Best Doctor’s Appointment Ever

OK, reader, I have a lot of good news to share. Are you ready for all this positivity and progress and victory? If not, this probably is not the post for you, and you should keep scrolling through dank memes and cat videos and reposts of clever tweets.

I saw a doctor I’ve seen once before at Family Care Health Center in St Louis today. I went in there with like a 10-item agenda. I was prepared to have to argue with the new doc about my treatment and to fight with her about what is and isn’t true, but she is an amazing listener, and even better, she actually did the research she was saying she would do after our last session in November. I did my research, too, so we both came prepared to meet minds and make informed decisions. I think she is a resident instead of a full MD, but I will follow her to whatever practice she goes to after this one because of this awesomeness. So the good news here is that I lucked into having a curious, listening, collaborative, and informed doctor, finally, after so many ignorant, authoritative, self-important ones.

We’re just getting started with the good news here though.

1) She upped the dose of my depression medication, so I don’t have to pay out of pocket to see a psychiatrist for that! Huzzah!

2) She gave me the OK to start estrogen injections NEXT MONTH! This is so great, as I’ve been seeking a doctor since 2017 to give me the clear and to monitor me while I start it. It’s double great because the sublingual estrogen I’ve been taking is part of the reason I had my gall bladder removed, and sublingual E can lead to liver damage, so this is not just a move toward healthy HRT–it’s a way to stop my current HRT from further damaging my organs. Technically she gave me the ok to start them today (!), but I said we should wait a month to do smarter science because of item 3.

3) She gave me the OK to up my progesterone IMMEDIATELY. She read some stuff recently that says progesterone functions as a testosterone blocker (!) which is like SUCH A BONUS to its already awesome effects of filling out my breasts and acting as a mood stabilizer and interacting with estrogen to keep me from getting all sorts of other health problems.

4) Based on the last round of labs I did in November, I WAS RIGHT in suspecting that my testosterone had climbed back up out of the female range. I’m at 91 ng/dl Tnow, which is 41 ng/dl too high to be considered in the female range. I WAS RIGHT THIS WHOLE TIME THAT MY HORMONES WERE MESSED EVEN THOUGH MY LAST DOC SAID THEY WERE IN A GOOD SPOT. Now we know precisely how messed they were, and which kind of mess, and my inner sense of “something is off here” has been validated.

5) She referred me to a local dermatologist to get a cyst I’ve have on my face since 2013 removed!

6) She wrote me the letter I’ve needed for my passport IN LIKE FIVE MINUTES DURING THE APPOINTMENT. She also commented that the language in it was offensive to her, and that this entire process seemed unnecessarily discriminatory for me to have to go through, and that it didn’t make sense since like obvi I’m a woman obvi I’ve been transitioning for five years now, and she even understood that transition is a process and that standards of completion are different for everybody (some folks want surgery and some don’t, some folks want HRT and some don’t, etc), so why are the feds asking for this letter anyway whatever here give me a few minutes. Basically my doctor is a bamf and an ally and hopefully I’ve finished this passport process because I’m mailing out the letter tomorrow morning.

7) She’s giving me access to the clinic’s psychology services so I can see a therapist and psychiatrist through them, which will be covered by their local insurance program, so I won’t have to pay for therapy, and said they are happy to refer me somewhere else if they can’t meet my needs there! So, that whole process of finding a county mental health clinic with sliding scale fees and trans-accepting providers I was trying and failing to do after I left the psych hospital is moot now. Someone from the clinic is contacting me tomorrow to set up an intake appointment for ASAP.

8) She said she is interested in the science I am reading about HRT things she hasn’t heard of, and asked me to bring her what I’ve been reading so she can integrate it into her practice and so we can both make informed decisions regarding my care through her. Was mostly referring to why we want progesterone levels to be in the luteal phase range, and evidence for why sublingual E messes with the liver and gall bladder. THIS IS HUGE. She trusts me enough to do my own research. She doesn’t think I’m crazy, incompetent, ignorant, or deceptive, like so many of my prior providers have. I’m valid. She sees me. She listens. She trusts. We are collaborating. I love it.

9) She renewed my scrip for the anti anxiety medication I have been taking that helps me sleep and helps me leave the house! She even upped the dose, and gave me license to drop it back to the current dose if I don’t tolerate it well. Again with the trust. Feels so good.

