Finally Got T!

…Well, almost (I’ll get to that a bit later).

On Tuesday, August 19, I went to see my Endocrinologist for the 3rd time. I predicted that this time around I was finally going to get my first prescription for Testosterone (T). I was pretty anxious about the outcome of all this but I knew because I had been preparing for this during these last 2 months, I felt like I was finally prepared enough to finally get T (unlike the other time around, when I was just getting started on fixing my legal stuff) so I felt more confident this time around. I was a little anxious, but at the same time I was excited.

After a humiliating ‘defeat’ last time around (due to a lack of preparedness on my part), and after a very crushing denial to see an Endocrinologist by my former insurance this month last year, I can finally say that I got my hands on T! My endo was very open to giving me T but the legal stuff (not updating my gender with social security, ID, and my insurance sooner) is what made things difficult the last time around – and why he couldn’t prescribe me T. I spend the last 2 months sorting this stuff out and I can proudly say that all that hard work paid off.

When I got my 1st prescription for T, I felt very happy, excited, and pumped. But most of all, I felt a huge sigh of relief. This is has been such a big journey with huge ups and downs. Its been an emotional roller coaster that I can finally and happily say has finally come to an end. I’ve had to face denials of coverage, incompetent practitioners & insurance providers, and inconsistent identity documents, all while dealing with the dreaded symptoms of Low T (which made it even more challenging). Yeah, its not easy being intersex – especially when people don’t really know what intersex really is and when there are little to no protections for intersex folks like myself. It is especially not easy being both intersex and transgender (in my case, an intersex guy who was misassigned female at birth).

My endo prescribed me Androgel 1.62%. The best part? I didn’t even need to ask for it – he just said he was going to put me on Andogel and that’s it! (Love my endocrinologist!) I’ll be on 2.5g (2 pumps) of it initially, afterwards my doctor and I will gradually increase the dose until I finally arrive at a dose that I’m comfortable with (this will take about a year to do). Since T has very profound effects on the brain, it is important to start out with a low dose when starting TRT for the first time, so I’m cool with this initial low dose (the brain is practically the first organ to recover from the effects of Low T).

I’m predicting that I’ll be back to working on my career – as well as my resuming my regular fitness regimen – in about 2-3 months, or even earlier (like after 2 weeks). I’m very excited to return to work as I am dying to work on and put out new music and designs, as well as start playing live shows! I’m also very excited to return to my regular fitness regimen and finally start bulking up!

I went over to Rite Aid this morning to fill out my prescription but unfortunately they were out of Androgel. The good news is that they will have more in stock by tomorrow at 2pm. But since my insurance doesn’t have Androgel on their drug formulary (or drug list, as its also called), my local Rite Aid has sent my endo a Prior Authorization notice which he will need to fill out and send back to them (hopefully he’s already done it by now), who will then send the form to my insurance so they can cover it. This takes about 24 hours (or 2 days) to process. So if my endo and local Rite Aid fills and sends the notice today, I should be able to pick up my T either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning and start TRT on Sunday morning (if not, then early next week). We’ll have to wait and see how this turns out (I’m sure everything will go well). I’ll keep you all updated!

Nearing the End of My Journey

July was a pretty busy month! Quite a bit happened last month and its not over yet!

First, I went over to my local Social Security office to update my gender from female to male. I handed them my doctor’s letter (as well as a form of identification) and that was the end of that. I had to wait about 1 ½ hours to get service but the wait was well worth it. Two weeks later, and my gender had been updated to male. I went there in mid-July, and on August 1st, I called Social Security to see if the changes went into effect and they told me it did.

On July 18th, I filed my petition at my local court to change my name and gender legally – plus, a fee waiver that was approved. I have my hearing on September 24 in the morning. I’m really excited about this and I’m sure things will go very well.

Finally, I received my new ID on Monday – with a male gender marker!

Like I said earlier, its not over yet! Tomorrow, I’m going to go update my gender with my insurance. Hopefully after this I will be able to get my insurance to cover T. Not only that but I will be making my next appointment with my Endocrinologist tomorrow (which I’m going to see if I can book for 2 weeks from now). Hopefully I’ll finally be able to get T on my next appointment.

