A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Posts tagged ‘minoxidil’

Random bits and pieces.

I’ve developed this weird little rash on my neck where my Adam’s Apple should be.  Yesterday, it looked like a hickey, which is weird because nobody’s been kissing me there.  Today, it feels bumpy and weird.  I don’t like to make a big deal out of unrelated events, but it just kinda tickled me- as if my body is going, “Look here.  You see this?  This here?  This is where this lump should be, and it’s not.  What the fuck.”

Also, I’ve been pumping, so “little friend” (as I call it) has been growing, I think.  I don’t know how much bigger, to be specific, or if anyone out on the interwebs needs to know the details, but my partner said it looks bigger, and he’s not the sort to say things just to make me feel better.  So that’s kind of exciting.

Insurance is being a dick.  I keep doing something wrong, or sending something in the wrong date, or etc. etc., and all I really want is to be able to go talk to a doctor about getting a T prescription.  I’m not asking for insurance to pay for it, I’ll pay for it myself, cent for cent.  But this is taking FOR-FUCKING-EVER, this red tape.  Plus, social services screwed me over for food stamps last year.  They said that when I was trying to cancel food stamps, THEY made a mistake, some sort of clerical error, and need ME to pay them back $200.  Are you kidding me?  I’ve been trying my damnedest just to hold on to $200, let along the $500 I need to get my car fixed- and yes, I’m in a situation where I don’t need help with food, but I AM ALSO in a situation where I DON’T need to owe people money!  This sucks azz, bro.

It just seems like the world is trying to hold me back from medically transitioning, because it’s taking forever to get this freaking ball rolling.  I’m going to be filling out the paperwork, AGAIN, hopefully for the last time, today.

I think my body’s catching on, though, in lieu of the ability to get testosterone in my body.  For instance, I’m noticing hair growing on my back and shoulders and all kinds of areas where I never really noticed any before.  Also, apparently my voice is deep enough for me to at least pass as a 15 year old boy.  I think it might be more of an inflection thing, and some of the voice stretching exercises.

Although I quit the minoxidil a little while back (read the comments on “Quick update: Minoxidil” for the reasons why), my eyebrows have been growing in a more male shape, which may or may not be due to the minoxidil.  I’ve been shaving my face a lot more often lately, too- it was kind of hard to let go of the tiny bits of peach fuzz at first, but then reading that it can actually incriminate more than having a clean shaven face (because men either have stubble or nothing and only women have peach fuzz), I reluctantly picked up the razor.  I’ve read both ways- that it’s an old wives tale that shaving makes your hair grow in darker, or that it’s just because the ends are more blunt when you shave off the tips, but either way, I think it’s been growing a little faster.

In order to give me more incentive to shave it off, I went to the store and bought this totally badass razor that has all these metallic bits and functions, and it came in a set with a bunch of guy-smelling soap and deodorant, all for $8, too, so I felt really good about that.  I was getting low on my shampoo.

All these little things and everything else coming together, plus just relaxing into a male identity and being more confident about it, I think is contributing to the amount of people reading me as male lately.  It was funny- at Faire, that group who initiated me, they were first a lot more awkward trying to tell me that they’d decided amongst themselves that I looked way better as a dude than as a chick.  They couldn’t imagine how epic it was to hear that!

I think it’s when you travel back, you can see how far you’ve come.  Last night, I was practicing one of my theatrical makeup techniques (specifically, how to make your eyebrows disappear without shaving them off) and it worked so well, I wound up turning it into a celebrity impersonation photoshoot for my makeup portfolio.  If you’ve ever heard of Amanda Palmer, you know it’s necessary to have no eyebrows to dress as her.  But you’ll also understand why, dressing as her, it was the first time in a long time I felt that comfortable wearing a dress.  She tends to defy gender boundaries, and that makes me happy.

Anyway, I noticed something in the pictures that jarred me a little- I didn’t look female when I put on makeup anymore.  I looked very distinctly like a drag queen!  That tells me how far I’ve come- I can’t look completely female anymore, even when dressing as one.  I knew that day would come, but I didn’t expect it this soon.

Family issues- my dad’s was trying at first, I think, to be accepting, but something’s going wrong here, because I don’t think he’s taking me seriously.  I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m going through a phase, and his latest hobby has been dropping little hints to remind me “what I really am.”  I think that he thinks he’s doing me a favor.  It feels like shit.  Like, every single little time I let my front of masculinity down the slightest bit, he’s there to catch me and remind me that “men do this and this,” or “you wouldn’t get it, it’s a guy thing.”  I have to conform to every single binary to get my dad to take me seriously, and it sucks ass, because I know he thinks I’m fake, and the way it’s going, he’s basically making me act fake so he’ll think I’m real.  He’s the only person who has power over me this way.  With everyone else, I can flaunt the gender binary and laugh when they look confused.  I don’t much care what people think.  With my dad, I really, really want him to think of me as his son… and he’s making me jump through hoops to get it.  It doesn’t help that I’m going out with a guy, either.  I’m sure that if I’d been born completely male, and if I were going out with a guy, he’d think I was a sissy-boy, too.  I don’t know how to resolve this.  He needs to understand that I’m not a traditional, cut-out male, but I’m not female, either.  I’m just his kid, hopefully his son, and if I’m not perfect, then too bad, because I’d be really boring if I were.  I’m doing the best I can to reconcile the two sides of my gender, and he’s not making it any easier.  In fact, he’s making it harder than anyone else, because I actually value his opinion.  I wonder, if he saw that, would he try to hurt me like this all the time?

