appointment letter

All posts tagged appointment letter

Letters From The Edge of Blogspace: The Last Mile….

Published April 23, 2016 by Christine

On the 5th of April this year, I went down to Brighton, to the Nuffield Hospital at Woodingdean, to see Mr Phil Thomas for my pre-surgical assessment. To say I was nervous would be an understatement, but I was determined not to let that get in the way. This was the start of something that I have been building up to all my life, something that, forty years ago, I would have never thought possible, a dream that would never be fulfilled but I was about to start the process that would see that dream become a reality.

When I first realised I was different around the age of five, I’d never heard of gender, nor were the words transsexual or transgender in my lexicon. I was vaguely aware of the differences between boys and girls and from this I knew, with an absolute certainty, that there was something wrong with my body. What I saw and felt didn’t fit with what my mind said it should have looked like and how it should have felt. Over the years this conflict has been at the root of so many problems but, soon, it will be resolved.

The journey down to Brighton was uneventful. Being used to long train journeys, I managed to keep myself occupied (I had my laptop) so I didn’t get totally bored. I was looking forward to arriving in Brighton as a friend, whom I hadn’t seen for quite some time, was meeting me to take me to the hospital. Arriving at Brighton, big hugs were in order when I saw Sam waiting on the platform. It was lovely to see her in real life again, rather than through the internet. We jumped into her car and off we went.

Arriving at the Nuffield, I was a bag of nerves. I was thinking to myself, ‘If I’m like this for the assessment, what am I going to be like when I do finally arrive for surgery?’. Once inside and booked in the nerves faded. I was taken upstairs to a room with several other women and given a very thick form to fill in. Afterwards, I was taken through the procedure and what to expect during my stay in hospital. I was also informed about post-surgical care, including dilation, how to do it and shown the dilators that are supplied. After that I was weighed and then went to see Mr Thomas. I had to strip from the waist down and he had a look. He decided, to my relief, that I didn’t require GHR (Genital Hair Removal), which would have added almost a year to my waiting time. Afterwards he and Liz (his head nurse) had a chat with me. I was told he had no objections to performing the surgery as I was a good candidate but, he wouldn’t give me a date until I had lost at least 10kg and brought my BMI down to at least 29 or lower. The reason being that the surgery is easier for him and recovery will be better and faster for me. It was all I could do to refrain from punching the air and shouting “YES!”. Compared to GHR, having to lose weight is far easier. I walked out of there on a cloud, my feet barely touching the ground.

Sam was almost as excited as I was when I told her the news. Finally, I was on that last mile. The end was finally in sight.

Sam dropped me off at the station. Unfortunately we couldn’t take time to catch up properly as she was in the middle of a house purchase. So we said our goodbyes, knowing that the next time we met in Brighton it would probably be for my surgery.

The journey home was almost as uneventful as the one there, although I suspect that my fellow passengers were wondering why I was constantly grinning inanely.

 

As I have been writing this, I have also been filling in the surgical consent forms to send back to Brighton. They’re all signed ready to send. I thought I may as well do them now as they weight is already falling (101kg on the 5th, 98kg today). Some changes in what I eat and how I live, small sacrifices to enable a massive change.

Let’s go…..

Letters From The Edge of Blogspace: Righting My Exercises

Published March 26, 2015 by Christine

Well, my appointment with Dr Lenihan at CHX didn’t go all as I’d hoped, but pretty much as I had expected. After going through my history and catching up with what had been happening in the two years since I’d last seen her, she said that she would be happy to refer me for surgery, but she wouldn’t. This was, as she explained, because of my weight. To qulaify for surgery I need to be less than 100Kg and have a waistline of less than 100cm. I weight 103.9Kg and my waistline is 110cm. So I have some work to do. My next appointment at CHX is in September, so I have until then to sort this out.

Weight loss isn’t a problem. Most of the weight I’ve lost has been since I moved out of the old flat, (I weighed 113Kg then, 106Kg when I moved into the new place) and so that is going down. The work involves exercise to reduce my waist. I need to start exercising my tummy, tightening the muscles and reducing the fat there. I want the fat on my hips, bum and tits but not on my tummy. I can’t go running because my right knee won’t take it (it hurts enough just walking) so anything like that is out. It’s down to crunches and situps before I go to work and when I come home. Should be fun.

Oh, and I need to start going to bed earlier. 2-3 am isn’t doing me any good either.

Letters From The Edge of Blogspace: Rocks, Hard Places and Temporal Transport

Published March 23, 2015 by Christine

I didn’t realise till now, but its four years since I first posted about transition on “The Girl From Nowhere”. Four years in which so much has changed. Mostly for the better. I have a wonderful partner. I’m now working for an absolutely amazing organisation. I have a new flat. I don’t have a car yet but I do have my nice, super-clean driving licence, and to cap it all, I’m so much happier in myself. All in four short years. Tempus Fugit. How time flies. Well, I don’t know how time flies, but it does. Maybe it has a private jet?

