Virtual Action

 Yesterday it seems I spent the day doing virtual meetups. 

The first was with my therapist. We discussed, among other things, my recent dual bout with gender dysphoria coupled with bi-polar issues. As always, it was triggered by an off the wall instance. When I returned from the dentist to have impressions taken, it seemed I had left a bit of the residue on my face. Liz wanted to show me and held up her cell phone to provide video proof. When I saw myself, I immediately went into shock after I saw my image. All I saw was an old guy with very long hair and my gender dysphoria along with the accompanied despair set in. It took me several days to climb out of the mental funk I was in.

I am fortunate to have such a strong support system with my partner Liz. She helped me climb out of my ditch. She is so good, my therapist and I call her “Dr. Liz.” After a couple days, my depression started to lift and I used the time honored phrase “It is what is is” to accept my state of mind and move on. Whatever I have managed to use to feminize my male body will have to suffice. 

While I am on the subject, I was able to obtain my blood lab results from the weekend yesterday. The important results came back good. My iron was low, so I don’t have to go back up to the Dayton, Ohio VA  for a blood removal phlebotomy. They take a pint out to keep my iron levels in line. Also my hormone levels remained about the same. Slightly below level for a normal non pregnant cis woman. What that means is, it’s a possibility my endocrinologist will let me add another estradiol patch to our routine. We shall see.

Finally yesterday, I virtually attended the monthly Rainbow Elderly Alliance board meeting. Since I don’t have much coming up in the near future as far as webinars are concerned, I was relatively quiet. It was announced though we would be participating in the upcoming June Dayton, Ohio Pride celebration. It’s going to be a hybrid affair combining drive thru and actual events. Since I live an hour and fifteen minutes away, it’s tough for me to do much. Plus, depending on the planning, I may be going to the Cincinnati Pride this year. It’s the biggest in the area if it happens at all.

All of this amazes me. Before the pandemic I didn’t even know how to attend a virtual meeting at all. Now I have days which doing on line meetings is all I do.  


 I love my “Endo” Doc. She is so nice and because of her I have been able to experience all the feminine changes I have been able to go through over the years. 

Of course it didn’t hurt that before my visit (actually the night before) I washed my hair again and just let it go into it’s natural wonderful waviness. You can see a bit of it in one of my profile pictures.

This picture was taken at only one of three times my partner Liz and I have been out in the last year. As you can see in the picture, it was last summer. 

It doesn’t hurt either I give my Endo the credit for my transgender transformations such as even less body hair (excluding my face of course) and increasing distribution of body fat to my hip areas. 

Now I wish my upcoming dental appointment could be as painless. Ha!!!

Just My Imagination

To my surprise she told me my estradiol level had risen from the last time she prescribed me new patches from a low of “40” to “80” currently. 

Since I am very poor in asking relevant questions such as what should my levels be, I went to Google and received this answer:

“For transgender women, the Endocrine Society guidelines define the target range of estradiol as 100–200 pg/mL (367–734 pmol/L)1; as many providers in our practice do not titrate therapy when estradiol levels are above 90 pg/mL (330 pmol/L), the range of 90–200 pg/mL (330–734 pmol/L) was used to define effective”

So, I guess because of those levels, she prescribed me adding one more patch I add to my body twice a week. I am prescribed (by the VA) Alora 1 mg patches. Each of the patches contains 3.1 mg of estradiol which is released over a 3 to 4 day period. I am fortunate I guess in that I haven’t had any problems with the patches staying on. Because the next step would be me giving myself injections. I definitely have a problem with needles. 

Actually all these facts and figures are a way for me to understand the advanced gender transition I am going through. If the last time I received permission to increase my dosage is any indication, I can expect more changes again.

Of course the first time I added the extra patch, I imagined I felt an added fullness in my breasts and hip area. Realistically I know changes do occur over a period of time and not the first days. 

