Tag Archive | transgender

My brain is turning to porridge

Just over two weeks now since my first jab of Triptorelin (T-blockers). Yesterday I collected my new FREE wigs. Yay!

This week wifey, who subsequently claimed she thought I’d “forgotten” about this transition thing, started looking again for somewhere to buy, and we found somewhere that would be perfect for either her alone, or us. Oh wonderful! (sarcasm).

Poor Danny’s been stressed out all week because his cat cut a paw last weekend and has had to be left every day with a cone on so he doesn’t lick it while the antibiotics do their work. 😦

We received a “wedding invitation” from some friends in Second Life yesterday, and I’m going to be Maid of Honour *smiles*, and last night wifey mentioned the “D” word for the first time.

Some week!

Okay, so let’s try to make sense of all this …

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Today I began the next stage of my journey

Finally, almost three years since my “moment of realisation”, today I had my first jab of Triptorelin.

Testosterone Blockers!!! … YAYYYYYY !!!

A jab in the bum which should last 3 months, then another one to follow that, I already have the kit to take with me next time, and at about that time I should be starting on the Estrogen patches. 🙂

So now there’s no turning back for me, not that there was ever going to be. 🙂

I mentioned in my brief post earlier today that things seem to be converging, so let me explain.

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Trembling

It’s something of a momentous day today.

There’s a lot of important things happening right now, and today seems to be the day when they all converge.

So right now I’m trembling, trying to control my breathing, and trying to “think straight” about what I need to do, and in what order.

I’ll tell you more later in the day …

*hugs*

Progress, at last!

Yes, it’s me again!

As you can probably guess by the lack of posts lately I’ve really been struggling with the hiatus in progress caused by the fact that my GP said she couldn’t prescribe the Triptorelin (Testosterone blockers) that the GIC had said I need. This, plus the fact that I had to do soooo much chasing up just to even get that far, meant that I dropped into a severe depression, even to the point of feeling suicidal at times.

Eventually Danny and my other friends managed to persuade me to go back to my GP, and I’ve been on Prozac for the past few weeks. I think it IS helping, although I am feeling quite tired most days.

However, today I had another appointment at the Gender Clinic, and that’s what this post is about … PROGRESS!!

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Trust, just trust …

I don’t know how “the Universe” works, what it intends for any of us or where we will end up.

I’m not “religious” in any accepted meaning of the word, but it seems that, somehow, something always happens “in the nick of time” when things get rough.

Maybe it’s that “karma” thingy?

I hope I’m able to be kind, caring, and understanding towards other people, (Danny gently mocks me for, as he puts it, “picking up waifs and strays” and trying to help them), and somehow life manages to keep me going … to what end I know not.

Whatever the situation it seems that something always happens to ensure I just scrape through, so maybe that’s what will happen with my transition?

Guess I’ll have to trust “the Universe” on that one too. 🙂

All roads lead to Vienna

Danny won the lottery the other week!

Well, actually he won $1 on it, but for someone who virtually never gambles that’s still an achievement. 🙂

This week, probably to try to boost my spirits a bit, we’ve been having fun planning what we would do if we ever won “big” on the lottery. It’s a good way to get the brain juice flowing, even if only for a short while.

Last night I finally managed to get an evening out to have a few drinks and a game of darts. All in all the whole evening was a disaster, which is really great seeing as how I only get out about once a year other than when wifey is away. Such is the way of things right now.

So tonight, after another row with wifey, I needed a lift. I started by trying to find out if there are any tea dances that happen locally, without much success, and then hit youtube for some good old Viennese Waltz music.

It really doesn’t get much better than André Rieu, and this magical performance of what I’ve always considered to be the most beautiful piece of music ever written adds another item to the post-lottery wish list … best tickets in the house at a performance of Strauss at the beautiful  Empress Sisi’s castle in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

Of course I’d need to go shopping for a stunning outfit, shoes, jewellery, wig and everything first, and have the greatest make-over in history … but we could afford it. 🙂

Yes, it’s me again

Hi peeps 🙂

Sorry it’s been a while since I blogged, hopefully the following will explain things …

Yesterday I intercepted a comment from one of my caring followers wondering if everything was ok as I hadn’t been seen on the circuit for a while.  As we have each other’s email addresses I thought the explanation was too lengthy to put in a comment reply and so began writing to her, but before I’d finished I realised that what I was really doing was drafting this post, one that I’ve been meaning to do anyway.  So here’s what I’d written so far, and then I’ll “continue” with the rest of what I was going to say …

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Thinking of you at Christmas

Inner with text 01

My thoughts today are especially with those who are alone at this time of year. Not necessarily even physically alone, but alone in an environment where they are not understood or loved for who they truly are.

We are many.

