Showing posts with label House. Show all posts
Showing posts with label House. Show all posts

Friday, November 2, 2012

Out at the Doc's!

FINALLY a project I started with the Veterans' Administration four months ago came to fruition today.
Well, now it was  yesterday when I went but I had to rest up afterwards before I could write this.

In the middle of the morning , I walked into the office of a real live endocrinologist to begin what I call my "phase two" hormone therapy.
I signed the office sign in sheet and immediately faced the problem of name.  The office was the typical doctors office around here that closely resembles the 24 hour convience mart - people behind plastic. No one even saw me when I signed in. Now what? If I used my feminine name-would I ever get called? So, I signed my male name to just expedite the process.
That started the fun when the receptionist read my male name and looked up to see a decidedly un male person to which she said "oh!" My VA ID serves as the form of insurance card with them and is still very male so far.

The receptionist of course had to call in some one else to help with the sign in process which had more to do with the VA than me. By this time, nearly everyone was at ease and I was just another patient with paperwork problems. The question of the day was "Who sent me there?" I answered "I did."
Happily, all the magic connections worked with the VA approval process and I passed (no pun intended) to the mystical maze of little rooms and vestibules of the consultation area.

The first step was the scale which I am learning is not a girls best friend. The nurse even asked if I wanted to put my purse on a nearby counter before I got on the scale. I said yes and asked about shoes, coat and whatever else I could think of. The nurse on this part of my adventure had little or no sense of humor and crummy worn fingernail polish so I dutifully answered the thousand questions- the same ones I entered on the doc's on line portal.
Not to worry, surprisingly my blood pressure made the cut and nurse person went on her mirthless way. She said the "Doctor" will be in soon.

Well, we all know what soon means in a doctor's office-you may get a chance to celebrate another birthday before the Doc shows up to rescue you from the this tiny sterile room. I was starting to feel like I was in the "Wizard of Oz".Could I- would I ever meet him?
Not yet. The next person to visit was a "resident". I'm no medical expert but a resident is someone who follows around "House" or is sexually active on "Grey's Anatomy". It turns out this resident was a nice version of a CIA interrogation.
After nice greetings were out of the way, she jumped right into asking me again about what meds I was taking which I was pretty sure had been already entered at least twice to some system somewhere. Then she jumped into the big question "When did all of this start?" What? Dressing as a girl, starting hormones, watching the sun come up, hating to drive here? What???
Dressing as a girl was what she was fishing for so I said 12. So for the next 15 minutes or so I was explaining how I made it through life navigating a male life and marriages and making it to this point. Wait a minute. Resident or therapist? Where the hell was I?

Finally, for the briefest time it was my turn!  She of course asked if I was heading towards surgery and I zinged her with the concept (true) that I was transgender or gender fluid. I'm sure once she got home yesterday, she was busily Googling both terms.
She finished up and teased me by saying the Doctor (Oz) would be in soon.

Shortly (really) the mist parted and in walked the magic man I have waited four months to see! My heart fluttered. Not that he was a vision of manhood but dammit here he was and he said hello. Almost immediately he lapsed into some sort of version of why the VA was paying my way here anyhow. Quickly though, he calmed down and thought of the paycheck and got down to business...you guessed it...by asking "When did all of this start?" Again? Really? The resident was shadowing the Doc so I shot her the non verbal girl look of really? In the meantime, he was playing a very real male game of domination with me as he asked when and where I served. I shot it back at him. I had come too far to be intimidated by this guy now.

Finally...Again...I came to a point of resolution with Oz. He pulled out his magic pen and scrip sheet and effectively doubled my Estro for the next three months and then I would get blood labs for him and then we would take it from there. Then he left for the maze of rooms, hallways and cubicles and disappeared.
Whew! I was exhausted but I walked away a winner of sorts. I'm fairly certain I'm in the system now and I know the pitfalls of how to get my Va Doc to approve the hormonal blood tests and how I have to basically hand carry them to the other Doc.

All of the sudden, it was time to click my red shoes together (similar to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz) and go home- to a nap!

Workplace Issues

Image from Gabrielle Henderson  on UnSplash. Sadly, many transgender women and trans men still get discriminated against when they seek out ...