I feel like things are finally coming together. I feel as if I’m finally making real progress here. Since the beginning of this month, I’ve felt like my stress levels have gone down significantly – since I now have less hurdles to jump. Once I’m on T (remember, its independent of my transition), get my petition granted, and update all of my identity documents, my Rite of Passage will be completed and I will finally be able to start the next chapter in my life. I’ll no longer suffer from Low T or Gender Dysphoria after this. I will finally be able to live a normal, calm life, where I get to fulfill my potential. It will be the first time (at least since childhood) that I’ve ever felt “normal”. I’m nearing the end of this 2 – 2 ½ year journey. I can’t wait!

Until then, I’m going to go back to enjoying my vacation from almost everything – because once I’m on T (for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months), its back to work!

P.S. I’m planning on launching my video blog series somewhere this upcoming fall or winter, so watch out for that! (I’m currently still in the production stage. And yes, I will still be updating this blog.)

Lenovo Yoga 2 11 review

Image

On Friday, May 23, I got an early birthday present. I got a Lenovo Yoga 2 11 – which I affectionately named Trent. I’ve always wanted to see how its like to use and own a Yoga, and I finally got a chance to get a feel for that back on that day.

Specs
This is what my Yoga 2 11 came with:

Intel Pentium N3520 2.17GHz CPU
4 GB RAM (DDR3L-1600MHz)
Intel Baytrail M GPU
11.6″ HD LED TS LCD
500GB HDD
4 cell battery w/ a 20V, 45W AC adapter
Windows 8.1 64 bit
2 USB ports (one of them 2.0, the other 3.0)
A Micro HDMI 1.4 port
1 PCI Express Mini Card slot
1 Combo audio jack (1/8″)
A 2 in 1 card reader (SD/MMC)
An integrated camera
2 integrated speaker
2 integrated microphones

Feel/built quality
The Yoga 2 11 feels quite solid. It has this very nice feel to it. It does not feel cheap at all. It looks quite elegant and the orange cover is very pleasant to look at. The screen and hinges (which are metal) feel very solid as well.

Keyboard
The Yoga 2 11 is my first laptop with an island-style, 6-row keyboard. When I first looked at the keyboard, I thought the keys were too short to be funstional. I actually questioned its usability, especially since I’m primarily a ThinkPad user – which I have been for almost 10 years – and have gotten accustomed to its keyboard. That all changed when I used it. I found out how responsive and comfortable the keyboard was to type on. Although, I think that if I put it side-by-side with the ThinkPad Yoga, the ThinkPad’s keyboard would (obviously) be more superior, but (at least in my opinion) the Yoga’s keyboard would come very close though. Even though an IdeaPad/Essential notebook can’t beat a ThinkPad’s keyboard, its still pleasant to type on and comes close. Their keyboards are obviously better than the other consumer notebook brands out there.

On the Yoga, the the Ctrl key is placed on the left side while the Fn key is placed on the right side. This is something I’ll have to get used to since I’m more used to the Fn key being on the left and the Ctrl key being on the right (being a long-time ThinkPad user and all). But even with that in mind, I’m actually adjusting pretty well.

Pointing device
This isn’t my first time using a clickpad-style touchpad (I used one before when I demoed a MacBook Pro a long time ago), but this is my first time using one on a daily basis. The Yoga 2 11 is my first notebook with a clickpad. I initially thought it would take me a while to get used to a touchpad with integrated buttons, but I ended up getting used it after just several minutes of use. It has a very nice feel to it and is very responsive – it doesn’t feel clunky at all. The multi-touch function of the clickpad works like a charm – although, it sometimes gets in the way. Touchpads on Lenovo laptops are very easy to use – they aren’t a pain to use as in other brands, which is great for me since my pointing device of choice is the TrackPoint (I rarely use the touchpad on my ThinkPads) and with the Yoga, I have no other choice but to use a touchpad or an external mouse.

Display
My Yoga has an 11.6″ HD LED TS display. Its very crisp and has a nice resolution that’s very suitable for an 11.6″. Using its multitouch functions is a breeze and is comfortable to use.

There are times when I wish I had a larger screen. When I’m doing design (and music) work, I prefer to work on a larger screen, so I wish my Yoga had a bigger screen for that purpose. But I’m doing quite well working on a smaller screen (before this, I was doing my design work on a 14” T60). I think the decent screen resolution, plus the crisp screen compensate for that small drawback.