To add to all this, I also now have my appointment for my second surgical referral. Its on Tuesday 24th. This coming Tuesday. The day of our big sale at TechStart. The one day I didn’t want to leave the shop. The only reason why I have to. I’ve been waiting nearly seven months for this. The waiting list for surgery is up to two years and if I missed this appointment then it could set me back by nearly a year, and that is something I cannot afford. I will, however, call the GIC to see if there is another appointment available in the next week or so but, if not, then I will have to attend and miss half the sale. Not something I’m comfortable with either.

It’s a choice of a rock and a hard place.

Letters From the Edge of Blogspace: West End Girl Again…

Published October 26, 2013 by Christine

If there is anyone who actually reads this drivel, my apologies for the delay in writing this. I should have done this last week. Wednesday 16th Oct was my fourth visit to Charing Cross GIC. The day before I had yet another job interview. This meant that I was thinking more of these than of writing so, again, apologies. The job interview went well. I thought I did well but, as I found out a couple of days later, I hadn’t done as well as I’d though, mainly due to lack of commercial experience in one particular area, programming (VB.NET). So consequently, I didn’t get the job. Shame really. I like working in Alton.

Anyway, my CHX visit went well, apart from the weather, parking and timing. My appointment letter, which I had picked up at the end of my last visit, said that I was to see the Endocrinologist’s nurse at 1115 and then my lead clinician, Dr Barrett, at 1145. So, being the good girl that I am, I left nice and early to get there on time. Due to seriously bad traffic coming down through Putney Hill and Putney Bridge I barely made it on time. It had started raining hard as well, which didn’t help. I then had to drive round for a bit looking for a parking space, all the time, my appointment getting closer and closer. Luckily, one opened up close to the GIC and I zipped in there. The cost, being the West End of London was quite high, about £1.20 per half-hour, and I had enough on me for about three hours. I dropped in enough for an hour, knowing there would be a break in appointments, during which I could come out and top up. I practically ran into the GIC, my umbrella threatening to deform and collapse, only to find a mistake had been made. The appointment letter contained a typo. My appointment with the nurse was at 1315, not 1115! All that perfectly good worrying about the time had been wasted. All I could do was mope back to the car until my 1145 appointment with Dr Barrett. This also meant there would be a big gap between appointments during which I couldn’t afford the parking. Still, I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.

The appointment with Dr Barrett went well. He was his usual chatty self, digressing left, right and centre while somehow still staying on topic. The main subject was my weight, as I suspected it would be, with him explaining why there are no fat vegetarians, and why exercise has to be combined with a healthy diet, all the time going off on tangents. He was happy with my blood test results and my T and E levels, and explained why they do it so slowly, which made sense. He then told me he would increase my Estradiol dosage to 6mg/day and prescribe Decapeptyl (a testosterone inhibitor or, for the medically minded, a GnRH agonist), along with Cyproterone Acetate, a testosterone blocker, to counter the side-effects of Decapeptyl. This means that my body will be almost devoid of testosterone, allowing the oestrogen to work its magic. This made me a very happy bunny indeed. Dr Barrett promised to send out the required letter to my GP as soon as possible but, with the record of CHX, I didn’t hold out much hope on that.

Off out to the car again while waiting for my appointment with the nurse. I ended up driving further up the road, parking and sitting eating lunch, watching “National Treasure II” on my phone while keeping an eye out for any parking wombles. I managed to get away with this one and so, at the appointed time, I again parked closer to the GIC, paid up an hour and a half, (all I had left) and went in.

Iffy, the nurse, was running a little late which, considering all the work she has to do, is not surprising. I am a patient woman, (you have to be, in IT), so I waited until called. There is a notice on the wall asking you to notify the receptionist if you are waiting more than ten minutes past your appointment time but, I usually ignore this. Eventually I was called in by Iffy. We went through the usual weigh-in, height measurement, (I’m sure that doesn’t change much during appointments), and a chat about my energy levels and such. It then went on to a Q&A about weight, exercise, hormonal effects and such. She didn’t have my notes, since Dr Barrett was using them to dictate my letter, but it didn’t matter. She agreed with Dr Barrett on the hormones, reiterated about their effects and what I could expect on Decapeptyl and then that was it. I was done for another six months.

My next appointment is in April ’14 which, providing I have shed the weight, should be my surgical referral. This appointment should have been it, but there was a six month delay due to my hormone authorisation letter going missing in September last year.

On an interesting note, this Wednesday, the 23rd, I received my copy of the letter to my GP authorising the increase in hormones and the Decepeptyl. Seven days after my visit. I was expecting to wait at least thirteen weeks, the average time for a letter. So, maybe they’re getting their act together at last.

I’m still a happy bunny.

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