It seems like ages since I began my HRT odyssey with the Veteran's Administration when in fact it has been nearly four years if we go back to my initial meetings with a VA therapist.
Yesterday, I hit a new level of sorts as I was finally able to land an appointment with a VA endocrinologist for the first time. In the years past, my local smallish hospital didn't have a full time one who would see me, so after fighting and fighting, my visits to an "outsider" were paid for.
My disclaimer on all of this is I have never had a problem with my overall care. I think the great majority of the people who work within the VA system have a very difficult job to do. Not to mention our government (like it or not) will go off and fight any number of wars without looking forward to how they are going to provide proper care for those who fought them. Another blog post.
My visits to my old endo doc were for the most part, no harm-no foul. Check my vitals to make sure I was still alive, check my estrogen and testosterone levels, get my new "scripts" and "see ya!" Yesterday, my new Doc actually called out my name into the waiting room and asked me if he did it right (he did-I hate when they call Mr. Hart!) and we got started.
For the first time ever as a trans woman, I was really examined. Take off your sweater, drop your drawers kind of exam followed of course by 6,000 questions. To add to the "fun" was the third year medical student who was accompanying the Doc. The first thing he asked me was "She had never met a transgender person, could she stay?" It turns out she was more fascinated by me, than I am on the mornings when I can't seem to put one foot ahead of another. Her presence in the room definitely provided me a first. During my 50 plus years of adult life, I have never been "examined" by both genders at the same time-with breasts.
All too soon, my appointment was over and I was off to the "vampires" to give yet another three vials of blood which lately have seemed to get lost in the system. The good news was-this guy really knew what he was doing.
Perhaps my interaction with the Doc in training was the gift which will keep on giving. She asked several times if I would come talk to her class at a local university about how to treat and NOT treat a transgender patient. Example from my last visit to old Doc- Note to residents- Do NOT make your first question- who do you have sex with-men or women after mis-pronouning you.
Finally, the Doc scheduled another appointment for three months from now and the only major change so far is I'm going on an Estrogen patch and off the pill. I will let you know of any other changes - like an unplanned pregnancy!