Performance
The Yoga does what it was made for pretty well. Web browsing, reading, word processing, and social media on the Yoga are a breeze. Watching videos and listening to music are . It can handle light gaming with really no issues, and the integrate graphics card is quite decent – games are really fun to play on the Yoga. Apps run great on it as well.

Since I’m going to be using the Yoga for graphic design for a while, I installed Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver (all CS6). As expected, it can run all of these programs quite well. However, since the Yoga 2 11 has integrated graphics, it won’t be able to take advantage of Photoshop CS6’s 3D feature (it will be disabled by default). In order to take advantage of the 3D feature, you will need to get a computer with a dedicated graphics card – which needs to have at least 512MB of VRAM (which I myself am going to do somewhere in the near future).

Battery Life
I can get up to 5 hours of battery life on my Yoga. I’ve been able to watch about 2 hours of video, plus web browsing, Photoshop, word processing, reading, and other stuff in about 5 hours. Of course, how much battery life you get – and the stuff you can do with that time – really depend on what settings you have on your Yoga, as well as the kinds of tasks you do, so you might end up getting more or less than what I got.

Conclusion
The Yoga 2 11 is great for basic tasks like typing, reading, web browsing, and social media. It is also great for entertainment like watching videos, listening to music, and light gaming. It is great for using apps from the Windows store as well. Additionally, it can run programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver with no issues. The only drawback is if you’re using Photoshop CS6, you won’t get to use the 3D feature, since the Yoga 2 11 does not have a dedicated graphics card. The Yoga 2 11 is also great for (basic/low-intensity) music production, DJing, and drawing.

The Yoga 2 11 is really fun to use. I really love the four modes: laptop, tent, stand, and tablet – which allow me to do different tasks in different modes for a more efficient workflow. Overall, it is great for work and play. I love my Yoga!

To Vlog Or Not To Vlog

This was originally posted on my personal Tumblr.

I started a YouTube channel about two years ago. It can be found here. The only problem is that I haven’t posted any videos yet. I’ve only made playlist.

The reason why I haven’t posted any videos yet are because: 1) I didn’t really have the proper equipment, 2) I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to post videos plus I didn’t have a plan, 3) I didn’t really know how to go about it, and 4) I had certain inhibitions about this.

My inhibitions about this have largely to do with my how I sound, as well as the fact that I’ve never really recorded videos of me or been on a camera. Since I didn’t really have a puberty, my voice still sounds like that of either a prepubescent boy or a very early pubescent boy. I’m pretty self-conscious about it. The good thing is that I’m going to be starting Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) very soon, so my voice will finish developing soon. But still, its pretty embarrassing to be a 24 year old man but yet still sound like a 12-15 year old boy. The reason I’m so embarrassed is because it just doesn’t feel like me – I have a strong male gender identity and a strong masculine identity, and so this just doesn’t feel like me.

I grew up with Selective Mutism. Its when a person who is normally capable of speech does not speak in specific situations or to specific people. While I have come a very long way and have almost gotten over it (largely thanks to my transition, as well as finally meeting and being around like-minded people), I still feel like there’s more room for improvement (I guess you can say that I’m still feeling its aftermath – I also think my Low T is contributing to this as well). By posting video blogs, I would be increasing my social confidence.

I have been watching others vlogs for a long time now. I feel like I’ve learned all the necessary things I needed to learn. I feel like I’ve finally gotten a sense of direction on this, as well as structure – I’ve even made a plan. I plan on doing video production and making music videos, among other kinds of videos, a bit later on in the future. I can see how this will help me get started on that.

I can see all the benefits of doing vlogs. It will help me build my audience, which will translate over to the other things I’m either already doing or are planning to do. It will help increase my social confidence even more. I will get to meet new people and make new friends. It will help me get started on video production. I will help out other people, create more visibility for intersex and trans people, as well as be a source of inspiration for current SM sufferers as well as anyone else who is or has ever had social difficulties. There are obviously other reasons, but I’ll just stop here.

I’m thinking of starting somewhere this summer, if I decide to do this. I think that documenting my legal transition to male as well as my TRT treatments – as a way to compliment my written blogs – will be a great way to start. I think documenting them by video would be very beneficial to not just me but to others as well. The topics that would be discussed are going to range from my transition, intersex status, and TRT, to Lenovo, to my general wereabouts, my past, and really, anything else I’m interested in discussing. It would basically be a video blog version of my personal blog, Elipalooza.

