Hello My Name Is Ilan Reshon

The rest is history.

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T update: eleven months
For reference, months ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one.

Same old, same old, still using one 1.25 g pump of AndroGel 1% daily in the morning.  I try to apply it to my butt, hips, and thighs, wherever I've got some fat.  Sometimes I don't apply it until quite late in the day (like after 9PM) and then skip the next day's dose.

I've had a substantial growth spurt since restarting T.  Mysteriously, I'm not getting more chafing with underwear like I feared and am really embarrassed to admit I'm rather enjoying it.  But I've been enjoying it all alone, because grad school.

Body Hair:
Oh, wow, this is great!  The hair on my thighs is coming in not just as an extension to my pubes but also on the tops of my thighs further down.  I'm not sure I'm describing this in a way that's understandable, but it's a pattern of male body hair that I've always wanted, and now it's finally mine!  I can also really see a difference on the backs of my calves, where it used to be dense up until that one big muscle group, and then nothing.  Now it's pretty evenly spread up to the back of my knee.  Also, the ingrowns on my chest and thighs seem to be gone for good.  My happy trail is more undeniably visible, too.

Facial Hair:
I've shaved my sideburns a couple times since my last update.  I used a safety razor with one of those moisturizing strips and broke out horrendously both times, even when I used shaving cream (which was really bizarre, BTW, not at all like when I was a kid in the bathtub using the back of a comb as a razor).  Since the shaving cream said it was for sensitive skin, yadda yadda yadda and had tea tree oil in it, which I have found improves my acne, I think it's the moisturizing strips.  I'm going to switch to using the trimmer I use on my hair instead and see how it goes, just in case it's cyclic.  I have a patch of super-dense, thick hairs over a big acne scar on the right sideburn, but it's pretty even elsewhere, with a gradient going down to the corner of my jaw.  My mustache has not gotten significantly more obvious, and I have not been shaving it.  I want to think that's because I now exclusively apply my T to areas where I have some subcutaneous fat rather than more muscular areas where the absorption is more effective.

Why is my acne so damn cyclic?!  The skin on my face has been really, really dry, even where I don't apply the topical retinoid.  And where I do, huge chunks of skin peel off the nodules as they heal.  I'm pretty sure that's because I've been more diligent about the topicals and not because of T, although that wouldn't explain why my bacne's been relatively well-behaved.  Also, the worse of the acne seems to be on the right side of my face.  More often than not, I sleep with the left side of my face on the pillow, so I guess this is just from oil sitting on my skin all night.  I wish I could do something about it!

I'm still getting periods every three weeks, and it's getting really old.  The last one was fairly horrific, basically compressing all the bleeding into a third the usual time.  I literally could do nothing to control it.  In less gory news, the PMS has been a lot less overt.  I really see it more in my anxiety levels than anything else.

My mood seems insensitive to the regularity with which I apply my T.  I've been exposed to a lot of stress in the last month, and I've been remarkably laid back about it.  I avoid my problems with games or doing work of a lower priority when faced with what used to trigger outright panic.  T has not made me better at handling life's challenges, but the mode of coping has definitely changed to something that's probably good for my stress levels if not good for my productivity.  That being said, this cycle nonsense is the biggest factor in determining how I react to trouble.

Someone stole my roll-on mineral salt deodorant at a party (WTF?) so I went back to just using the big hunk of crystal.  It lasts precisely 24 hours, and then I smell like curry, just like pre-T.  I apply stick deodorant each day I don't shower, and it's not especially effective, although my skin is reacting much better to it than it used to.

I haven't been sleeping much, and I don't seem to have suffered any ill effects.  I think I just need less sleep on T.  If I sleep more than 7 hours, I feel sluggish all day.  That used to happen to me if I got more than 10 hours of sleep, so that's a big difference.  I feel like I have a ton of energy that makes it hard to fall asleep though.  I think this trend has been going on since I restarted T, and probably longer than that.

I can't detect any consistent changes in my voice recordings over the past month.  Does this mean it's done changing?  My internal voice dysphoria is pretty much totally relieved, but I am still misgendered sometimes due to my voice, especially on the phone.  That being said, my voice isn't what usually causes me to "fail" so I'm more okay with it being where it is.  I'm concerned that if my voice stops where it is now and I come out professionally, I will eventually need it to be deeper in order to feel confident with public speaking.

Everything Else:
Most of what is suboptimal about being on T right now is a direct result of my stupidly low dose, but, then again, so is most of what I'm satisfied with.  I'm at the stage where I'm listing all possible solutions to the issue of continued cycles as preparation for a pros/cons kind of breakdown: 1) increase dose to 1g AndroGel 1.62% and hope it goes away without accelerating changes, 2) switch to low dose injections and hope it goes away without accelerating changes, 3) add some kind of estrogen-free birth control type-dealy and hope it goes away without unwanted changes, 4) seek hysto/ablation before health insurance goes to shit in August and hope my vagina doesn't fall out (this is the dumbest phobia I swear), 5) stop whining and deal with it, the strategy that has clearly not been working for the past year.  I've set a deadline of my one year T-versary (in a week!) to choose something and start taking action, i.e. talk to a doctor and ask for help figuring out what to do.

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Have you had any more thought about your options you refer at the end of your post?

Thought? Yes. Action? No. After much deliberation beyond my personal deadline, I've determined I'm too afraid to talk to a doctor about anything that could land me in stirrups. I've avoided the dreaded gynecologist for 26 years, and I'm not about to cave in now (by which I mean I'm just as terrified as I was when I found out I had parts that were supposed to require maintenance). My next endo appointment is in a month, and I'm going to bring it up even if I have to tattoo it on my forehead! I don't know what I'm more in favor of at this point, but I'm leaning away from anything that's a possible supplement to MTF HRT because breast growth would probably land me in a mental institution. Thanks again for not letting me idly complain about this and instead move forward and actually do something. I appreciate it.

I was merely wondering that's all :)
Good to hear that you'll bring it up with your endo - as much as some parts require maintenance it may be worth looking after them so you don't end up in stirrups ;)

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