Minoxidil log #4: day 22.

To address the issues of the last post:

The patches cleared up and nothing even remotely like it has returned since, leading me to believe that they might not have even been related to the application of the minoxidil.  Of course, they could have been, especially since they only vanished after an incidental 2 day hiatus from application (I wound up at a friend’s house without it for a couple days- my life tends to be completely unplanned these days.)

The 2-day hiatus seemed to do the trick for pretty much everything unpleasant about minoxidil; when I started reapplying it, I barely had any itchiness, absolutely no redness and somehow my face just seemed more generally acclimated to it.  Maybe the 2 days gave my body time to assimilate the benefits and build a resistance to it without another onslaught of it to keep it from progressing?
IN SHORT:  The trick to this, it seems, is to know when your body is telling you to take a break, stop for a day or two, and THEN resume.  Piece of cake.

The biggest points of importance in this post, however, are the signs that it may indeed be working.  For one, I’m already getting babyhairs in the application areas of my eyebrows- ones that are dark.  My eyebrows are subtlely looking more male all the time.

Finally, last but not least, I’m developing blonde peach fuzz in my sideburn and jaw areas- two places that, at the beginning of this treatment, were as bare as a baby’s bottom.  It’s nothing that’s even noticeable unless you knew the difference between an unnoticeable peach fuzz (which most girls have anyway) and barenaked nothingness.  But the fact that I’m getting anything at 3 weeks in, when, typically, these results should happen at 12 weeks, is telling me that this treatment is extremely effective on me and I should definitely keep at it.

I’ll post with any other updates.

Minoxidil log #3: day 7.

As stated in my last log, I applied Minoxidil 5% topical solution again after a 24 hour hiatus on the evening of the 22nd.  The only reaction was a nearly unnoticeable itching, so I chose to continue with my regimen of once a day in the evenings from there forward.  One other thing I’ve slowly been coming to notice: about 20 minutes after application, my face has a somewhat numb feel to it, as if the skin were ever-so-slightly thicker.  I’ll have to keep an eye on that.

The only other thing of note:  I’m having a reaction that may or may not be related to the application of the minoxidil.  It’s outside of the application area: a small, slightly red and itchy area of skin just to the left of my left nostril, about the size of a nickel, and the same kind of reaction just to the right of the bridge of my nose, near my right eye.

I have to admit, I had been applying a tiny amount to my inner and lower eybrow areas so as to give them a more male-shaped pattern.  I can assure that the solution didn’t run or smear elsewhere and it’s having no effect on my eyes.  It seemed a little more important to note that I was applying it there, though, since my reactions in the nose area are a little more easily explained as being somewhat more central to the overall application.  I’m considering stopping application on my brows if these small itches don’t go away; alternately, a break from application altogether depending on whether they clear up.

No effect on my hair growth yet, of course- I’ve heard it said that it’s supposed to be 90 days before the first vellous hairs even show up.  That said, I’ve made it through the first week of that 12 week period with hardly any adverse results.

On to bigger and better things.

Minoxidil log #2: day 4.

I started applying minoxidil 5% topical solution to my beard area on the 18th, once a day in the evenings, and continued to do so for 3 days (18th, 19th and 20th).  It seemed wise to start applying such a radical treatment slowly at first, not the box recommendation of twice a day, in such a sensitive place as the face.  Success so far- no sensitivity, pain or itching in the applied area.

Today (the 21st), I’ve decided to see what applying the solution twice a day would do.  I applied it first this morning, with a slight bit of itching being the only result, although nothing really very noteworthy.  This evening I applied it again, and I’m already experiencing some tingling, itching and even a bit of slight burning.  Obviously, applying this solution twice a day is a bad idea.

Once a day should be enough- I’ll only apply it in evenings from here out.  If these symptoms reoccur tomorrow evening after I’ve given it 24 hours to cool down, I’ll take a 3 day break from my regimen and then see if it happens again.  If after 3 days, I apply it with the same reaction, then I’ll discontinue use.  As it stands, this isn’t a horrible reaction, just some slight sensitivity, and I’m assuming it’s just a reaction to overuse of it on an already sensitive area.

I’ll continue to update with results as they occur.

Quick update: Minoxidil.

I know that I already posted today, but I just wanted to make a log of this.

I just got back from the drug store with a month’s supply of 5% topical minoxidil (for growing facial hair, as stated in my previous posts and here on the Beard Board).  I’ve already applied the first day’s application, and I can state that I’ve had no burning or tingling sensation.

