I swear, I am trying to truncate this story as much as possible.
Let’s skip ahead a bit. Eventually, I told both my girlfriend and my parents. Thankfully, I have been blessed with the best examples of each possible, and they were nothing but utterly supportive when I told them what I did.
What I did.
I also left out any discussion about gender, although I did state that I had “always known” that my hormones were out of whack. My mother questioned me pretty hard about what I meant by that, but when I offered nothing, she offered to pay for breast reduction surgery for me.
Of course, I didn’t want breast reduction surgery, though I didn’t give any reasons why, and the subject was quickly dropped.
I should take a moment to point out that I am going to talk about other people as little as possible in this blog, and that I will try very hard not to speculate about others. If, in the future, they give me permission to write more about them, I will, but I don’t want to implicate anyone in my drama any more than I have to.
So what happened then? More delightful blood tests, of course. And an MRI. Actually, two MRIs. And a trip to different endocrinologists. And God knows what other stupid details I have forgotten.
I have decided to pull up my medical records from a couple of years ago to remind myself about my levels. Bear with me here, as I throw some numbers at you. I won’t bother with units, because who really cares about those anyway.
The healthy range for a male my age is between 348 and 1197, according to my paperwork. My level? A whopping 219. For reference? A female should show somewhere between 30 and 95. My number is almost exactly between the upper level for a woman, and the lower level for a man.
But hey, I was told that hormone levels fluctuate. So I got it tested again. Turns out, they do fluctuate. Now, I showed all of 172. Closer, in fact, to a female level, than a male.
Okay, so my testosterone levels were crazy low. What about my estrogen?
Also low, though not out of range. 8-35 was the range I was given for men, and mine showed 8.8. Acceptable!
Just kidding, this level was also nearing one of concern. But because I am biologically male, this number was not tested again, nor was it discussed. Even if, really, it is the one I was the most interested in.
One third, non-sex hormone was tested: prolactin. This is the hormone that is responsible for milk production in mammals.
The range I was “aiming” for? 4-15.2. Mine? 7.2. Hey, actually right in the middle of the range! But then I was told that the reliability of this test, for whatever reason, was compromised. So I had it done again.
This time? 22. Way over the expected range.
Does this mean that instead of sex hormones, I had “milk” hormones? A funny concept, though not one I was totally thrilled about.
I should also mention that I had a karyotype test, which came back normal. So no genetic strangeness, thankfully.