Saturday, July 21, 2018

The True Pain of Electrolysis

Sitting in the front office getting my chin numbed.
It is with grave misfortune that I neglected to heed the advice of those who have come before me in regards to electrolysis.  That advice was to start now!  And I will repeat it, if you are contemplating the possibility of one day doing this to yourself, stop thinking about it, and just go do it!  Seriously!

My issue?  My issue is that I didn't ever really think that I would be doing this!  I mean, why start something if you never intend on doing it?  Simple right?  Right.  Dur-da-dur!  So what changed?  Some simple sorts of things.  You know that simple little thing that says, I have now legally changed my name.  And this coming school year I will be expecting my students and fellow staff to refer to me as Mrs.

I'm mostly doing alright with that thought at this point.  It is something that I am trying to own, because that is the only thing to do.  However, there are a couple of difficulties that I have been considering.  One - I don't like shaving every day because it hurts and causes me some serious irritation, especially on my neck.  Two - I don't like wearing a wig everyday as they can be painful and quite warm.

Made it back to the room.
An easy way to solve one of those issues is to finally pony up and do what it takes to be rid of my facial hair.  I did a bit of research, got references, made phone calls, and soon had an appointment.  I will eventually write about who I decided to go see, because I LOVE her!  She is the best.  However, I don't want to taint her services with the tone of this post, which I am about to actually get to.

The point, right?  The point is the true pain of electrolysis.  When I went in, I was totally inexperienced.  I have never had this done, ever, anywhere and now I was going to pay to have someone do it to my face?  Yikes!  Alright, so I had it done with a bit of numbing cream on my face.  She worked on my chin and cleared what she could in 2 hours.

During the session I asked her what her thought was for a treatment plan.  She recommends a complete clearing of the face once per month.  Which she could do in marathon 8 hour sessions with 2 electrologists working at the same time, while having lidocain injections.  This would need to be done for a total of 12 to 18 times.

I did mention that I am a math teacher right?  Alrighty, well shall I crunch some numbers then?

Warning - if calculating triggers you, skip ahead to the next bold line!

I survived!
Lets first take a look at the total hours needed.  An 8 hour session with 2 electrologists is 16 hours.  16 hours done 12 to 18 times is 192 - 288 hours.  Next, we need the costs, right?  Well that is $125 per hour per electrologist, which is about average for the area.  As well, have you had it done?  On your face?  The lidocain injections are pretty close to mandatory, well at least for me!  Those are an additional cost of $50 per hour.  Okay, two electrologists, and injections, per hour comes out to $300 per hour.

However, a math problem twist - I will most likely only need 2 electrologists for half of that time.  But you can't just can't halve the cost, because you'll still need the lidocain.  Which means your per hour cost drops by $125 for a per hour cost of $175.

Which means what?  $300 per hour, multiplied by the range of hours of 96 to 144, gives a range of total cost from $28,800 to $43,200.  And $175 per hour,  multiplied by the range of hours of 96 to 144, gives a range of total cost from $16,800 to $25,200.

Calculating over!

For a grand total of $45,600 to $68,400.  Alrighty, if you know me in real life, you know that I don't swear here like I often do in real life!  So, swear warning, avert your eyes little ones, what the fucking shit!!!  That is the cost of the new 4 wheel drive truck that I want!

A close-up of what was done.
Once I got those numbers in, I realized what the true pain of electrolysis is.  Now yes I do pay for an experienced technician.  She has also worked with hundreds of trans clients.  She has about 30 years of experience and she works at an express rate.  Which is a concern, not just the cost per hour, but how effective is each hour?  You may pay less, you probably will pay less, but be careful of what you are willing to pay for.  Remember, this is your face.  Your face people.  Your face!

So yeah, I pay quite a bit.  I have obviously not paid to have all of that done yet.  It is a cost that will be spread out over time.  So far I have had about 15 hours of work done, and I have not been fully cleared yet.  I think it will take about another 4 to 5 hours.

Shall we also add in that I need to drive to LA to get it done?  Yeah that takes me 3 to 4 hours, each way.  Yeah there is that as well!  But that is really minor compared to the other costs.

