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I took my first Premarin in June of 1992, two weeks after going fulltime. I had planned it all six months earlier. After finishing up a computer contract in Baton Rouge, I went to the Be All in Detroit. It had been building for a while, to where I couldn't stand not being Cheryl for more than three or four days. I knew quite a few people in the midwest, from the gender groups and BBSs. The Be All was my first convention, though. I had a great time, and met a number of people who were living fulltime, both pre- and post-op. I knew this was very much what I wanted, more than anything.

Two weeks later, I met a friend who I had been talking to online for quite a while. She gave me a hundred 1.25 mg Premarin that she had from Mexico. We stopped at a restaurant, and she gave me a long lecture on hormones. She told me to use what she had given me to take to a doctor to show that I could get them. I sort of half agreed. Ten minutes after leaving her, greedy little me took her first Premarin tablet. About an hour later, driving home, I took another one. It was wonderous, this was something my body had been missing all my life.

For about two months, I was so happy to be living fulltime and having hormones. I didn't go to see a therapist or an endocrinologist, though. I was living in a small town, and didn't know where to go. Several weeks after running out of Premarin, I went into a severe mood depression. I hadn't known that stopping suddenly could cause that. When I described my symptoms to a woman friend, she said, it sounds like PMS to me. For about a month, I went into a deep withdrawal from everyone and everything. I stayed in the house most all of the time, only going out to get food, and didn't talk to anyone. The depression started over hormone withdrawal, but continued because I felt that I was dead in the water with my transition. It seemed like I would never succeed in transition.

Eventually my friend Janice called. She wondered why no one had heard from me. I poured my heart out to her. I hated my life, and if I had to live as a male, I'd sooner die. She talked me into coming to Chicago and seeing her. Janice is very motherly, a sweet person. I feel like I owe her my life. She and another girl set me up to see a doctor to get a prescription. I got my first real prescription, for Premarin and provera. I also got a shot from the doctor. I don't know how much was physical and how much psychological, but after getting the injection, I felt the weight of the world lift from me. For the first time in nearly two months, I could see daylight again.

I wasn't over my depression yet, but I was much better. What brought me around was a spiritual experience. I had been trying to transition using male thinking. I was doing it with my head rather than my heart, and it wasn't working. I came to the point where I had to give up the male completely. It was a submission, that I knew I had no control over this thing, and gave up completely, turning it over to the Feminine inside me. At the same time I came to an acceptance that this was me, the male had to die so that the woman could live. A wondrous thing happened. I felt a suffusion of feminine strength, rather weak at first but growing stronger over time, like a seed sprouting from the earth. I felt a love, a nurturing and connection, that I'd all but forgotten from childhood. At the time I started reading Marion Woodman on the Feminine, and felt an instant empathy with what she was describing. Marion describes the Feminine as, not a Goddess exactly, but a connection with the universe, a way of seeing. The Feminine is bountiful, but has her terrible aspect too if shunted aside and ignored. This made perfect sense to me.

For the next several months, I did everything I could to nurture this new wonderful freedom. Old habits die hard, though, and I tried to control things again. I have a strange dominance/submissive streak in me. While sexually I'm submissive, sometimes a strong independent dominance comes through in non-sexual situations. I think it may have been a cover to hide from myself that I really am a submissive.

Anyway, I decided that I was going to take control again, I knew what I was doing. I doubled my Premarin dose, added spironolactone, and over the next six months began taking extremely high and dangerous dosages. At one point, I was taking 7.5 mg of Premarin, 0.5 mg of Estinyl, 3 mg of Estrace, a day, along with wearing the Estraderm patch and taking provera and spironolactone, and getting my weekly shot. I had confused 0.05 mg of Estinyl with 0.5 mg, which is only given to males with prostate cancer. It was an enormous dosage, more than 10 times what is commonly considered a safe regimen.

Needless to say, I got to be a sick little kitty. Severe headaches, wild and terrible mood swings, physical nausea, my body was rebelling. I blamed it all on the Provera, so I stopped taking that. (g) On top of that, I had several ounces of simsellian pot that a boyfriend had given me, which made me feel better, I thought.

I had an almost unlimited source of hormones, but even I recognized it was much too much. I was going crazy. I'm generally a pretty mellow, thoughtful person, but I turned into superbitch. It was like having incredibly bad PMS all the time. My whole system was completely out of whack, and I started going into suicidal depressions again. My boyfriend of the time said I was going to blow out my liver.

Gradually, over several months, I started cycling down, to where I was taking about 5 mg a day of Premarin, which was much better. Instead of leaving it at that, though, I started doing my own injections of estradiol valerate and progesterone. Not knowing what I was doing, I overdosed on that. My hands and arms broke out in sores. At first I thought I might have AIDS. I've engaged in unprotected anal sex on a number of occasions in the past, and there was a time when I would go to bed with just about any man who would be nice to me and appreciate me as a woman, it was the only way I knew to validate my identity. I was so scared, I was afraid to go to have it checked for a week. Finally I went to the clinic. As it turned out, I was HIV negative, and it was probably due to progesterone poisoning.

When I had my testosterone checked, there was hardly any to measure, I was way below a nontranssexual woman's level. Over this period of six months or so, I'd gone first sterile, then impotent. Which was fine by me, except that I knew I needed to retain the ability to orgasm. Only now, four months later, is that coming back a little bit.

I've been following the doctor's regimen now, and while I still have PMS and mood swings, it's nowhere near as severe. I don't consider suicide an option anymore. I'm going to pull through this, and I'm going to get back to that happy state I've experienced before in transition.

What did I get out of all the overdosing? Well, maybe my breasts grew a little faster than they might have otherwise, but I risked my life for a few months development. Mainly, though, what I got was expensive piss. The body can absorb only so much, and the rest is excreted, putting an extra strain on the liver.

So to any sister contemplating upping the dosage, I say don't. It's not worth the risks. We're in this for the long haul, and nature can't be hurried along that quickly. I know I don't want to die a male, and it would be ironic to kill myself with estrogen overdosage, not that I'd appreciate the irony. The steady course is the safe one.


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