Headaches, in general, have not been a problem for me. Muscle discomfort. PMS strife. Pain following twelve hour scoliosis surgery. All familiar. The near-migraines ( have experienced those, as well) that have plagued me in the last couple of weeks are a new and less than exciting addition to my discomfort repertoire. Between pain and discomfort, I’m not certain where to log them.
What I am certain of, however, is they began following my August 31st dose of T. Good old T. Gave it a try in February 2016 and broke out in an itchy, sunburn-type rash “downstairs” and discontinued treatment with HRT. Once again, in April of this year, gave T a second go around. Same rash. Quit. Four months of designated cognitive therapy passed and I was granted permission by the T fairy to try it again. This time, I opted for injections. Rash returned but I didn’t care. This time, determined, there was nothing gonna stop me. I was on a roll.
I love injecting T. It doesn’t go into the muscle; it’s injected subcutaneously. The needle is tiny, isn’t painful and causes a weird euphoric feeling. Besides the rash, I’ve developed eczema on my face that is hardly an issue. Because it’s only been a few shots, my voice hasn’t changed, no hair loss or hair growth, at this point. Just these damned headaches. The first one scared the crap out of me. Immediately, I emailed my T provider and he didn’t think there was anything out of the ordinary. Saw my primary for another issue and she said, as well, there was no need to worry.
Then I really dug in to reading the side effects of T long-range. It can cause bone cancer. Kinda knew that and ignored the severe effects the steroid can have since I thought I needed to have it. Wanted to have it. Badly. Polycythemia, which comes up as a misspelling just now, is the technical name and one of the symptoms is headaches. After my measly five injections , my paranoid mind travels. Could I have this dreaded disease? The red blood cell count goes up and is distinguishable in a blood test. Plan is to get my blood tested ASAP.
My one thought automatically veers toward cutting T out of my life. Extricating it. Forever. The rest of me is hoping I’m not on the slippery slope of giving up my elixir. Last month, two days before my third shot, I strained a muscle in the groin area of my right leg while attempting to navigate the dunes and slight surf of the beach. The sand has always been a detractor. It’s hard to walk on it when you have the balance issue I have. Since that day, I’ve been back on the cane full-time. It precludes me from visiting my therapist weekly downtown. Determined (my catchword), I have every intention to walk through the strain and not be infirm. The orthopedist said to fear not. After he’d twisted me like a pretzel, there was no way anything of significance had been whacked out of place. A smile and handshake. Told me to exercise.
In August, before any shot, I went to the eye doctor for a problem with blurriness in my right eye. Diagnosed me with Vitreous Prolapse and scheduled me with an eye surgeon. The appointment is tomorrow. I will mention the headaches, naturally, and pray it’s not a difficult fix. I feel the need to be heard. Desire someone, somewhere, to give me the thumbs up. Fire that starting pistol. I’m older. My body’s hyper-sensitive. To drugs. To even the sun. I want to be healthy enough. Have someone say, “Hail to the T!” Then send me on my way.
In a few weeks, on a rather related/unrelated topic, I have a consult with a plastic surgeon to discuss removal of my breasts. I have every thought, prayer and intention to get myself in physical shape by May of 2017 to receive a double mastectomy. Eat right. Exercise. Hard. Those who know me get me. Those who take what they know of me and of the situation, unfortunately don’t. G is in my corner. My closest friends support me. Even the trans men, ESPECIALLY the trans men, on FB rally behind those of us in the process of our journey to seek top surgery/T. Whether it be T or top surgery– if not one then the other– or none, I must thrive. Get up to bat. Swing and a miss. Swing and a hit. Swing and a grand slam. Go for the gold. No matter what. This, I owe myself.