Virtual Outreach

Image from the Jessie Hart
Ohio River in background...

 Recently I experienced a busy day virtually on the old laptop.

First of all, I needed to go through the pre screening process for another colonoscopy. I just had one a year ago but the doctors removed a sizable polyp which fortunately turned out to be non cancerous. Even so, instead of waiting the usual three years between check ups I was scheduled for to come back in a year. If you are not familiar, colonoscopies are not the most pleasant procedures to go through but on the other hand, having intestinal cancer is a terrible alternative. 

I don't know how many of these procedures the Cincinnati Veteran's Administration hospital does a year but the woman doing the intake on the phone almost immediately said, I remember you. Being transgender I am used to being remembered. However, this is one of the times I would have preferred not to be remembered. The woman I was talking to on the phone possibly reacted at my often poor attempt to sound feminine on the phone. Part of my transition I am always working on. Hopefully this time, I won't be miss-gendered when I go in early January for the procedure as I was last time.

The second part of my virtual day occurred later on when I attended the monthly meeting of the Greater Cincinnati Alzheimer's diversity committee. As always the meeting was very gender affirming as the other four participants were all women. It's almost as if I was in another mini girls night out. Plus, I am a big believer in helping anyway I can with the association because years ago, my Dad passed from having Alzheimer's. When I approached them to do more, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the association already had some guidelines in place to deal with LGBTQ patients. However as we all know, being transgender presents more unique opportunities we have to encounter than the rest of the gay or lesbian community. 

One thing I have had to do (which I have been putting off), is write a short post for the Association's Facebook page. It should be noted several of the members have made it a point to go to several of the regional Prides this summer to help publicize what programs are offered to help those in need. So hopefully I will be just aiding in the process. 

I also write for the local transgender - cross dresser monthly newsletter and each time I encourage anyone else to wants to become involved a path to do it. So far, no one has come forward to volunteer which is no real surprise because so many members are still deep in their closets. On a wider scale, if you have ever been touched by Alzheimer's and have time to spare, seek out your local association and see if they have a diversity committee to volunteer with.

One thing with a virtual day is, I need to apply makeup and fix my hair which is always good. In addition to my virtual appointments recently, I also had another one a couple days ago when it was time for the Dayton, Ohio VA LGBTQ support group. I learned then my long time (ten years) therapist is leaving for another job. I was very sad because I have always looked up to her as one of the top three influencers in my life. It will be interesting to learn if anyone else will run the group. 

Now, for awhile, life will settle back down as Thanksgiving has now passed us by and it has occurred to me I have not written about my family experiences yet. Where does time go?