Just know that there is someone thinking of you today, sharing the isolation with you, and hoping for a better world for all of us.

*Christmas hugs*

An open letter to NHS Fife re: Care of transgender patients (or lack thereof)

Dear Sirs,

Let me start with the facts of the matter.

In April/May of 2013, shortly before my 60th birthday, I finally came to the realisation that I identify as transgender, male-to-female.

Around July of 2013 I approached my GP seeking to start on the path to eventual transition.

At that time I was (incorrectly) referred to the Psychology Unit in Dunfermline. Their response was simply to state that they did not handle such cases as they required “specialist treatment”, and they basically referred me out to the Third Sector with a message of “You’re on your own”. My GP had no further advice to give.

Over the next few months in online conversations with other transgender women I eventually discovered the correct procedure that should have been followed, and returned to my GP in the October armed with information which I should not have had to research in the first place as it comes from the NHS.UK website.

Later that month I received notification of my referral to the NHS Lothian Gender Clinic at the Chalmers Centre in Edinburgh.

Due to funding shortages the waiting times for appointments at Gender Clinics are horrendous, and getting longer by the day, and unfortunately the situation was not helped by the extended sick leave of one of the (I believe two) Gender Specialists there. At the time I received my initial letter from the clinic I was informed that waiting times for first appointment were 6 to 8 months, but that was subsequently amended to 8 – 10 months.

I finally attended the Clinic in June 2015 for an initial assessment, and this was followed by an appointment in October at which a plan was agreed whereby I would start on Testosterone Blockers in November with a view to Estrogen Patches commencing in January 2016.

A letter was sent from the Clinic to my GP in this regard but, as transpired from phone calls I made to my GP’s surgery around the middle of November while querying why I had heard nothing further, that letter did not apparently state that it would be the responsibility of my GP to administer the injections.

I contacted the Clinic again and asked that they write to my GP spelling things out in words of one syllable and a letter dated 23rd November was duly sent, although it didn’t actually arrive at my GP’s until around 9th/10th December, at best, then had to be scanned before eventually arriving in my GP’s workload last Friday.

Yesterday, 16th December, I received a telephone message from my GP in which she stated that the Triptorelin (Testosterone Blocker) that I was supposed to be getting is not in the list of medications which the Pharmacy Department of Fife Health Board allows her to prescribe and that she would be contacting them in this regard.

I have no idea when I will hear anything further.

At every stage in this process so far it has become apparent that I, as the patient, have to drive the whole thing by doing the necessary research and even sorting out miscommunication between various arms of the NHS network. As if being transgender in itself doesn’t come with more than enough problems attached to it.

This year LGBT Health and Wellbeing in Edinburgh ran a Needs Assessment in Fife looking at what needs to be done to offer support to the LGBT community within the Kingdom. I would recommend any and every relevant individual within NHS Fife to contact them for a copy of the results as they are very interesting, especially given that as a first approach to the issue and the fact that there is no organised LGBT network in the area it will only have scratched the surface regarding the numbers of people involved. That assessment shows that there will be many transgender individuals in Fife who need reliable and effective support from the NHS. In my experience, and from the information I have gleaned from others around the country, that support is often lacking and many GP’s are not aware of the correct procedures they should be following. This, in turn, adds to the distress transgender people experience and is completely avoidable.

I am inclined to ask whether NHS Fife has the vaguest idea what it’s doing as far as the care of transgender patients is concerned, but perhaps I’ll bite my tongue on that for now.

So that leaves me asking the following questions …

How has NHS Fife been able to treat transgender patients in the past (especially male-to-female), and how satisfied have those patients been with the service they have received? Has any research into this ever been done?

What training or information, if any, with regard to the identification and care of transgender patients does NHS Fife provide to its’ front line staff, and when standard procedures for the treatment of patients are changed how is this communicated to them?

Is NHS Fife aware of the heightened suicide rate among the transgender population, and what steps does it recommend to its’ front line staff should be taken by way of coordinating with the Gender Specialists regarding the provision of Counselling Services (which are identified in the web page above as one of the provisions transgender patients are entitled to) in order to minimise this risk and support those patients’ overall mental health, especially given the inordinately long waiting times for appointments?

What is the point of even having specialist Gender Clinics when the treatments they recommend are not able to be prescribed due to a lack of foresight by the patient’s local NHS Trust? Why is this issue a Postcode Lottery?

Having written this letter as a blog post, in addition to the usual responses I specifically look forward to replies from anyone in an official capacity.

Yours faithfully,

Tish Wolfsong

E: tishwolfsong@yahoo.co.uk


Note: As this is an open letter I will be following it up over the next few days by detailing the particular personal stresses this situation has put me under for the past few weeks, and identifying one additional area where I feel there is a gap in the care approach which particularly needs addressing.