Well, I’m here. Just a few days shy of a whole year on hormone replacement therapy, I’ve got much to reflect on. So much has transpired over the past few months, it’s hard to keep track of it all. Still, the focus for this post will be on my health.
I actually switched things up a bit and had my blood work done a week before my doctor appointment. This way, my doctor had a much more current reading of where I was hormone-wise. Knowing that, I had an idea of what would happen. Seeing my levels a few days prior spurred me to do a little research online. What I turned up is that my estrogen levels were good, but had the potential to go up higher.
Come to the day of the visit, my doctor confirmed what I already suspected. He went ahead and upped my Estradiol prescription from 3 patches, twice a week, to 4 patches twice a week. To be honest, I can feel my emotions leveling out. Sure, I’m still liable to well up or giggle uncontrollably at the most random of things. But my day to day feels more normalized. I’m not sure who’s more happy about that…me or my boyfriend.
However, my visit was not without its surprises.
My lab work also showed that my prolactin levels, which were high enough at my last checkup to warrant a precautionary MRI, had gone down.
Perhaps just as important (to me, anyway) was how my doctor answered a question I’d been pondering for a good while now:
“So, I have a letter here I wanted to show up. It’s from my therapist, supporting my potentially pursuing gender reassignment surgery. I want to ask what else I need to do to meet whatever standards exist.”
“Well, Alexia, you’ve already met the criteria. You’ve been on hormones for a year. You’ve lived full time for 6 months now. You’ve legally changed everything about you. I can provide a letter of support if you like but you don’t need it. I can refer you to a surgeon I’ve sent people to before, and they do good work.”
I sat momentarily stunned. It took a second to process what he said. I am now free to pursue GRS, with only the financials and finding a good surgeon to worry about. Once I came out of my daze, I collected my thoughts and asked what surgeon(s) he recommended.
I left his office feeling accomplished. Not because I wanted to go get GRS right that minute, but because it hadn’t dawned on me that I’ve lived full time for six months. That, along with reflecting on a year’s worth of hormones and how I went about it (in the safest way I could), transcended the day-to-day pragmatism that I’ve come to adopt about living as I truly meant to.
I felt proud of how far I’ve come. I’ve still got plenty to go, but getting here took a lot. More than I thought I had in me, but I’m glad to have proven myself wrong.
Until next time…