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Thread: Where to start

  1. #1
    New Member Janette's Avatar
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    Where to start

    Where to start
    I?m looking for some help or advice. I?m a married 65 year old suffering from gender dysphoria. My wife knows my struggle and is totally supportive. I would like to transition but don?t know where to start. I would like to have an Orchiectomy and HRT but want to go through my Medicare. I have a supplement plan so I don?t need a referral but do I go to a therapist first or a GP or an endo doctor? I?m sure I have gender dysphoria for my whole life. I did start HRT through Folx last year for a couple months but felt that wasn?t the safest way to go. I?m in the Woodlands Texas area north of Houston. I?m so confused as to where to start.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Not sure what point you are at now!
    Have you socially transitioned? Have you been dressed 24/7 for a few months?
    A very wise lady here(God rest her soul!) gave me this advice with a warning that I was going too fast! She was right!
    Wishing you all the best with this!
    Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    Start with a therapist that is experienced with transgender issues. Denise O?Daughtry is in Houston and is nationally renown. The Montrose Center also has qualified therapists.

  4. #4
    Just can't help myself! Brenda456's Avatar
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    Hi—I found a medical doctor who specializes in transgender issues. She started me on HRT. As for a possible orchiectomy, which I don’t know what Medicare requires or covers, I has to get letters from two counselors. The counseling was fairly minimal and was not very costly. Starting with a knowledgeable therapist as suggested by Jeri Ann makes a lot of sense. It can probably be done on line. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Member Valerie Louise's Avatar
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    Hi Janette,
    We are similar in some respects so maybe I can offer some opinions. I’m 68, married with a wife who is supportive but wishes I wasn’t driven the way we are.
    Lifelong CD and finally accepted myself as trans three years ago. I’ve been on HRT since April 23.

    I’ve come to believe that there are a few things that really guide my decisions. They are:
    1. Being trans is a GIFT. It is not something to be ashamed of, but rather to celebrate.
    2. Maintaining your marriage, assuming you love your wife, is essential. This means that you can’t change dramatically because she needs time to adapt. Women who support us are angels and you need to take every opportunity to make her happy. It means your walk down the Journey has to have small steps.
    3. A therapist is extremely helpful. You don’t realize things that are going in your helmet that might be just wrong. I personally suffer from a degree of transphobia because of the era I was raised in, which easily leads to self loathing. Therapy can help you see through that.
    4. Finding other trans women, establishing friendships with them, and going out in public will validate your feminine identity. Others have insights that can be really helpful. This was a huge breakthrough for me.


    To answer some of your questions, here in Wisconsin I didn’t need a letter to start hormones. My therapist recommended a gender clinic that I attended, and they immediately offered HRT once they read my bio. I held off a couple of months before I started, to square it with my wife. My supplement pays for those doctor visits, but I find that pharma bulk sellers such as GoodRx are far cheaper for my estrogen than my prescription copay is.
    I’m on estrogen patches. Some girls say they do not work, or fall off. I have had no issues with them. BUT, no matter how you take your E, it is super critical that you start your HRT under the care of a doc who is going to meter out your dose so you land in the right spot. I’ve heard a few horror stories from some girls here who tried DIY.

    If you get any surgery like an orchy you will need a Gender Affirming Procedures letter from a therapist, at least here in Wisconsin. I think FFS does not require that.


    Here’s how my journey has gone.
    I closet CDd for decades. Purges etc.
    Three years ago I got my ears pierced. Just awesome. I finally took a small step on the journey
    I went to a Kohls en femme and nearly passed out from fright. Nothing happened. Nothing.
    I found a support group in Chicago, and went to dinner with another girl I met there. Terrified but less than at Kohl’s. Wonderful time.
    I started going out about once a month. Usually dinner, followed by dancing. It is a feeling of joy I never realized I could experience.
    I tried laser hair removal a couple of times but my gray is at least 50%. So I started electrolysis in September of 22. Twice a week, 2 hours each time, $85 an hour, out of pocket. This has been a very very good investment in myself. I feel much better with makeup and going out this way. If you haven’t started this … it would be high on my list for something to do early.
    Started counseling about a year ago. This on my own dime, mostly. Extremely helpful.
    This led to HRT about nine months ago, and yes it’s nice to have breasts, even if they are just A’s.
    I decided that my face was the thing I disliked most about my appearance , so I’m scheduled for soft tissue only FFS at the end of this month. At the advice of the surgeon I’m not getting a brow bone shave at this time. A lot of detail in this decision I’ll set aside as not relevant here. The insurance coverage decision has still not been made but the doc is pretty sure the rhinoplasty will be covered as well as the brow lift. Other stuff will be out pocket.

    Please let me know if this helps, dear.
    Good luck,
    Val
    Just call me Val

  6. #6
    Senior Member mbmeen12's Avatar
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    Same shoes hun, my gg enjoys me dressing but I too suffer with dysphoria. I worry of losing my way of sexual expressing myself and keeping my gg satisfied. It's a little personal to ask how is that going with your wife?
    Escapism isn't necessarily bad, but is definitely unhealthy in the long term. While helpful in the short term, things will degrade over time. At some point, the escapee will have to face the issue. Things simply blowing over isn't really going to happen in many situations.

  7. #7
    Member ReallyLauren's Avatar
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    Starting with a therapist is the best approach. A good therapist, well versed in transgender issues can help you sort out your feelings and help you define a path forward that makes the most sense for you. It is wonderful that you have a fully supportive spouse to serve as an ally on wherever your journey takes you. This is the best thing any transperson can have in their corner, so you are off to a great start. Good luck and I hope your journey leads you to a place of total peace and contentment.

  8. #8
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    Janette, you and I have a lot in common. I started HRT on Mother's day of 2016. I had an orchiectomy last August. I am fully out to my extended family (full femme at two family reunions). I started counseling first, then started HRT. The difference between my experience and you're ( I am guessing) is that I did this through the V.A. No cost counseling, no cost HRT, Orchid thru the V.A. I would recommend Counseling before HRT, as this would indicate to your doctor that you are earnest ( or Earnestine��) about your wishes. A counselor can also help with your transition and your family. My best wishes on your future!

  9. #9
    happy to be her Sarah Doepner's Avatar
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    Janette, I started with therapy at age 66 and I'm still taking advantage of that resource at age 74. There were several other issues, including grief that I had to work through before getting on to gender identity issues. Getting all those other issues controlled, resolved or understood paved the way for correcting my hormones. I gave that plenty of time to work before moving on to surgeries. Medicare covered B.A. and an orchi. I had to pay out of pocket for partial FFS.

    Pace yourself and find those things and treatments that work the best for you. Don't depend on another's experience to define you, your progress or your goals.
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.

  10. #10
    Just finding my way.... StaceyJane's Avatar
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    Hi, Janette, I grew up right near you in Conroe my mom still lives on Lake Conroe but I moved away a long time ago. I'm 58 and have had gender dysphoria all my life. I first started seeing a therapist 14 years ago and after almost a year of therapy, I felt ready for homones. I still haven't had any surgery, but I feel so much better about my body after being on hormones.
    Stacey

    I'm not a doctor, I just play one on TV.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wob7zmvVTb8

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