Alrighty.  I'm done here.  Thanks for visiting!

Love you!

Love yourselves!

Love doing what is right for yourself!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

1 Year Anniversary on Estrogen

I really had no idea.  If I would have known, I would have gone this route long ago.  How different life would be is unimaginable.  It's sad, actually.  I know, I shouldn't feel bad for things that have happened, for it was only those things that brought me to the path I'm on.  Who knows what would have been now, if that had not ever been then.  At least it happened eventually.

Oh, I'm sorry, I'm waxing on dramatically without cluing in the reader, right?  Estrogen people.  I'm talking about my life on Estrogen, for today is the day that one year ago I got my first script for Spironolactone (an anti-androgen, that I refer to as my anti-boy-otics) and Estradiol.  And, no I don't care if they are supposed to be capitalized or not, for to me, they are capitol deserving words.  They have changed my life.

There is no truly effective way to convey what venturing down this path has done for me.  It is too vast, too subtle, too complex.  I mean, I'll give it a shot, but be forewarned, I am anticipating that my words will fall flat.  I'm reminded of a ponderable I had as a teen, what writing would it take to get someone to picture the exact same coffee cup that was in my mind.  It is a surprisingly difficult thing to do.  Well, maybe just for me!

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Sometimes I think they can be worth much more.   On that note, you may have noticed the collection of photos I have provided for you.  In choosing these photos, I didn't filter them and try to pick out good and bad ones.  I simply chose ones that I like out of the ones I had taken on that date.  I have not been the fastidious sort to take the same photo, in the same location, with the same lighting as some people have.  That really shows the change.  With my photos, I have found that I struggle to see much of a change as there can be vast variation within photography itself.  Sure, the photos look different, but is it due to the lighting, or the camera settings, or whatever? 

That was what I had thought prior to putting these photos together.  I think taken as a whole, yup Estrogen (yes, again with the capital!) has indeed been changing my appearance.  I can't quite tell you exactly what it is.  What I can say is that there is a difference in my appearance in my photos from a year ago.  Huge differences?  Nope.  But a difference, yes, a difference for sure.  Yay!  I will, of course, allow you to make up your own mind about it, and thus these photos.

Well then, what else?  How about any other physical changes?  Okay, fine.  How about numbers?  I like numbers.  I have been tracking many different measurements over the past year.  Weight - up about 6-7 pounds. Neck - 1/2 inch smaller.  Arms - same.  Breasts - up 2 inches.  Waist - up about 2 inches.  Butt - 1.5 inches larger.  Legs - the same.  Some changes, but not huge changes.  The chest?  Yeah, loving those changes.  The waist?  Not so much!  The butt, yes!  The waist, not so much! 

So, yeah, there you go.  You know the numbers.  You can see the photos.  And that's about it, isn't it?  Well, no.  Not even close.  For those are the easy things to get across.  Here, check out this photo!  Here, my boobs are growing!  And then poof, you've got an idea of what this all has done for me right?  Ha, I wish it were so!  Alas, it may take a few more words. 

Ahhh..... here is something worth a mention.  Recently I went back and read my blog from start to finish.  Interesting event.  Over the last 8 years of writing this blog, I certainly noticed a vast improvement in my writing from year to year.  However, over the past year, it was a bit of a jump.  I'm not trying to toot my own horn too much.  You are free to look for yourself.  Like the pictures, for me, I noticed a difference. 

Another glorious difference is my relationship with my wife.  This to me is one of the utmost amazing things of this path.  Once upon a time, back when my wife and I were both super ignorant about transgender issues, she said to me that if I ever transitioned she would leave me.  It wasn't said meanly.  It wasn't out of anger or non acceptance.  It was because of what she and I thought that meant.  Low and behold, pursuing this path, that most would term transition, is actually what is saving our marriage. 

I have written here and there in this blog about our relationship and how it has changed since changing my hormones.  If you don't already know, the long and the short of it is, we have been together for almost 32 years and have fought pretty constantly about every 1 to 2 weeks over that entire time.  And generally the fights were not calm, well thought out, loving discourses between people who love each other.  They were also not about anything in particular.  No, it was not about my gender issues. 

