Step 3 – Bloods
01/02/2017 – My appointment with the endocrinology department.
This was the appointment that I had been waiting for, for over a year now. It’s been a long wait, but when I realised that it would be happening within the next week I felt nothing, it was almost as if I was too scared to be excited, in case something was to go wrong, I had a bad feeling.
So I took an almost 3-hour train home, my mum picked me up and I was ready for my 8:30 am appointment with an endocrinologist the next morning.
The night before I started to get excited, thinking of how testosterone was going to improve my quality of life, how it would make me more confident, help me match the outside to the inside even more.
I thought there was something not right when they gave me my appointment at Ystrad Mynach, Dr Jamil had told me that I would be referred to a specialist in the Royal Gwent. I became more concerned when the receptionist at the hospital recited my GP and address and it was fourteen years out of date. I didn’t let myself become too panicked, but I did feel nervous.
I was called in and the nurses took my weight and blood pressure, she asked me if I was nervous because of my results, I said that I felt fine. When I was called in for the Dr to see me the nurse asked me if students could sit in, but I felt that this was too personal for me to be surrounded by other guys my age.
When I sat down with the Doctor all I seemed to hear was…
“I’m not a specialist.”
I’d waited over a year for this appointment, and they hadn’t sent me to a specialist. He didn’t know anything, just that testosterone could affect your blood count and your liver. Next, he told me that testosterone treatment was weekly, and I would have to travel back and forth, he didn’t realise that I had travelled from Southampton just to get here, I asked if they could transfer me, he said that he could try but I might have to do the treatment here, once a week. My heart sank. I told myself that I would not let being transgender affect where I went to university, but it was already going through my head that I might have to transfer. He asked me questions about myself, and then after 5 minutes he made a joke about An Inspector Calls and said that I could go. The nurses then took my blood.
I left the hospital semi-heartbroken, this appointment, according to other British transgender people transitioning on the NHS was supposed to inform me of testosterone, possible side-effects, treatments, whether I wanted surgery. Instead, I had a 5-minute chat with someone who didn’t seem to know what was happening.
When I got home, I felt deflated, but I didn’t want to let this appointment deter me. My blood had been taken so testosterone couldn’t be too far away. So I phoned the main Southampton hospital and enquired about the treatment, they said that they would ring me back. I emailed a support group in Southampton and they suggested to talk to my GP as they most likely will inject the testosterone for me, and so I made an appointment with my university doctors. When the hospital rang me back, although they don’t do the treatment, they said that they would support any GP willing to do so.
I will see my GP on Wednesday and hopefully will have some better news to write about.