I will admit that when I awoke this morning I was nervous as…, well, very nervous. Luckily, getting ready took my mind off things, (especially as I changed my mind about what to wear three times, then ended up wearing what I was going to in the first place ). I was ready for the train, (we’d opted for a slightly earlier one), which made a change but then, out of the blue, a minor crisis involving a water leak we’d discovered yesterday. So this meant that we had to take the later, original train. We met up with a friend of mine in Walton-on-Thames and she drove us up to Fulham Palace Road. We were lucky in that we managed to park up in a side road opposite the GIC and then nipped over to CHX itself to use the loo. We then went for a coffee. Talking about other stuff over a cup of strong stuff helped to calm my nerves a little. Then the time came. I looked at the door to the GIC, all sorts of thoughts running through my head but the main one being “My future lies on the other side”. I buzzed the door and we went in. We had to wait a few minutes as the receptionist was dealing with another patient. I eventually registered and went to sit down. The place was nothing like I imagined. We sat and talked while waiting, eventually joking about Dr Barrett and the fact he was late calling me . He eventually did call me in and my heart started pounding. Tracey came in with me. He started talking and my nerves vanished even before I had sat down.
He started off with simple questions, name, d.o.b, where did I live, where was I born, etc. Then:
JB: “Do you have any friends?”
Me: “Quite a few I think”
JB: “Do they all know about you?”
Me: “Yes, I am out to everyone”
JB: “Do you think they would lend you £20, in an emergency?” (This one threw me completely)
Me: “If they had it, I believe they would, yes”
It was a very interesting question, one I really didn’t expect at all. It does have a certain logic about it though, and gives an indication of whom I mix with. He then proceeded to ask about my parents, where they alive, where they lived, what they did or had done, then on to school. He didn’t ask about bullying, which I was expecting him to. He then asked about my relationships, with both Claire and Tracey. He then asked me a question which threw me, although it shouldn’t have. “What do you want us to do for you?”. It was at this point I went blank. “Help me sort out my gender identity problem” I blurted, not really thinking. “That’s a bit general, ” he replied. “Ok, to be vulgar”, I replied, “I want a sex change”. I felt like a complete twonk saying this. It seemed so ‘tabloid’. My brain wasn’t working. “That’s still a bit general.” he said. “I’m so used to generalities when explaining to other people about my GID” I replied. This seemed to satisfy him. He then went on to explain about the referral process for hormones and for surgery. He also talked about work and how they would not refer for surgery unless I had some form of employment. Sensible and understandable. He explained about the need for two clinicians recommendations before prescribing hormones and that, if I had given up smoking by my next appointment then I would be prescribed them. He also explained that hormonal levels should be the same pre-surgery as they would be post-surgery to ensure that there was nothing wrong, otherwise, no surgery. (I’m pretty sure that’s what he said).
Overall it was a pleasant chat. He strikes me as slightly off-the-wall but a very nice man to talk to. I found it easy to talk to him, no embarrasement when it came to talking about sex, very clear in his questions and his manner made me feel at ease. So all in all it was a good appointment. We came out to make my next appointment but the computer had crashed. I would’ve offered to fix it but, hey, they’ve got their own IT dept and I wouldn’t want to tread on any toes . They will post my next appointment. We left to go over to CHX main building for blood tests. JB had stated, (and I think he was only partially joking), that I should take the stairs and not the lift, because if I’m too unfit climb up one floor then I’m too unfit for surgery. Which I suppose is true. Blood took a while but then, it was busy. I think they took a whole armful . We then went back to the car and drove off into the sunset. Well, we would have done if it hadn’t been raining.
I’ve probably left a few things out but, I’m still slightly euphoric having started on a journey I should have started many years ago. If I think of them then I will post them. I hope the above makes sense. Please feel free to ask questions