I made the appointment with a doctor so I can begin doing this in a more official way. Luckily I had to go outside to talk on the phone so the shivering might have covered the nervous shakiness of my voice.
It is still a month out but it's a date to look forward to.
I also got my blood test results from my regular doctor and literally every item was within range of healthy. The hormones (T and E) were absolutely where they should be ( T < 50 [mine: 28], E within female range [around 160 for me]). It is a relief to not have to worry about things being too high/low with this data.
So there are other effects I have noticed but some I can't tell if it is all in my head or not.
One obvious one is the loss in strength. It hasn't been terribly noticeable but I had to hold my body up off the ground for a few seconds to look under the car. I was shocked at how hard that was. For ordinary tasks like picking up a pack of water at the store I don't really notice a difference. I did start working out (rowing, not weights) around the same time as beginning HRT so that might be lessening the effect from what it could be.
I have heard that taste changes and the only thing I've noticed is with a couple brands of salsa that I'd never really tried. Both tasted so awful I threw them out. I switched back to the brand I know I like and it tastes a little off but only for a second. I am not sure if that is significant. I have been a bit more daring with trying new foods in my diet lately (nothing crazy, just things like squash). I haven't liked anything new so far except for Sriracha. I make tacos a lot just so I can use it but again I don't know if this is just me getting used to the spiciness or if I began liking it around the same time. I never was crazy about spicy before but I also never stuck with it long enough to get past that to the flavor.
More headaches. There has only been one that got me to take some Tylenol but they are pretty much daily. Just a dull pain usually almost like dehydrated but I drink more water now than any point in my life before. I knew this would happen though so it hasn't worried me really.
I actually look in the mirror. Mostly I notice some imperfections now. Previously I would just use the mirror to make sure my hair wasn't crazy and not really care or notice the details.
I have noticed that hair on my chest has not grown back as fast or thick as it did before. I still shave it weekly but it's like half the growth as before and more patchy. I was not like super hairy but it's been noticeable enough.
Giggling fit. I love comedies and I laugh a lot (even when I shouldn't) but I never really giggled. Until the other night when I was watching a funny scene and the sounds were definitely a giggle and made me feel more feminine than my laugh does. Probably nothing but I am going to keep an eye on things like general happiness because I have read about people just being so happy they smile for no reason and that is something I have never done (I smile when I find something amusing).
Mentally I feel pretty much the same. For the most part if I don't focus on it I just think of myself as me and I don't notice my body. I am not sure the best way to say it but it's like I just feel like a person not like a man or woman. When I do think of it though that is a bit different. I had never had dysphoria with my looks. At most I was indifferent. Now I feel it a little when I feel more feminine. When I don't feel anything is when it's a problem for me. Most of the time I am still indifferent and it causes me some stress that I don't feel anything strongly. I know that it tends to come in waves (like a sin wave) and that helps a little. Usually I just try to do something distracting like try to find a new purse or whatever and it subsides. I am lucky in that regard as I know that some people feel very strong dysphoria.
I am also evening out a bit on the excitement. The appointment has raised it some but I am slowly coming down from the initial rush. I do tend to think of situations that I would likely have avoided before. Even simple things like shopping I avoid like the plague but now I actually want to (haven't yet). Another is meeting up with people. Before I would talk to friends sure but pretty infrequently. Now I am calling them up or reaching out trying to schedule things. It's perplexing to me how I can lose what little confidence I had before but be more bold at the same time.
One of the most noticeable changes for me since the first few days and still now is that I dream. I mean I dream vividly. It has slowed a little but I wake up and feel like I've been dreaming all night. I remember more of my dreams than ever before and they have so much detail. The only disconcerting thing is that I have so far only dreamt of myself as others see me, a man. I am not sure if it's just my brain being slower to pick up or habit but dreams are weird so I am not putting too much thought into this.
This leads me to the one thing that has been bothering me. I have a hard time calling myself a woman. From a hormonal standpoint it's bang on but physically I don't even feel androgynous. It's been the thing that plays on my mind the most because isn't that what all this is for? The best I can rationalize it is because for so many years I was a man and that isn't going to go away overnight. I have made some headway in that in imagined conversations I do think of phrases like "other women" and understanding that I am saying I am a woman.
Old habits are hard to break but change is inevitable.
Until next time.