It seemed important to me to kickstart growing facial hair, since I haven’t been able to get in with a gender therapist for some time and I’ve been hearing terrifying rumours that some of them require us to live a year full-time before they’ll write the script for testosterone.  Quite frankly, I just don’t think I should have to wait that long before I start working on something that I could simply shave off.  I’ve been committed to living fulltime for over half a year already (not to mention the several years of questioning and figuring out the gender dysphoria beforehand) and I’ve come out to my friends, family and everyone else important in my life already.  I’m living by my new name, I wear a binder and other gendered items daily and there’s nothing left about me that belies femininity aside from the things I can’t change, such as my facial shape, hips and voice.  I’ve crossed lines of androgyny with such considerable comfort and ease already that I think one more firm gender marker, such as facial hair, could tip the scales enough to where my social role of male will be set, even in spite of my voice, and my dysphoria could be minimally alleviated for the time being.  This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t still be looking to get on testosterone- there’s nothing else I can find that would fix my voice.

All that said, it seemed important to log my use of Minoxidil, as there were some health warnings on the box.  It warned women not to use it (it could cause harm during breast feeding and pregnancy, which I have nothing to worry about, and could cause facial hair growth in women, which I WANT.)  It also said not to use on other parts of the body other than the crown of the head, but I forego that warning at my own risk- other men have without any harm, AND with the desired effect.  So, as of January the 18th, 4 in the afternoon, I have started my regimen of topical minoxidil, 5%, applied to the face.

I came out to my dad last night.

It was unexpected, unplanned, and exactly the way it was supposed to be.

Well, sort of.  It took some weird complications to make it happen, but I think if it weren’t for those, it wouldn’t have gone as well as it did.

See, last weekend my dad and I went up the hill to shoot his shotgun and hit a couple golf balls after I’d had some serious relationship issues (more about HIM later.)  My dad seems to think it’s great therapy to blow off steam by blowing up paint cans, and he couldn’t have been more right.  It was the golfing that got me.

On my last swing, I lost track of my form and swung not just my arms but also my back, throwing something out of alignment.  It wasn’t a HORRIBLE injury, just enough that I was done goofing off.  But all that accumulated in my back seriously giving out on me last night.  I was trying to get the baby in her high chair when my back went SPROING, and all of a sudden I couldn’t move my arms, couldn’t lift my head, and I was completely immobilized and panicked.  Good thing my best friend was there helping me watch her or it would have been me stranded and helpless with a screaming 2-year-old for 2 hours.

Anyway, I tried to get comfortable, took my last two Vicodin from my old knee injury and waited on the ‘rents to get back.  I won’t go into the gory details of those two hours, but let’s just say that 1000 milligrams of hydrocodone should have worked better than they did.  I was in humiliated tears before the night was up.

And when they got home, things just got better.  My stepmom the nurse gave me another 1000 milligram and said that was enough for the night, which did little other than to make me drowsy and nauseous, but hardly touched the pain.  My dad, pious believer that he is, decided to get out the holy anointment oil and try to pray the injury out of me.  He sent everyone else out of the room, and I just sat there, with nothing to say.  When he asked if I was alright, I looked him square in the eye and said, “Do you really think I would still believe in a God who would make me this way?”

Once I started, I couldn’t stop.  Everything just rolled from there, but even in my drugged stupor and excruciating pain (probably the reason I didn’t have any reservations about saying what I said,) it couldn’t have come out better.  Everything I’ve been struggling with figuring out how to say for months flowed out like water, and at the end of it, my dad said he would love me forever, no matter how much I decided to surgically mutilate myself.  Well, it was funny at the time.  You have to get my dad’s sense of humor.

No matter how he put it, I knew he was behind me 100%.

Whole new worlds have opened up to me.  Of course, I’m still stranded here at the house with my back busted and it’s going against my better judgement to even be sitting here at the computer instead of lying down and resting, but I had to share this.  Yesterday, it was 2 weeks until my birthday and I still had the burden of trying to figure out how to tell him before I turned 21.  Last night, all of that went away.  Today, I’m free.  My dad still cares about me, he won’t try to change me or preach at me, and he knows everything there really is to know about me.  I feel like we’re really friends now.

One other thing- as soon as I can afford it, I really want to get on Minoxidil (or Rogaine, see the minoxidil discussion on the Beard Board for details) for my facial hair growth.  I don’t feel nearly so awkward about it now that my dad knows I’m FTM.  Everyone else can just figure it out for themselves, but now that I have my dad’s blessing, I feel free to express my gender and really start the ball rolling towards true transition.

It’s time to start planning my coming out party!

Fresh and short blurb.

I guess the most awesome thing that’s happened to me lately is that my best friend was hugging me the other day and she said I smelled “manly”.   As I know it, that’s only supposed to happen after sustained HRT.  Maybe I’m turning naturally, as I’ve suggested in my previous post?

I’ve recently recalled reading on my dad’s bottle of Rogaine (yes, I read the back of EVERYTHING- don’t judge!) that women should be careful using products containing minoxidil and not get it on their faces because it may cause growth of facial hair.  Now, I’m all over that.  I’m considering going and buying a bottle and giving it a shot; the only warning I’ve come across is that it’s not clinically tested, just anecdotal.  But at this point I’m willing to give just about anything a shot, since HRT seems so far off.  Does it seem dangerous?

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