I’m having a rough time currently, with lots of shocks to the system, but I believe I’m moving forward, I have to.
I am being let down
This is transition related. So with the NHS, to start hormone treatment the general protocol is that you go to a GIC (Gender Identity Clinic) and have an initial assesment. If everything is fine and dandy, on the second appointment with a different Doctor, permission is given for you to start treatment. You have a physical; all healthy? Good, let’s go. God that sounds so simple. So easy, so logical.
However – with the NHS there are snags the whole way through that you have to navigate round, jump over or bash at until they break.
- GP refers you to the GIC? All depends on if you have a GP who knows what the hell to do. People get refused, told to seek counselling or are referred to psychologists.
- Initial appointment within 18 weeks? Bollocks, there are people waiting 1, 2, 3 years.
- Regular appointments after the first? Again, bollocks. As I am finding, once you’re on the system and are no longer on the waiting list you go down the rabbit hole so to speak. GIC’s get chastised for long initial waiting lists but no one rebukes them for patients sitting in no-man’s land for long periods between appointments.
I was told 3/4 between appointments. My second appointment WAS due in February after a 5 1/2 month wait from the initial September one. It’s just been cancelled. No new date, but it could not be till summer. I was totally broken up by it when I received the letter. Gutted, defeated, despondent. This is my year of transition; they are not taking that away from me. They are not in control of my life, I am. And I’m not having them fucking around with it. I’ve had to come up with a war plan to stop me dropping to low into a black hole. They are in battle order:
- Confront the GIC – I managed to get a physical booked in with the GIC which is next week. It’s with the same Doctor I saw before so I can’t get the “second independent signature“. I am going to try reason with him – not shout, cry, or sulk. I will put across a strong case. I will ask for hormones there are then. I will remind him of the distance I am travelling. I will play all the cards.
- Satisfy that GP that they can safely give me bridging hormones. I will present them with the documents of recommended treatments and the links to the information online. I will explain what has happened with the GIC. I will talk about the effect on my mental health. I will ask to be referred to the local endocrinologist.
- I will consider all other options if the above fail.
This coming week is a big one, and I have to be on top of the game. Something is going to happen this week, and it is going to be positive. Watch this space.
On the side lines of this happening I have started psychology. And I tell you what, it’s a bloody mind drain. It’s like the start of counselling all over again but several times more intense. It’s trying to get to the core of my anxiety, and then from there working forward with a strategy. It’s once a week. I can tell why they wanted me to be a bit more stable before I started it because I know I would not have been able to cope with this 6/7 months ago. God knows if it will prove useful, but I’m putting all into it anyway.
I also have a new recovery worker, after being major sad that my old one left. I am not sure if I will get on with this new one as well but I know I have to give it a try. So far it’s a bit, well…neutral I suppose. I think things will move much slower now in terms of progressing with tackling scenarios etc.
Putting this all into words is odd; I can see that there is a hell of a lot there for anyone to cope with. I’m amazed I have not drowned yet, and started to trust my abilities a little bit more. I know if I don’t take control of my life, they are plenty of others who will pull my strings, and I can’t let that happen anymore.