Wednesday, 23 March 2011

To-do lists and hormones

That was yesterday's line-up of tasks for the day ahead - pretty typical for the present! I know some people would never plan out their day like this, and good luck to them, but my temperament is such that I like to have these to-dos, and tick them off as the day progresses. For one thing, I overlook nothing essential; for another, each task nags at me till I get it out of the way, and then I feel entitled to a little reward - a nice cup of tea and a kitkat, perhaps. But never before I feel I've 'earned' it. And when all tasks have been cleared from the screen, I have that great feeling of satisfaction that my day's 'work' has been done. It's all a playful bit of psychology, to help me get through a long day in a structured way.

Note the first task - apply a hormone patch! Yesterday was the day I could resume my hormone therapy, three weeks after the op. This is what I had been using until mid-January, when I had to stop as part of the pre-op requirements:

The patch of course is a clear plastic rectangle inside that packaging, which you press onto your lower abdomen, put the flat of your hand over it, and count to 80 while maintaining firm pressure. This works fine with my kind of skin, although I've heard that other people have problems making a patch stick. It must be individual skin chemistry. As a possible clue, I've never been plagued with insect bites, or indeed much in the way of interest from insects generally - except from the dreaded black sandflies in New Zealand, who turned my exposed flesh into a mass of horrible red blisters full of pus. (But it all healed up, honest!)

It'll take a while for the patches to boost my oestragen level, but I expect some results by mid or late April, when I'll have to get some tests done and revisit Dr Richard Curtis in London. He may well prescribe a different ongoing dose. I shall try and persuade him that what I want now is a nymph-like figure, goddess-like beauty, and big boobs. Not a lot to ask!

And, looking back at the hormone-deprived weeks, did I suffer? Not a bit. No mental wobbles, no hot flushes, no gorilla appearance. Perhaps I was just lucky. I certainly wasn't stuffed full of raging testosterone that might have created merry hell. Back in October 2008, well pre-hormone, my testosterone level was only 16.0 nmol/L. That's not high. It amply explained why I was amiable to the point of asexuality. And this modest level quickly dropped to 0.9 nmol/L once hormones commenced in March 2009, gradually edging back up to 2.4 nmol/L by September 2010 - just a bit above the ordinary female range, but scarcely anything to worry about. And now, it's anyone's guess what the level might be; but I'm confident that my oestragen patches will have an effect like never before.

That will mean more weight of course. But I don't mind at all, if it goes on the right parts!

By the way, this morning's weigh-in revealed that I'm still 81.4 kg - the same as last week - despite seven days of hearty eating and rather too many little snacks. Body fat is a fraction up, muscle mass a fraction down. But clearly my energy levels are rising, and that means a greater inclination to walk and do things, and thereby burn off some calories. Wait till I can walk the beaches!

And this was me, about to foray forth yesterday for a little essential shopping:

Definitely on the mend.


  1. It is good to know that three weeks post-op you are getting out shopping - no heavy bags though I hope!

    Glad your nine oestrogen free weeks caused no issues. Not everyone is so lucky - believe me!

  2. congrats on what sounds like a v good recovery. Rather impressed by the electronic agenda. I tend to go more for Chinagraph tick boxes myself, but not v portable.

  3. It sounds to be gong really well. Careful with the Kitkats, they're habit forming.

    I think that longer hair suits you, you look very glam.

  4. @Mel:
    Oh no, heavy shopping is a no-no. I order that kind of thing online from Tesco, and they deliver, carrying it all into my kitchen too. As to the hormone-free period I agree: I was very lucky.

    Nice that at least one other person approves of electronic self-organisation! The tasks that regularly repeat get set up automatically for next time, making it all very easy to use.

    Bless you for the compliment! It greatly helps to boost morale. Some post-op girls seem to go through a post-op stage of feeling dowdy and unattractive, if not downright unwomanly. I will no doubt go through that myself, unless determined good humour and a strong sense of realism (imaginary or not) rescues me!


  5. Hi Lucy. I am glad to see that you are up and about. I have to say that I am totally blown away at the rapidity of your recovery.

    Not that mine was typical, but I was literally a basket case for months.

    I am glad to see that at least SOME thngs have progressed.


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