I have quite a lot of thinking to do, and a lot of fears to overcome. All I know is that if I decide to do this, I’m going to feel very proud of myself for finally having the guts to do this.

Journey To Manhood

This transition and quest towards getting TRT (which is independent from my transition) is really my “Rite of Passsage”. I’ve never had one before, and this was my perfect opportunity to have one so I decided to make my own (I’ve been doing this for 2 years now). While I may already be exhibing all the characteristics of a man, I still don’t feel completely like one. I still feel like I’m stuck in childhood. I feel like I’ve “unofficially” or “partially” entered manhood. The problem lies with my body and identity documents (but primarily my body).

Mentally, I feel like a man, since I’m exhibiting all the (psychological/mental) characteristics of one. But physically, I still feel like a boy. My body is pretty androgynous and boyish, not manish. I have a strong male gender identity, so I need my body to conform to that. Its pretty frustrating to have to compare yourself to other 24 year old men and see that they basically have entered manhood (physically, at least), while you’re still stuck in boyhood. Even looking at a teenage boy brings frustration – their bodies are developing into that of a man, and therefore entering manhood. Then you look at your body and realize that you’re 24 and didn’t really have a puberty (talk about arrested development!), therefore you haven’t officially entered manhood. It easy to get jealous of your peers (young men), as well as teen boys (I’m not afraid to admit that I get jealous sometimes). And when you’re Low Testosterone (Low T), its easy to get down and ruminate on this since Low T messes with your brain (I’m very convinced that the worst symptoms of Low T are the neurological ones).

I have low muscle mass (even though I’m fit), building muscle is very hard when you’re Low T. Stamina is down, so I can’t do physically demanding activities for very long. Weight management is difficult, so I’m underweight. Facial and other body hair is scanty, so I can’t grow a noticeable beard and I look too young. My voice still sounds boyish, not manly. Lets not forget about the neurological effects of Low T, it makes you feel like total crap! (Again, these would have to be the worst symptoms of low T.) Overall, low T makes you less of a man. It basically turns you into a “girly man”, or (if you’ve had Low T since puberty) turns you into a “man child”. You really don’t feel like a man at all. Testosterone is everything to us guys. It profoundly affects our brains, and differentiates us from the opposite sex/gender. I think you can all see how important T is for manhood (its basically its foundation, which in return defines it).

Lets not forget that I had a gender misassignment at birth. It can be hard to believe sometimes that one little marker can affect your whole life – how people perceive and treat you. It can either validate or invalidate you. It can make your life great or hell. It’s just really frustrating when you have to deal with situations that require you to show identity docuements, and find out about your illegitimate identity. Its sometimes frustrating to have to tell and correct people about your true identity and how you’re working on fixing your identity documents. It is frustrating to have to deal with places and people who basically treat you like someone you’re not, or see you as someone you’re not. Its just so frustrating when your own government doesn’t recognize who you really are. You feel invalidated. When you identify as a man, your manhood is basically straight-out denied and invalidated.

Let’s face it, if we were still hunter-gatherers, I would be totally screwed. Sure, my intersex and transition would be respected, but my manhood would either be denied, or only partially approved (since manhood is an earned status). My body would not be producing enough T, so I would be unable to do a lot of the manly activities expected of me – I would get tired too quickly, be unable to concentrate, be unable to recover quickly, be anxous and on edge all the time, be tired and fatigued all the time, and basically still be a boy (or at least still be seen as one). Since there’s no advanced medicine in those societies, I would have no way of treating my T deficiency, so I would be doomed to be a “man child” forever and a life of mediocrity, where I don’t get to fulfill my manly responsibilities and my potential. With all of that in mind, I feel very lucky that we don’t live in that type of environment anymore. I feel very lucky to live in a more advanced society, with advances in science, technology, and yes, medicine.

After everything I’ve been through, I’m not taking my manhood for granted. I think that unlike a lot of my peers, I’m taking great advantage of it. I, after all, have more to prove, more to gain, and nothing to lose than most of them. When you’ve lived the first 21 years of your life in the wrong gender role and were forced to be someone you’re not, you obviously have more to prove, more to gain, and nothing to lose. I think that a lot of people these days take things like manhood, identity documents, gender roles, and that sort of stuff, for granted. If you’re trans and/or intersex, then you’ll know what I mean.