Plus I do know the risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy at my age. So does my Endo Doc I guess since wants to check my blood hormone levels in a month.

In the meantime, I will have to try to keep my imagination in check.  

Such a Day

Yesterday was my scheduled appointment with my endocrinologist. It was a virtual visit so I didn’t have to drive the 45 minutes to do it, which was nice. It was nice too, to put on a little makeup  for the visit. Little did I know such a small action would result in triggering my gender dysphoria for the entire day. 

First though, my appointment went well and I received refills on my all important hormone replacement therapy meds…spiro and estradiol. She asked all the relevant questions about body feminization, body hair and blood pressure. Spiro can be known to decrease blood pressure too low and cause a person to be dizzy. It is also used to lower testosterone. Mine is very low (15) so I am considering cutting back on my dosage which hopefully will cut back on the dizziness I feel in the morning. I did have to set up another blood test on my hormone levels for her when I go see the laboratory “vampires” in November to make sure my estrogen level isn’t too high. I figure I will jump off that bridge when I come to it. 

As far as the gender dysphoria went, if the truth be known, I probably am somewhere between the best look I think I have and the worst look I try to work through. I know too, appearance is but a small part of what works together to make me a transgender woman.

Which means, the worst part of the whole activity is, it is a total waste of time and I don’t know why I continue to subject myself to it. I can only surmise gender dysphoria will be with me as long as I live and days such as I just went through won’t be the last. 

Not in Kansas Anymore

 With all apologies to all of you who actually may live in Kansas, this post concerns a few of my thoughts during my annual mammogram yesterday. It’s not as if I didn’t know what to expect since this was my fifth go around with a mammogram. Depending on the person giving the test, the whole process is normally a fairly quick process with minimal discomfort. 

Yesterday, as I was sitting and waiting barely covered from the waste up with a flimsy hospital gown, I had a chance to think how far I have been afforded the chance to come. Thanks to my hormone replacement therapy, my breasts have become nearly the size of the silicone breast forms I used to keep hidden in a drawer at home. For some reason, I thought of Dorothy’s immortal comment from the “Wizard of Oz” movie…I was not in Kansas anymore. 

Fortunately, I didn’t have too much time to think about classic movies as it was time to do my contortions with an big white machine which looked like something out of Star Wars. It whirred and clicked approximately four times to four different poses and I was done and on my way.

Equally as amazing, was the fact early this morning, I received an email from my hospital account telling me everything was fine. I am especially sensitive to the news since my grandmother passed away from breast cancer.

On the positive side too, the two booster shots I was scheduled for at the VA Monday finally have stopped bothering me. Now, I am done for awhile with all my invasive appointments.  Thank goodness!

Trans Trust

Connie tipped me off to a blog post concerning a long buried happening I went through years ago. In fact, it took me years to realize how much my why didn’t really care about my cross dressing gender tendencies as much as what happened when I lied to her about sneaking around behind her back. To clarify though, my wife never accepted any thoughts of me being transgender and beginning hormone replacement therapy. Before we go any farther with those thoughts, here is Connie’s comment:

“My wife was so much more upset by my manipulation than she was about my gender identity and the expression thereof. When we finally had the big “discussion,” the thing that rang loudest to me was her asking, “Do you think I’m stupid; that I don’t know what you’ve been doing?” Of course, the “discussion” led to me trying to explain the “why,” followed by “who” I was, and not just “what” I was or what I was doing. When a spouse sniffs you out, no matter how perfume-y you try to make it, it’s an awful stench.”

Thanks for the comment!  When I look back at all the not so intelligent contortions I went through to hide my other life from her, I wonder why I tried at all. An example was every night she worked late, I couldn’t wait to get out the door and lead my feminine life. The problem was, when she got home, I had to be cleaned up the best I could so she wouldn’t notice any excess makeup.  No matter how hard I tried, most of the time I had difficulty passing the scrutiny she put me through.

