Friday, 27 May 2011

So that was it then

    A train to London with my wife, a walk across town, through the park in the rain. A visit to the GIC. Much anticipated, over in about an hour.
    I'm there as my everyday scruffy bloke. Stubble and all. Nervous as hell, which is crazy. The clinic is easy to find and the receptionist is friendly, but this has been weighing upon me for months. And my trousers are wet. Damn summer showers.
    A couple of other patients show up, both transwomen, neither very far into the process judging by their demeanour. We smile at each other, then an uneasy silence. My usual survey of NHS waiting room reading material, Marie Claire, GQ and some interior design magazines. Then a welcome arrival, my online friend Kay. A middle-aged lady now long-post-op, on one of her very last visits to the clinic. She'd said she'd try to arrive a bit early. We chat, she turns out to be brilliant at putting the nervous at ease. I'm called away to the consulting room and she settles down for a long chat with my wife, for which I'm extremely grateful.
    The consultation was very similar to my previous ones with my local psychiatrist. Stepping through my background, my life story, where I want to go. Setting out my options, which are somewhat limited. Recognising that I need help to stay where I am, but that it may one day go pear-shaped and I might need to go further. Above all, I'm talking to someone whose job it is to know about the problems faced by someone like me, who has seen many hundreds of men and women like me and for whom nothing is a surprise.
    In fact, there was a surprise in store for me, I was handed a piece of paper and told to go up the road to the hospital for a blood test. Despite the fact I'm not asking for hormones, they want my base hormone levels. Which turned out to be a blessing, something of a psychological boost. Instead of coming away hopeless I had something in my hand, something to do.
    I've never been a fan of blood tests. Bad experience many years ago. This one was expertly administered though, completely painless and over very quickly. So with twenty minutes taken at the blood test clinic we found ourselves on the Tube back to the mainline station, surrounded by schoolgirls on their way home. Lucky things, just at that age at which they are turning from children into women. And they are probably finding all that excess estrogen to be annoying. Life's not fair, is it.
    So, back home before the time I'd have been home from work anyway. Enough time for my wife to take me out for a meal. It's me that should be taking her, for what she's done for me today.
    All in all it was a positive experience. Yes I came away with the same challenges as I went in, but I didn't expect them to hand me a miracle cure. What's important is that I'm now in the system and can access what limited specialist help there is available to someone  in my position. And one thing's for certain, my next visit towards the end of the year won't weigh on me nearly as heavily as this one did.


  1. As you say, foot in the door and they know you now. I did it all back to front and paid the price, am still paying the price...

  2. That Kay do get around, dunshee? Here's a bit of Thom Gunn for you, which came to mind, and may and may not resonate...

    At worse, one is in motion; and at best,
    Reaching no absolute, in which to rest,
    One is always nearer by not keeping still.

  3. I thought you'd come away in a positive mood and you did. So happy that you got something from your visit Jenny. Now I suppose you will be wondering what will come out of the next meeting. How far away is that?

    Shirley Anne xxx

  4. Every journey begins with a First Step, and this one seem to be on solid ground.

    Seems they have everything locked down as to what to do. Enjoy the ride, girl!!!

  5. Sounds like you have another reason to find another path. I have had more blood test than I care to recall since being on HRT.

    Glad it went well


  6. Blood tests are a good thing lets us know HRT isn't screwing us up.

  7. Thanks all, and sorry it's been a few days.

    For such a non-threatening experience it's amazing the effect my trip to London has had on me. Or it could be that the girl was always going to get this noisy on this timescale and it has just been coincidental with the GIC. Either way, it's definitely "interesting times".