I’m 24. I’m supposed to be out there conquering the world like all my other peers, not at home resting and depending on others for resources (due to illness). My mind is ready (and wants) to conquer the world, but my body isn’t. It just really sucks when you sometimes feel like you’re the only one going through this. I just really, really, REALLY can’t wait to get over this stupid low T. I can’t wait to get my identity documents fixed. I can’t wait to finally and officially enter manhood.

Forget puberty. Forget adolescense. 24 is my REAL coming of age! (Better late than never, right?)

Journey Towards Legal Authenticity

I was originally going to write and post this on Monday or Tuesday, but unfortunately, I got caught up with some stuff. In addition, I had a very hard time getting started on this because Low T makes it hard for me to concentrate and get started on stuff – because of low energy, fatigue, and overall cognitive dysfunction – so you’re much more prone to procrastinating. Its even like this with my work, which is why I’m so slow with putting out new music, designs, and other stuff. Low T also makes you more prone to getting writer’s block, and getting rid of it can be very difficult (to nearly impossible). Testosterone profoundly affects the male brain, and my struggles show that.

Anyways…

I went to see my PCP (Primary Care Physician) on Monday. I did exactly what I set out to do, which is ask him to write my letter so I can update my gender with the Social Security Administration (SSA). I explained to him why I needed to do that, and he was more than happy to do that for me (I just love my PCP!). It cost me $25 to make the note but I was more than happy to pay it, because I knew it would be worth it and plus I really needed that note. At first I thought that $25 for a note was pretty excessive. But after I got the note written, I found out that it was worth it. The note was very well-written and looked very professional. They even put it in an envelope! It really surpassed my expectations.

Now the next thing I need to do is go to my local SSA office and update my gender. Unfortunately, it will have to wait a little while because I need some form of identification. For me, that would be my state ID. I just renewed my ID last Monday and I’m currently waiting for it to come in the mail. They told me it would take 2 weeks to get it. I really hope this is the case because I really need to do this already – I should’ve had done this a very long time ago. Hopefully after I get this over with, I’ll be able to get my insurance to cover my TRT while keeping my Hypogonadism diagnosis, and without submitting proof that I had therapy to treat Gender Dysphoria (GD). I really don’t want to deal with Low T anymore.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to “decode” the special instructions that I have to follow in order to get to my local SSA office. One of the instructions is pretty confusing to me, so I am going to ask one of my relatives to help me out with that. In addition, I am going to try to get some legal help regarding my health care coverage, as a transgender person, with Medi-Cal. Basically what I’m going to ask them is if I will be able to get TRT, without showing proof that I had therapy for GD, if I update my gender with the SSA. Hopefully I’ll get something good out of this.

I’m officially on my way towards getting the government to recognize my authentic self! The next two things I have to do is get my legal name changed and get a new birth certificate, reflecting my real gender and name. I will be starting the name change and birth certificate amendment process in July. Since my transition is purely legal, I will officially complete my transition after I’m done with these two things!

The TRT Diaries – Pre T, Part 2

I had my 2nd appointment with my Endocrinologist on Tuesday (June 3rd). This is where I got the results from the blood draw I had back in mid-May. I had quite a bit of work done (I had to get blood drawn to 8 tubes!), and the results show that:

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel:
Glucose: 93 mg/dL
Urea Nitrogen (BUN): 11 mg/dL
Creatinine: 0.58 mg/dL
eGFR Non-Afr. American: 130 mL/min/1.73m2
eGFR African American: 151 mL/min/1.73m2
BUN/Creatinine Ratio: 18.9
Sodium: 141 mmol/L
Potassium: 3.5 mmol/L
Chloride: 104 mmol/L
Carbon Dioxide: 23 mmol/L
Calcium: 9.7 mg/dL
Protein, Total: 8.0 g/dL
Albumin: 4.9 g/dL
Globulin: 3.1 g/dL
Albumin/Globulin Ratio: 1.6
Bilirubin, Total: 0.3 mg/dL
Alkaline Phosphatase: 63 U/L
AST: 14 U/L
ALT: 10 U/L