Well, okay, the words were not ever about my gender issues.  And Jules never fought with me because of my gender issues.  However, in reality, my hand in all of that muck was certainly about my gender issues.  Neither of us knew that.  But we do now!  Now that I have been on the right hormones for a year, and I have not lost my shit with her during that entire time.  That is truly very shocking for both of us.  Yes she has on occasion lost her shit with me, but my responses have been actually pretty darn loving!  Holy crap, Batman!  Seriously, this alone is enough for me to know without a doubt that I will forevermore be on Estrogen! (Yes, still with the capital!)

Alright, so, the photos, the numbers, the relationship........ what else?  Work?  Yeah, it would appear as though I am going to go to work this next school year presenting as female.  I'm not super set on that yet.  I mean, I think I am, but then I think I'm not.  I'm much more on the, yes I am going to do it path than not!  A year ago though?  That was not even a thought.  not even a consideration.  I mean, I have always done me, an eclectic mix of gender, but I have never gone to work fully presenting as female.  Apparently, that is what is going to be happening now, though! 

How about personally?  Well personally, I feel like me.  And that is weird.  It is weird that I didn't realize that I stopped feeling like me.  When did that occur?  Was it all at once?  Did something swoop in, rob a piece of me, and sneak away with it?  I think really, it happened bit by bit.  The body hair, the facial hair, the lowering of the voice, balding, societal expectations, parental expectations, bit by bit, things coalesced in me and then one day I was no longer me.  I was a shell of myself, functioning, successful, yet floundering in so many ways.   I know a year ago, I didn't know this, but I do now.  And I am grateful. 

Awhile ago I came up with a new mantra.  How long ago?  Dunno, maybe about six months or so.  Here it is - I'm going to stop hiding who I am from anybody, and I'm going to give people the freedom to chose for themselves how to respond.  Sound simple?  Maybe to some.  But to many, it is not.  Sometimes it is easier to hide from people because sometimes people can be bad.  It is an irrefutable fact.  Nonetheless, in hiding, one hurts themselves, and others.  You hurt yourself because you are robbing yourself of any true connection.  You hurt others because you are judging them to be people who may behave poorly. 

On that note, I am out to pretty much everybody.  It has gotten to the point that I am stretching my memory of who does not know!  Funny!  It was only 1 year ago that I became Facebook friends with my wife.  That is crazy!  Now I am friends with many people in my day to day life, and I love it!  I absolutely adore that!  I really do.  I have received such a tremendous outpouring of support from my community, and I am so eternally grateful for that.  It has meant so much to me, that I could never possibly explain it.  That whole coffee cup thing... suffice to say, thank you!  I love you! 

Hmmmm...... negatives?  How about anything negative?  Well, yeah a couple.  Testosterone is a natural steroid.  I used those steroids to my advantage!  I realize that now.  What does that mean?  Well, I cannot perform at the physical muscular levels that I did before.  I cannot do as much, for as long, as often as I did.  If I work all day long like I used to, I am wiped for like a week!  It is crazy!  I don't really mind it; I just have to get used to it.  Many of the things I did before, I did because I could, and I felt like I had to.  Now?  Nope, I just don't really care about it!

Oh, that is another positive.  I am so much more able to focus on what things in life really matter to me.  And that is lovely!  So helpful to find some focus in life, right??! 

Right, negatives!  Um..... sorry can't think of any others.  Oh, how about the fact that facial electrolysis is a type of medieval torture!  Could that be a negative consequence??  Maybe!  How about that electrolysis is so incredibly expensive???  Could that be a negative?  Yes!  It is!

How about that issue that everybody married is concerned about?  You know that issue, right?  That issue that is so concerning to so many people.  Yeah, I get it, you feel better, yippee!  Now tell me about what is going on in your pants!  The clamoring crowd is chanting for blood!  Dramatic, maybe yes, just a bit overly so!  Anywho..... yeah, things in that arena are functioning as normal.  Yup, totally unaffected.  Well if anything, positively so.  Yeah, apparently that is unusual, but you know that is nothing new for me!  Ha!

Okay.  I've got to stop.  Seriously, this is going on for too long!  Ahhh...... too late! 


Love you!

Love yourself!