I now have the results of various recent blood tests - a whole battery of stuff. For me, the two headline results are these:
On 14 April 2011 (soon after surgery): 427 pmol/L
On 29 September 2011: 461 pmol/L
On 12 March 2012: 306 pmol/L
On 6 August 2013 (now): 146 pmol/L
Post-op, I have consistently used 100 mcg oestradiol patches twice-weekly. These results show that after a post-surgery surge, my oestragen level has dropped back to the level that a pre-menopausal natal woman would have in the first week of menstruation, before she ovulates. (See the helpful Wikipedia diagram: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Estradiol_during_menstrual_cycle.png)
Well, that seems fine; but whether 146 pmol/L is actually sufficient to maintain (and carry on enhancing) my female characteristics is something that I'll have to discuss with Dr Richard Curtis when I see him shortly.
On 3 September 2010 (six months before surgery): 2.4 nmol/L
On 29 September 2011: 0.9 nmol/L
On 12 March 2012: 0.4 nmol/L
On 6 August 2013 (now): 0.4 nmol/L
That's entirely expected. Post-op there should have been only the normal female slow drip of testosterone from the adrenal gland, and that's what I've got. It is probably too low for an energetic sex life, but in my situation, that's no bad thing. I've got over any embarrassment about 'having a testosterone test', now that I know women have testosterone floating about inside them too!
Although I know that I'm overweight, I'm in two minds about doing anything very serious about it. My weight is stable, the same as it was this time last year, my size 16 clothes still fit, and it gives me lower-body bulk to counterbalance the upper-body broadness. Better to be a blob top and bottom, than a top-heavy blob, I say!
I also know that I'm not fit, in the sense that going up a long flight of steps puffs me out and can make my leg muscles protest. I ought to address that, and will when I go on holiday again next month. I'm always a lot more active when caravanning, compared to when lounging around at home.
In all other respects, I feel fine. There are no health issues to report to Dr Curtis, and I'd say that physically I've settled down wonderfully since the Op on 1 March 2011.
My mental and emotional states must have been modified since then, but if so the changes have been so gradual that I haven't been able to detect them. I don't think I've become significantly more scatter-brained, or careless, or tempestuous. I know some people do.
However, I had a moment today when I was stumped over a simple task that went wrong, and got a bit wound up. I had to appeal helplessly for assistance, instead of applying cool-headed male-type method to solve the difficulty. It was in the village library, where I wanted to photocopy my blood test printouts, so that Dr Curtis could have copies too.
First, I couldn't get the photocopying machine to fire up. I nearly gave up, but I'd put 60p in the coin slot which was not to be lightly abandoned!
Then the machine sprang into life, why I did not know. I managed to copy four of the six A4 sheets. But then it displayed an odd no-paper-in-the-tray message. One of the staff put in some more paper for me. But it still wouldn't copy the last two sheets. The girl who had only just helped me with the paper was busy with all the young children using the library for the first time, with grandparents in attendance, and I didn't lke to pester her again. I saw a man browsing the shelves, and appealed to him, simply because, as a man, he ought to be practical. But he bumbled and didn't know anything, and was no use, even though I egged him on with encouraging flattery and sundry you-can-do-it noises.
Just as we jointly admitted defeat, the machine suddenly reset itself of its own accord, burst into ready-to-copy mode, and so I could proceed - although by that time, I was thoroughly exasperated. I felt so pathetically useless.
She, who could be a techno queen with a PC or a tablet or a mobile phone or a camera, was powerless in front of this wayward photocopier! It was so infuriating not to have any notion how to make the thing behave. I was reduced to trying buttons at random. In my office days, I'd have been much more adroit and resourceful. Logical. Unflustered. Assured of finding a way. Clearly my mind had lost some ability to puzzle things out, at least when put on a spot. And tears of frustration had been getting close. Dear me!
Well, I offer this up as at least some evidence that the legendary Melford cool can be knocked sideway by very little indeed. And that hormones are not to be trifled with, because they have very strong effects.
I will take issue with anyone who suggests that I'm just getting old. What a snide insinuation.