Hormone Panel:
Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS: 251 pg/mL
17 Hydrodyprogesterone, LC/MS/MS: 81 ng/dL
Androstenedione, LC/MS/MS: 215 ng/dL
DHEA, LC/MS/MS: 471 ng/dL
Dihydrotestosterone, LC/MS/MS: 18 ng/dL
DHEA Sulfate: 338 mcg/dL
FSH: 4.0 mIU/mL
LH: 22.9 mIU/mL
Prolactin: 15.2 ng/mL
T4, Free: 1.1 ng/dL
TSH: 1.27 mIU/L
Testosterone, Free: 2.6 pg/mL
Testosterone, Total, LC/MS/MS: 29ng/dL

CBC (Includes DIFF/PLT):
White Blood Cell Count: 8.1 Thousand/uL
Red Blood Cell Count: 4.31 Million/uL
Hemoglobin: 12.9 g/dL
Hematocrit: 39.5%
MCV: 91.7 fL
MCH: 29.9 pg
MCHC: 32.6 g/dL
RDW: 13.5%
Platelet Count: 192 Thousand/uL
MPV: 97 fL
Absolute Neutrophils: 5840 cells/uL
Absolute Band Neutrophils: DNR cells/uL
Absolute Metamyelocytes: DNR cells/uL
Absolute Myelocytes: DNR cells/uL
Absolute Promylocytes: DNR cells/uL
Absolute Lymphocytes: 1110 cells/uL
Absolute Monocytes: 494 cells/uL
Absolute Eosinophils: 616 cells/uL
Absolute Basophils: 41 cells/uL
Absolute Blasts: DNR cells/uL
Absolute Nucleated RBC: DNR cells/uL
Neutrophils: 72.1%
Band Neutrophils: DNR%
Metamyelocytes: DNR%
Myelocytes: DNR%
Promyelocytes: DNR%
Lymphocytes: 13.7%
Reactive Lymphocytes: DNR%
Monocytes: 6.1%
Eosinophils: 7.6%
Basophils: 0.5%
Blasts: DNR%
Nucleated RBC: DNR/100 WBC

So as you can all see from that extensive list, I had a lot of work done, but I think it was well worth it (and is required for successful TRT). Now, lets go over some of the numbers on the list. Be warned that this is going to be a pretty lengthy post, since there’s quite a bit to cover, so get ready to devote quite a bit of time to reading this.

If you look at my (Total) Testosterone levels above and if you remember the results from my last blood test, you’ll see that my T levels have actually gotten worse. My T levels from last time was 36. This time around its 29 (ouch!) (I think that a cold/cough that I had during that time might have contributed to my lower T levels this time around). My Free T levels are low too (obviously). My Estradiol (E2) levels have also gotten worse. My levels from the last blood test was 192. This time around its 251 (yikes!).

My FSH levels haven’t changed much from the last time. Although it seems like my FSH has dropped a bit from the last time (from 5.3 to 4.0). This isn’t surprising as my my low T levels and high E2 levels are very likely compromising my fertility (my FSH also seems to be on the low side). Plus, my T levels dropped a bit and my E2 levels went up from the last time, so its only natural that my FSH would drop as result of this. This time around I was able to get my LH levels checked. The result I got was 22.9. This is a high number and is very typical of somebody with 17B-HSD, as well as a male with primary hypogonadism (high LH is an indication of primary hypogonadism). This is something I was expecting – I guessed that it would happen and I was right.

This time around, I also got my Androstenedione (A) checked. The result? 215. This is pretty high and is just above normal (normal is under 151 – although just like every other hormone range, there is no definite range). This, along with low T levels and high E levels, is very typical of somebody with 17B-HSD (characterized by a high A:T ratio, in my case 215:29) – and I’m betting that the number would be higher if I had taken an HCG stimulation test.

I got my Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) checked this time around as well. The result was 18. This is a low number (it needs to be 30-85), but seems normal for someone with my T levels (29). Obviously, the T:DHT ratio (mine is 29:18) isn’t high enough to indicate 5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency. I knew that the result would be something like this, and this indicates that I was right about having 17B-HSD.

My Prolactin fortunately wasn’t ultra high (which I knew), so there’s nothing indicating a possible tumor :D (something my Endo was worried about). However, my Prolactin is on the high-normal side, almost above normal – which isn’t surprising considering the fact that I have Gynecomastia. But the good thing is that it’ll be easy to manage and get it to be lower – more towards the middle of the scale.