10) She told me there is current research saying the proton-pulse inhibitor I’ve been taking since surgery to help with my digestion (Zantac) can be difficult to stop if I take it for a few months (I plan to take it all year until my guts even out from surgery) because it can produce acid bounceback after stopping it, so we switched to Ranitidine, which either isn’t a PPI and/or doesn’t have a documented history of producing bounceback after cessation. BONUS.

11) I went in there with a laundry list of stuff I needed to discuss and we covered all of it. In short, I’m getting what I’ve known I needed regarding my progesterone, my estrogen, my testosterone, my whole HRT regimen, the hormone imbalance and the accompanying dysphoria that I’ve been carrying since I stopped spiro over a year ago and have been unable to meaningfully address through no fault of my own. I’m getting the followup care I was supposed to be getting after my stay in the psychiatric hospital but couldn’t because I’ve been homeless and moving around too much after surgery to access facilities due to residency requirements I couldn’t establish. I’m getting my meds renewed and adjusted. I have access to therapy again. I’m taking care of issues I’ve been carrying for years. I’m finally finishing (fingers crossed) my passport application. This session addressed SO MUCH. It was so necessary. I left it feeling like a huge burden had left my body.

TLDR: I just had the best doc’s appointment ever and I’m looking forward to another with this person next month. But mostly I’m stoked to have forward motion again regarding my healing. It’s possible. Healing is still possible. Even in St Louis.

Wish me all the luck!

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Breasts and New Bras pt 2

K so quick history: my breasts have grown QUITE A BIT since I started taking progesterone in October, and they’ve grown even more since I started consistently taking it as a suppository in December. None of my old bras fit anymore, which made my breasts constantly sore (ball-havers, imagine squeezing your balls into too-tighty-whiteys for months, like, 2-4 sizes too small), so I threw down on some new bras, from Torrid. I was wearing exclusively Maidenform 38B bras for the last three years, except for random sports bras I found at Ross or on sale at Target.

These Torrid bras are the comfiest things I’ve ever wrapped around my girls.

I’m definitely a 42 band size. Everything I ordered was a 42. I measured myself before I ordered and I was closer to 42 than 41 but still in between, so I gambled a little and got lucky. 42 feels right. Snug but not tight. In place but not pinching. I ordered mostly D cups with a few Cs and Bs thrown in there in case I had measured wrong.

Turns out I measured wrong. I followed a few guides, measured around the fullest part of the bust, still got the wrong cup size. Guess my boobs are just reaching for the stars.

After an afternoon of trying on seven bras, I’m returning five. I’m keeping the 42Bs, one demi, one sports, and returning all the rest. Just too much room in the cups in those.

Once things get returned and I get reimbursed, I’m def ordering more. Like, this is a memory foam demi, but I want to try some more basic T-shirt bras in more common colors (this one is a lush dark purple, sale ftw) and styles (give me some lace I want to feel sexy sometimes) (also is probs a good idea to have more than one sports bra, espesh if I’m planning to starts sportsing more). I’ll have more money when my freelancing gig pays up in a few weeks, but can’t order anything now, so I have time to strategize.

Good news: This 42B demi is just THE comfiest thing. There is really no feeling like…tfw metal wires aren’t digging into the sides of your breasts. The underwire (cozily cushioned) points up into my armpit rather than to my shoulders, so I’m convinced 42 is the band I need. Victory!

SMALL DILEMMA THO: There’s still a little room in the cups. Like, when I sit down and lean back, the upper lip (?) of the cup rises off my breast maybe a centimeter, more on the right breast. Again, super comfy, but that’s the roomiest I’ve ever worn a comfy bra.

Fellow boob-havers, does this mean the bra is too big? Should I maybe order a few more bras down a band size and up a cup size to see if they’re too snug before deciding i am def a 42B at the moment? Like, 40Cs and 40Bs? I’d look for 40As but I don’t have the money for custom bras rn.

Also, my girls are still growing, so I don’t want to invest too much in bras–I need just enough underwear to be functional until my girls are finished coming into their own–so maybe I should just stick with 42Bs for a minute and wait to grow into em more?

Anyways, if y’all were in my situation (female puberty), what would you consider? Thanks for any tips!