Blue pills of happiness

Of course i was going to wait. NOT!

Hospital advice is back on hormones after two to three weeks. We’ve reached the two week mark…blood pressure, pulse and everything else seems back to normal (gutted, in hospital, to find my bp shooting up to 125/80…tis usually a much reasonabler 106/60: though i did scare them one night by dropping to 80-something over 50…don’t they know i have lizard genes?).

Anyway. Hormones are back. My understanding is the main reason for being off them is if there is a sudden need to whick me back in for surgery and as far as i can see, the only reason that might happen is if, when they remove my catheter tomorrow i go into “retention”. eeek!

And being back makes me happy. I wonder why. Obviously no impact yet: did poke my boobs optimistically in the hope that the growing pains would restart straight away, but suspect i have a little longer to wait for that.

All the same, whilst i’m not exactly a drug connoisseur (my lifetime experience has been remarkably limited) i do find the effect of oestrogen quite lovely. Was going to say that it makes me happy, but that’s too active a feeling. My brother, who is a GP, observed that it tendes to make his patients (male and female alike) feel “contented” – and he’s right. Very laid back, very at one with the world.

Which raises, in my mind, the question of how come some people haven’t gone for oestrogen as a drug of choice. Like, over time, it creates a lovely warm feeling about the world – and definitely has far fewer side effects than stuff like heroin.

Or maybe people DO use oestrogen that way and just don’t let on.

And how much of the effect is psychomatic? (some, i’d hazard, but only some).

Enough. The oestrogen is beginning to flow once more round my system. Prepare yourselves, readers, for highs, lows, tantrums, crying jags and total happinesses. Which is pretty much as it should be.



7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    The ‘contended’ feeling sounds familiar. I’m a bio-woman (in the sense that I was born and raised as female and my gender identity matches my bits etc) but I have had a number of hormonaly related problems over the years. This has ranged from the minor (mood swings, acne) to crippling physical pain, and emotional distress at excess hair and changes in libido.

    When I was on the combined contraceptive pill I remember that fuzzy ‘glow’ (for want of a better word) . It helped to make a lot of my physical/mental health complaints a lot easier (but also caused a whole bunch of very unpleasant ones). I’m not medically trained, and not very informed on physiology but I suspect that there are women who ‘self-medicate’ with hormones.

  2. 2

    While I’m thankful that I no longer have to worry about contraception, the constant stability in mood (even if it was stable but low/depressed), diminished libido and clear skin does often seem very tempting. Sadly it also brought (at times) weight gain, constant and/or irregular periods, and zeppellin-like swollen ankles.

    HRT or trans hormone therapy sounds very different and a lot more precise. Have endocrinologists or psychiatric doctors been helpful in explaining changes?

  3. 3

    Jennifer said,

    Nice to see you returning to normality and thank you for the blog on the “ickyness” of the op. I wonder if there are more problems the older you are (is there a cut off age one wonders) being somewhat older than many, these questions do run though ones mind. Despite the fact that I realised my difference at the age of 5 i married (and still am very happily so) and have grown up boys the feelings are stiring and quite strongly.

    • 4

      janefae said,

      i’m sure there are probs and there is need for realism. If you effecvtively transition at 12 (use hormone blockers until you can start to take the appropriate hormone at 18), then you are likely to have a long and effective life very close to the gender you identify as.

      Transition at 50-something, as i have, and there are serious down side effects. You’ll never experience a “pert young body”: you go from middle-aged bloke, which is sort of distinguished, to middle-aged woman, which is mostly invisible. You probably won’t ever have much of a sex life: and the window of opportunity for enjoying your new body is limited. Still, i am far from the oldest going this route and many who transition in their 60’s report serious elation at the result.

      Basically, be realistic: hopefully, the transition process will help weed out the unrealistic.

      Otherwise, my age was a massive deciding factor in doing this privately. In the scheme of things, ten grand when you have a largely paid off mortgage and a small inheritance to your name is not much to ask. But its the difference between a gap of about 15 months between start of physical transition and grs and possibly four or five years on the NHS…which you’ll appreciate makes a hell of a difference.

      Sure. Its a bad idea if you have any doubts. But if you know..if you really KNOW…then faffing about with the NHS seems like a total waste of time.


  4. 5

    Jennifer said,

    Thank you for you (quick) response and the advice re going private is sound. I am guessing that you did it all privately but did you start with your NHS doctor?

    • 6

      janefae said,

      hmmm. i need to post about this for others to follow. I attempted both routes simjultaneously. By my estimation, on the NHS, i would just about be starting hormones now,. assuming everything else happened to have worked out right.

      However, after 6 months of NHS system and a severely traumatic experience at Charing X – which is absolutely not everyone’s experience, just mine – i decided NHS was not for me. However, private consists of various components and those reading may be intrigued to discover that i did manage to get my pct to stump up for one component – which in the end may save me the best part of £1,000.

      Also, i benefited from a supportive GP, who happily took on the prescribing of hormones after they had been prescribed by a specialist. Hormones cost £10-£15 per month for a supply of oestrogen (which is easy for the NHS or you to pick up) and around £150 for a single cshot of anti-androgen. (OK. We’re talking a three month shot of a particularly expensive anti-androgen, but you get the point?).

      My own costs on the drug front were therefore pretty much nil, since i already pay an annual certificate because i have a heart condition, which require me to pay for three items a month otherwise. Add in the occasional antibiotice, etc. and the annual fee probably saves me around £100-£200 per year even without hormones.


  5. 7

    katrina2 said,

    O Jane, whilst the NHS, is slow in responding for a 1st appointment, re, assessment for referal to gid clinic, 6/8wks gid responce 3/4months for 1st app’ then 3/4months start hormones. RLT or RLE, 2yrs, does NOT start, untill name change by deed is confirmed, they do not tell you this. Many have wasted time, by not deeding sooner. It took me just over 3yrs for op. Would I have paid, yes if it could have been done quicker, but, RLT still would have been a min’ 2yrs. On balance, the NHS, are good.

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