It felt super appropriate sitting next to the kiddie play table while I sat in the waiting room. I was basically a new born–or pre-natal? Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) feels like the beginning of my existence. A second birth.
The appointment itself was pretty routine and unsurprising. The nursing assistant saw me first and ran my vitals–heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and weight. Then she had me fill out a form regarding some of my health risks (or lack thereof). The questions ranged from tobacco use to mental health.
When my doctor came into the room I was still finishing up the questionnaire and we joked about my potential responses. Christine is a very nice person, which is a function of her working at Fenway Health. Fenway is one of the most well regarded LGBTQ health providers in the world. I sought it out specifically for my HRT treatment because I knew I would feel comfortable with any doctor they gave me.
Christine and I went through the health risks associated with HRT.This was our second consultation together. A lot of the side effects pertain to people with poor health (overweight, elderly, immune compromised) and I am fortunately fairly young (27) and in good health.
After we finished the informed consent discussion (during which the patient acknowledges understanding of the potential health risks from treatment and signs on the dotted line), we discussed the delivery method for the medication. Hormones and hormone blockers can be received in three ways:
- Dermal patches
I went with pills because I already take daily medication.
Christine reviewed the dosage I would be taking for the first month, explaining that I would start out slow because estrogen can increase blood pressure and the testosterone blockers (anti-androgens) can decrease blood pressure.
After a month, I will check in with her to increase my dosage.
I. am. so. excited!