Looking back on it now, I wonder how I even put up with the stress of passing twice a night. As a woman when I went out and as a man when my wife came back home.

Indeed the stench was awful since the gender issue was the only point of deception we had in our relationship. The stress was horrendous.

Making Space

Out of the clear blue (and hot) sky today came a call from my endocrinologist’s office. As you may, or may not remember, last week I had my blood labs taken which included my testosterone and estradiol levels. The nurse said my levels had came back this time showing my testosterone was still at a very low level and surprisingly, my “E” levels were just up slightly after increasing the dosage the last time it was checked. So, she suggested we add a third dosage twice a week. Since I am on patches, it means I am going to have to figure out where to add another sizable patch to my abdomen area. I am sure though I will figure it out!

After seeing and hearing from a few others who are not satisfied with how the patches are sticking to their skin, I have found somehow I don’t have or never have a problem with the patches sticking. I hope I am not jinxing myself since I am excited about being able to increase my dosage slightly. 

We also went back to the mechanic’s today to finish our oil change procedure. I say procedure because they couldn’t finish the job because of a lack of two filters.

Interestingly, Sara Michelle wrote in with this comment:
” Hello Cyrsti! Darling I think you might be taken advantage of? As a former mechanic, the filter is always changed with the oil! Leaving a dirty filter on with fresh oil is a waste of money! They should have made sure they had everything in stock before doing the job! My guess is they will rock you for another oil change when you go back for the filter. Good luck with that bar mitzvah, hope you have fun!”

I always have thought I could be taken advantage of at a mechanic’s as a man or a woman! I never had known much about cars. This time though, the two filters were an air filter and a cabin filter recommended by Toyota. Thanks for the heads up and yes I plan on having a good time at the bar mitzfah! 

The New Reality

Recently, I wrote a post entitled “Selfish” here in Cyrsti’s Condo. Under the new shelter in place rules here in Ohio, I have been stuck at home seemingly forever. In fact, the only big exciting trip out I have recently is a trip last night to the grocery store. Fortunately, most all of the had stock on them (except for the toilet paper)  So we couldn’t be selfish and buy our two package minimum. 

As you may or may not remember, the “Selfish” post wasn’t about toilet paper and hopefully wasn’t that bad of a post :).  Selfish was a post concerning gender transitioning and it’s effects on those around you. In a short amount of words, is it a selfish pursuit to change your gender back to it’s true self. Regardless of what many people think, we transgender women and men aren’t really “changing” anything. We are simply beginning to live our reality.

Connie had this look at the post:

“It was more selfish of me when I was trying to compartmentalize my life – living a double life, really. Because I could not be “myself” with family and friends, I had gotten to the point where I was just carving out some time for them, rather than being there for them always. A therapist that my wife and I were seeing together made the suggestion that I ramp up the compartmentalization by scheduling my feminine-self. He used the analogy of an avid golfer, who compromises by agreeing to only play on Sundays, so that everyone agrees that nothing else should be expected on one day of the week. The trouble, though, was that I awoke every morning feeling every bit the woman I am, and, while golf is an activity, this was the very essence of who I was – every day. The suggestion was made from the therapist’s ignorance of gender identity and dysphoria, and it would never have worked. However, it did provide the opportunity for me to explain why it would never work, and that’s really when my transition began.

As I’ve often said, a gender transition starts with one being honest with self. As hard as that may be to do, the follow-up is to then to be honest with everyone else. In my case, my wife did not accept my cross dressing, but she has been so wonderful in how she has transitioned along with me. It’s a different relationship, of course, but it is completely open and honest. Even if she had not wanted to deal with all of the drama of it, I know she would have still supported me. I postponed HRT for her sake, as she wasn’t ready to accept breasts on me, but, when she had transitioned to the point of acceptance a couple of years later, I was hit with my first blood clot. After the second clot, I had to resign myself to the fact that HRT would never be part of my transition.

