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Time for Relection - Learnings One Month In

I am about to start month 2 of my HRT journey and now is as good a time as any to describe what I have seen, felt, and experienced in that first month and what I am thinking about as I head into my second month.

As I mentioned when I posted about the start of my HRT, the initial dosage of Estradiol is quite small and so I didn't expect a whole lot to happen in a few weeks. This is true, if you're starting the same sort of journey using the guidelines from Sherbourne Health, you're not going to see a lot at the start, it's mostly behind the scenes. Having said that, there are some physical signs...

First, pretty much out of the gate it was clear that Cyproterone (Cypro) is doing the job blocking the T from latching onto things. The most obvious is, and I'll be blunt, no spontaneous erections at all. Things still work, just takes some coaxing to get going and the outcome looks, well, different. It's hard to explain, but Cypro is clearly quite effective.

Second physical effect I noticed is that my skin is significantly less oily. It's not oil free, but I noticed it and it took a few weeks for it to become apparent. I'll be honest, I'm pretty happy about it, especially since I used to suffer from the makeup melt because of skin oil, but it makes me semi-worried that it may age me a bit. A lot of people are very surprised to discover my age is past 50 and I do think the oil in my skin has helped keep me looking younger. Maybe the Estradiol will help compensate that...

Third physical effect has been around my nipples. Hard to say if there has been any real expansion, it's too early for breast growth, but they have been a bit more itchy and more reactive. While not getting spontaneous down below, I have been getting some up top! They also look a bit different, but I'd be hard pressed to really describe it.

On the non-physical side of things, what else?

Well, I find my anger mechanisms are rewiring. While I can certainly get angry, it's an emotional response shared by all humans, but I find that the nature of it feels different. There would be times, in the past, where I'd feel an almost white heat about something, just for seconds, before it would calm to a more even keel level anger. I haven't experienced that, even for the things that would previously have caused it and I usually turn to a more profound sadness after the moment.

The other thing is just more about how I see myself. I'm going to be honest, I am fortunate in that I am generally around a decent weight for my height, I have a full head of (long) hair, and I look generally younger than I am. Nevertheless, in recent years, I have been more sedentary, I have been drinking way more than is healthy, and I have started building that "classic" belly and that has been sending me into dysphoria on a daily basis.

Before, on the path that I was on, I don't think I really cared. That has changed. As I am going to commit myself to being my true and whole self, I find that I am suddenly keenly interested in really being there to enjoy it. It's been this long, I want to have the real me for as long as I can. So, to that end, I have made major changes in how I do things:
  • Daily long walks. We're walking around 4 - 5 km daily which includes some steep and long hills, getting our heart rates up with a brisk movement.
  • Dietary, by cutting out junk and waste calories. My morning now has some really delicious smoothies, lunch is way more healthy (I have landed on a truly delicious salad with tuna), and dinners are rounding out in a good way. I haven't eliminated all junk food, just really curtailed the volume significantly.
  • Alcohol consumption is way down, to around a third with that being a rounding up rather than down. So, it's not eliminated, but my goal is to bring it very much under control and to make that relationship healthy again. I quit smoking after 33 years, a decade ago, I can do this too.
All of these things have had me feeling better than I have in years. While I'd love to be able to ascribe the feeling entirely to the girl pills, it's clearly a combination. The journey became a catalyst, that is clear, and I am so much happier with where I am from a body journey today than I have ever been.

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