I started hormone replacement therapy three weeks ago.  I’m only on a half dose (2.5 grams a day) but it’s amazing that I’ve already been seeing huge changes in the way I look and feel.  I started even noticing changes as soon as two days after I started using it.  I’m continually amazed and terrified at how much about our bodies we can manipulate with only one chemical.

The first dose of testosterone was intense.  I have Androgel, which is a topical alcohol-based gel that evaporates quickly and gets absorbed into the skin.  It’s funny because it came with all this packaging about how you can “get back the T you’ve been missing!”  I got home from the pharmacy and rubbed the stuff on my upper arm.  In a few moments I felt flushed, filled with warmth, a little dizzy, euphoric.  A knot formed in the pit of my stomach.  Once the high passed, I felt what I can only describe as normal.

Eventually the euphoria became a lot less intense with each dose.  I still get a little dizzy from it, but I guess that’s a normal side-effect.  Two days into the therapy I got hungry.  I haven’t been fully very much or for very long in the past few weeks, and I’ve also been losing weight.  I usually don’t eat very much, but lately I’ve been going through three or even four whole meals a day.  It’s kind of cool.  Also, expensive.

About a week ago I started getting angry.  Not angry at anything, really, but just angry.  Little things have been setting me off, like people who take too long to hit the gas at traffic lights.  The guy who cut in the cafe line at Ikea was lucky he didn’t cut in front of me, because I probably would have punched him out.  I’ve been jumpy like that, and it’s kind of funny, but it’s also kind of scary.  I do a lot of swearing behind the wheel of my car, and I’m sure it doesn’t help that it’s welcome week, but still, from time to time I have to step back and realize my reactions are ridiculous.

I started growing more hair on my legs.  Ever since middle school, when my mom convinced me i had to shave my legs, I haven’t had any hair on my legs at all, much to my chagrin.  It’s been a source of frustration and confusion, but the fuzz on my shins has grown a lot longer, thicker, and darker than it’s been since like, sixth grade.  It’s coming in coarser than it did initially, too.  Pretty manly, eh?

And, as I’ve been warned many times by many people, I’ve gotten uncontrollably horny.  Uncontrollably, like I’ll be walking down the street and stop being sure what I’m doing because I’m so fixated on sex.  Horny, like I have to, uhm, take a break while helping Ariel move in because I can’t take it anymore.  It’s kind of awkward.  But also kind of neat.  I don’t know how anybody could cope with starting testosterone without a for-sure booty call lined up, because it just seems like you’d lose your mind.

The thing of it is, of course, I can’t help the fact that I want to eat everything in my path, get in fistfights with bad drivers, and have sex all day.  It’s funny to be such an exaggerated caricature of a pubescent boy, but I’m starting to understand a bit better why I thought so many of those kids in middle school were such tools.  I mean, some of them just were tools, but some of them were also just dealing poorly with the fact that they wanted to eat all day, fight with everyone and screw everything in sight.

It feels kind of good.  It’s also embarassing.  Can’t I be better than the typical male stereotype?  Sure, the biology isn’t my fault, but what I do with the biology is.  I think I’m dealing with it pretty constructively — I haven’t gotten into any real fights, for instance, and I have decided I’d do a lot more cooking this year — but sometimes it bugs me that I’m slavishly falling into this trend.  And what will happen when I go on the full dose (5 grams)?  And when will my body even itself out?  I hope the touchiness settles down a bit soon, at least.  I don’t really want to get in a bar fight.