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Day 8: Hormones

2014 September 30
by Jen DiGiacomo

Remember when my therapist told me to get my blood checked? And remember how I stalled before telling my ex-wife, who already knew I was transgendered, that I was transgendered?

You can probably work out where I stand with setting up an appointment for my blood work.

A little background is in order.

I’ve done a lot of online research about hormone therapy. And we all know how reliable the internet is. In fact, my Nigerian investment should be coming through any day now. So self-medicating hormones based on online research, what could possibly go wrong?

You see, it’s not that hard to get prescription drugs through places like Canada and India. So over the past three years (and law enforcement folks, please note this is what we like to call in trade “hypothetical”), I’ve experimented with various hormones and hormone blockers to see what would happen. Kinda like dropping Mentos in a 2-liter bottle of Coke.

I’ve taken hormones in fits and starts… usually stopping in a panic with internal dialogue along the lines of a) have you lost your mind!?!?! b) is my chest getting puffy? c) I don’t usually cry this much, d) don’t I have a doctor’s appointment next month?

Long story short, I’ve taken about nine months worth of hormones and anti-androgens (male hormone blockers) over the past three years. Specifically…

•  Estradiol: 2mg daily
 Estradot Patch: 50mcg twice weekly
•  Provera: 10 mg first 10 days of the month
 Spironolactone: 100mg daily
•  Fincar: 5mg daily

So to fulfill my promise to make progress every day, I decide to set up an appointment to get my blood checked. My therapist gave me two names and I do some online research. And hey, look, I can make the appointment online. No terrifying phone call required.

But something inside of me stirs. Am I being a coward? Again. When will I stop being ashamed of who I am? If I can’t accept myself, how can I expect other to?

Screw it. 

I pick up my phone and call to make my appointment. I share my name and explain I’m transgendered and need to come in for some blood work. The person on the other end of the line is extraordinarily nice, but her thick accent means I’m not 100% I know what I’m committing to. She starts talking about hormone injections… 


I explain I don’t think I’m ready for that, so let’s just set up the appointment (for next week) and see where it goes.

I hang up the phone and can’t suppress a smile. I’m actually doing this. And that’s pretty cool.

Note: When I began transitioning in 2014, I was known by my nickname DiG, which sufficed until I learned my mom had chosen Jennifer had my birth gone differently. So for historical sake, I leave my posts and podcasts as originally conceived, but know that my name is and apparently always was Jen.
Day 7: Ex-Wife
Day 9: Therapy II, All About the Stuttering
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