My white and red blood cell counts are in range, although it looks like my RBC is on the lower end of normal (does not seem uncommon with Low T). My Hemoglobin and Hematocrit seem to be on lower end of normal (which is normal for Low T guys) – . The rest of the numbers from this blood draw are all in range (except for a couple or so, which are slightly above normal, but not a big deal). My Thyroid is all good (which I suspected). Although, my Creatinine is below normal. Additionally, Glucose seems to be on the high end of normal (which I don’t think is surprising for a guy with Low T). My Liver and Kidneys also appear to be working well.

The only results I didn’t get back was from the Sex Chromosome test – this was due to an error. I really have no problem with that. I don’t need a Chromosome test to tell me I’m 46,XY – my physical characteristics tell me that, as well as the results from my bloodwork (but really, why should it matter? Here’s a very insightful article that deals with this). I don’t plan on re-taking that test, simply because of the fact that the evidence that I have already tells me that I’m biologically male. I don’t need this test to ‘validate’ me (I rather take a semen analysis). I know what I am and I know how my body works – it is after all, my body, and nobody knows my body better than me. Intersex people are already medicalized enough and this just contributes to it, in my opinion.

See, the thing that bothers me about this is that they’re (the medical establishment) are trying to mythologize us and basically are trying to tell us that either we don’t exist or that we are ‘hermaphrodites’ (with two sets of working testes and ovaries). I mean, if the testes are palpable down there, despite the fact that the person (in this case, that would be me) has ‘ambiguous’ genitalia, then that should tell you that there are no ovaries – especially if those “lumps” are adult-sized (i.e. adult-sized testes). I mean, what else could they possibly be? Its humanly impossible to have a working set of testes and a working set of ovaries. I think that right there should tell you something. All in all, I don’t care what my chromosomes are because it doesn’t matter (and chromosomes actually don’t matter).

Now at this point, you may be asking yourself why I’m putting a spotlight on the ‘medical’ side of intersex, if I’m against the medicalization of intersex. The answer is because I want people to see that intersex folks have differing hormonal (and other) profiles, even within their own variations (if that makes any sense). This also helps people to see that overall, intersex people tend to be healthy just like everyone else, and that when it comes to health, we basically face the same challenges like everyone else. I’m simply educating people on this stuff in a way everyone can understand (I’m trying to make everyone understand how diverse intersex and everyone else’s bodies really are). The rest of this series will be focusing more on my treatment of and recovery from Low Testosterone – from the perspective of an intersex person :D. Overall, this shows that we’re no more different from non-intersex people, and that’s the message I’m trying to get across here.

I think you can all see from my blood draw results that I’ve got the green light to go on T. Unfortunately, there’s another hurdle I have to get through before I can get T: I need to update my gender with the Social Security Administration (SSA) before I can get T. The reason for this is because my Endo said that because my gender on my insurance (which is connected to my Social Security number/records) is still female, I need to provide proof that I got therapy for Gender Dysphoria (GD) – this will also require changing the diagnosis from Hypogonadism to GD. I need to provide my Endo the notes from that therapy session I had with my then-psychologist, so he can submit them to my insurance company, so they can approve my TRT. If can’t track them down, then I will need to go to therapy for GD all over again, and I will not have that (I mean, why do I need to do this again? I’ve been living as a man for 2 years now with great results). This has already consumed a lot of my time (I’ve started this journey early last year), and I just want to get this over with so I can go back to living my life.

Getting those notes has already proven difficult to do. This is obviously already wasting my time. So as a solution to this problem, I made an appointment to see my Primary Care Physician (PCP) on Monday morning. Hopefully, everything goes well and I get my note to take to my local SSA office later that same week. I personally think everything’s going to go well. My PCP is very understanding and laid-back, so I trust him with this (as he was going to do it the first time around but unfortunately ran out of time). But, I’m still going to be a bit cautious – I don’t want to get my hopes up only to have them crushed. Hopefully with this done, my Endo will be able to keep the Hypogonadism diagnosis (he’ll have to or else the insurance company will think I’m a TransWoman and deny my request to cover my TRT) – since I won’t have to go through that ordeal with my insurance – and make my next appointment to finally get my 1st prescription for T very soon.

I’ll keep everyone posted on this situation. Expect an update on this on or after Monday.