With the recent passing of Kenny Rogers, I can’t help but to hear “The Gambler” in my head. Ha! “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” It’s interesting to think of that song from a trans view; transitioning is somewhat of a gamble, really. Fortunately, there is “time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done.”

Thanks for the comment!


As I touched on in the last Cyrsti’s Condo post, the more I wrote, the more I thought about my ideas… the more I had. Of course it doesn’t hurt with all of the virus’s impact, I have had quite a bit of more time to look back at my life and re-discover the factors which have so impacted my life.

One idea I had came after I unexpectedly reached across my body to pet a very needy cat and ended up with a very uncomfortable twinge coming from my left breast. It turns out I had mildly pinched the newer breast mass I have been developing again recently. Then, along the way I began to think how selfish I was feeling. 

It could be argued though the whole transgender experience is a selfish one. Especially when one embarks on a hormone replacement therapy routine. 

In many ways, HRT is a no return situation unless you just hate the changes or the Goddess forbid, you run into health issues. Take sex for example. Unless you are one of the very few, under the influence of HRT, you are chemically castrating yourself. Even though the process may not bother you, it is a definite impact on a spouse who has been by your side for years.

As I have written about many times, I faced the process with my deceased wife who accepted me as a cross dresser but never as a transgender woman. Even back in those days it was a terrifically tough internal struggle for me. After all, how selfish was I being to only look after my needs.

Finally after a failed suicide event, I had to decide to take the path for me…self survival. 

So, ideally, you can say HRT was the ultimate in selfishness for me and had she lived I am sure it would have ultimately led to our breakup as a couple. As she so concisely put it…she didn’t set out to be with a woman. Little did she ever know, the person she spent twenty five years with was a woman internally all the time.

I cherish all that I have become and I paid heavy dues to get here.Every morning when I get up, I thank my Goddess for the chance to experience softer skin and my own breasts.  Sadly, if I had the information and courage to have gender transitioned decades ago most certainly, I wouldn’t perceive this portion of my life as being selfish. 

Maybe it was though. I deprived the people closest to me of my real self. It would have been up to them to accept me or not.  

I'm Such a Boob

One topic I don’t write about much is hormone replacement therapy (HRT.)  I don’t cover it much because of a couple reasons. 

First and foremost, I know for medical reasons many transgender women can’t take on HRT. Secondly,I also know , many trans folk attempt the dangerous route of attempting to do the whole process without securing medical professional help. Doing that just opens yourself up to many very terrible health issues. Finally, I am always paranoid about giving any indication of me putting myself up on a “transer than thou” pedestal.

Now my warnings are behind us and we can get to the real reason for this post. 

You may recall, approximately three months ago, I was able to increase my dosage of estrodial by half after many medical tests. Now I am beginning to feel changes again in my body. Of course what most want to know, does that mean bigger breasts. In my case yes it did, plus I was able to add more volume to my thighs too. 

Now, keep in mind, I have been on HRT for over six years, with time off for medical reasons. Plus I spent at least the first six months on a very minimum dosage. I started that way to see how my body reacted to the hormonal changes.

I know too, quite a few individuals who have just started (or are considering starting) HRT for the first time want to know what to expect. Again, I don’t write about it much because the results vary so much depending on the age and dosage of the recipient. 

In my case, it wasn’t very long before I began to feel sensations in my breasts, hot flashes and emotional changes. Then I went years before I went through any other definite changes until I was allowed to increase my dosage. To put it into perspective, my breasts became easily noticeable but not really large enough in my mind to wear a restrictive bra. Now, as summer approaches and hopefully restrictions from the virus lift, if I wear any sort of tight tank top I will need to wear a bra.

Plus, I have a series of appointments coming up early in April which will hopefully confirm I can stay on my current hormonal course. Most importantly to me is the emotional well being I have achieved on my current HRT dosage. 

I just hope I am allowed to maintain it.