Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Three Month Check Up

 Yesterday was my twice a month therapist virtual visit and today was my virtual check up with the VA nurse practitioner who monitors my moods and medications. Both of which of course are very important to me. As you regulars probably know, I am a Vietnam era transgender veteran receiving Veterans Administration health care. 

Way back in the day the whole process was even more important to me. The problem I thought I was going to have was persuading a psychologist my gender dysphoria was a completely different issue than the bi-polar problems I was having. One did not cause the other with me. To be fair, I have heard from other transgender acquaintances who have said once they started to transition and began hormone replacement therapy, they were able to stop taking their anti depressants all together. Good for them! But my anxiety with life's other issues as well as my mood swings were continuing. 

I was fortunate in a couple ways as I look back on my mental health care. First of all, my therapist (or psychologist)  had no problem at all separating my gender issues with my over all mental health. She followed through with setting me up with another person to monitor my meds. 

The second thing which happened was I am still with the same two people almost a decade later, which has been exceedingly rare for me when it comes to my other providers in the Veteran's Administration health care system. At least around here. I know also, care standards vary completely between different VA hospitals and/or clinics.

Being with at least two of the same providers for all those years has helped me in that I have not had to educate a new person into what a transgender patient was all about. In fact, as I remember back to the days when I was first being treated, times have really changed for the better for me. At the beginning, I was fairly certain I was the first transgender patient most of the providers had ever seen.

With the help of the two persons I have mentioned, I have been able to stabilize my moods which has helped my anxiety and moods. By helping my moods, I have been able to do away with the great majority of my thoughts of self harm.

My next round of check ups comes in April when I visit my endocrinologist. She of course prescribes the all important Estradiol and Spiro prescriptions which have gone so far into making me the outwardly feminine person which allows me to sync up with my inner female. That visit too includes stopping at the vampires for blood tests/labs. 

When I was younger, there was no way I could have predicted any of this would happen. In fact I was in many ways forced into the VA health care system when I lost nearly everything I owned. Now it seems
it was the best move I could make. 

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