t do. He has such a great reputation and is close to retirement (from what I’ve heard) so perhaps he’s not scrambling to learn the latest procedures. Had I been a sure-fire candidate for double incision, it certainly would have been harder to make my choice between Brownstein and Bowman. I really did appreciate Brownstein’s extremely fast and helpful email responses.

As for nipple sensation, I found this interesting: Dr. Bowman said that with nipple grafts the texture of the nipple and areola is forever changed and that there is usually sensation *under* the nipple but not in the nipple itself. However, a friend of mine who had a reduction with grafts almost 30 years ago insists she has sensation. (Could be a technically different procedure though.) You might be a candidate for double incision *without* grafts. It may not result in perfect placement of the areolas and nipples, but if sensation is important to you, it might be worth considering.

19 06 2008
Jacky V.

Thanks GO. Wow, $8000, and in US $ to boot (well, not that it makes much of a difference these days, with CAN and US $$ almost at par).

I looked at the GRS site again and they don’t use the terms but it looks like they do either keyhole or peri. They don’t mention anything about repositioning the nipple though. I was reading through Hudson’s FTM guide just now (damn, I was gonna wait another year before starting to research this stuff!!!) and it claims that with peri, there is a chance of keeping nipple sensation. However, it also claims that it is also recommended for smaller chests while GRS claims to do this for ALL chest sizes.

I don’t know but it seems Montrealers are doing everything differently, from sub-Q T injections to keyhole and peri for larger chests. We really ARE a distinct society!!

19 06 2008
genderoutlaw

I had never heard of “concentric circle” before Dr. Bowman told me about it. You can read about the differences between this and keyhole on page 16 in this PDF guide.

With concentric circle (at least the way it was done on me) they leave the nipple attached to the “stalk” so the nerves are left intact. I’m still numb at just over 7 weeks post-op, but my nipples get erect when I give them a little rub, so I think that’s a good sign with regard to sensation returning. Dr. Bowman assured me that I should have full sensation return in time.

At the talk Dr. Bowman gave last week, he indicated that skin elasticity—in addition to size—was a major factor in choosing which procedure to do (something that Dr. Brownstein isn’t able to assess with the “postal consults” he does.) A guy with B-size breasts and good elasticity is still a good candidate for concentric circle. But if a guy has been binding for a long time and has lost elasticity, then double incision is usually a better option.

In the end, being close to home was another huge factor in choosing Vancouver, and looking back that seems even more important. It was reassuring to be close to my surgeon in case there were complications. (Plus, he wanted to see me at 6 weeks post-op, and will again see me at 6 months. 3 trips to SF would have been out of the question for me financially.)

As a Montrealer in origin myself, I will concur that we do indeed do things differently! 😉

19 06 2008
Cristopher

Blame Canada..jk. Some tinteresting chat…blogging. I agree that nipple sensation is important. regretfully after three months I have none. I do know what genderowtlaw is talking about..there is feeling under, but not directly from my nipple. Nipple play has never been a huge part of my sexual life, but it is odd not having feeling there. Dr. B. did not reccommend key hole as I was large B. I of course did not push the issue as I trusted his assessment. Obviously, I had the luxury of living in California so goinfto SF was not a problem as I own a house in Northern and Southern cali. Does anyone know if we can post pics of our surgeries? I would be willing to share.

cris

19 06 2008
Jacky V.

Cris;

I don’t know what the WordPress policy is on this but I do know that GenderOutlaw posted some pics on his blog. Maybe he can tell us if there have been any issues with that.

Yeah, the nipple thing is HUGE for me (no pun intended, although . . . anyway). I think that is my biggest fear, losing sensation, and I’m very anguished these days about weighing what would be worse for me: daily presentation as male but having to wear TWO compressors to bind these D cups, even in the sticky Montreal summers OR having chest surgery and losing such an important part of my sexuality.

I think this will be the major issue in all my transition process. I want to wait until I’m so tired of having breasts and SO tired of having to bind that it will outweigh the fear of losing sensation. But again, I’m getting ahead of myself and this belongs in my upcoming post on breasts.

19 06 2008
genderoutlaw

I don’t know what the actual WordPress policy would say about it, but I figure I’ve been posting photos of my male chest—there doesn’t seem to be anything taboo about that. I haven’t posted any “before” photos. Their policy might look on that differently, because, GASP, we’re not supposed to SEE female breasts! 😉 Seriously though, I felt a little unsure about posting them for my own personal reasons and had decided to upload them to Transster.com instead (but they are taking forever to add Dr. Bowman to their system and I can’t upload until they do that.) Have you uploaded photos to Transster.com, Cris?

(By the way Cris, Qualicum Beach was in national news today: two WHITE RAVENS with BLUE eyes were spotted there. Very rare.)

Some interesting chat in this thread of comments that has veered from the topic of the original post, but it sounds like the conversation will soon be moving to a new and very interesting sounding post by Jacky about breasts, nipples and all that fun stuff!!

19 06 2008
queerunity

u gotta give us updates man

19 06 2008
Cristopher

Jack-
again thanks for the Blogg. It is all very helpful to me to have you guys to converse with.

cheers

19 06 2008
Jacky V.

Hey Cris, thank YOU and everyone who posts here for contributing. I love this! 36 responses to a post! I’m on a bunch of yahoo groups for FTMs (I think that’s how you found this blog, isn’t it Cris?) but the mail gets overwhelming and sometimes I find the arguments a little . . . well . . . tiresome.

Cris, have you considered having your own blog? It’s free and easy with WordPress (gawd, I sound like a friggin commercial!)

22 06 2008
Cristopher

actually I found you through Edwards blog…FTM family adventures. He has a link to yours. I have not considered having a blog..dont know if I have that much to say…lol. but anyway…I’ll keep you poste if I do.

cris

12 11 2008
50th post! « Tboy Jacky

[…] Ch-Ch-Changes […]

14 12 2009
Sore throat after testosterone « Tboy Jacky

[…] took on a subtle huskiness and I often felt like I needed to clear my throat. When I discussed it here, a couple of brothers chimed in and shared their experience. In my case, it only lasted a few of […]

22 12 2009
100th post! « Tboy Jacky

[…] Ch-ch-changes […]

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