False alarm

Saw the GP today and he’s still onboard with the shared care agreement.  All he wanted was to check that I would take responsibility for the ongoing monitoring – arranging the blood tests, etc.  I don’t have a problem with that at all.  I explained that Edinburgh will still be overseeing the whole thing so he had an expert to ask at any point he needed them.

So everything is all go for next Thursday in Glasgow.

Shared care

Got a call from the GP surgery today that has pretty much popped my bubble of elation about the Glasgow appointment.  Apparently he has received the shared care agreement from Dr Myskow and he has concerns about it.  He wants to see me to discuss it.

“Ok, when can I see him? March 19th.  No, that’s just not quick enough – I’m going to Glasgow on March 15th I need to see him before then.  Sorry there are no other appointments.  Can I have a telephone appointment? No, he doesn’t do that.”

What the actual fuck?  I asked him specifically if he would continue a private prescription under a shared care agreement.  He was totally up for it and now he’s not sure?  I can’t afford to go exclusively private – regular travel to Edinburgh, consultations, prescriptions and blood tests are just beyond me.  I’ve already spent £400 on the initial consultation and committed to another £600 to go to Glasgow – all of it will be for nothing if Dr Patel pulls out of our deal.

I’m beside myself with anxiety and I feel betrayed.  My dysphoria is consuming me.  I’ve emailed his secretary to try and get more information since the receptionists are just stonewalling me.  I’ve emailed Edinburgh for the shared care agreement to see what on earth could have freaked him out so much.

Get ready for Glasgow

Can’t believe it!  I’ve received an email today offering me an appointment with Dr Yellowlees on March 15th.  I was expecting a much longer waiting time than this as Dr Myskow suggested his waitlist was at least a month long.  It’s a morning appointment so we’re going up the day before and staying over instead of having to get up at stupid o’clock and stressing about getting there on time.  The Priory is outside of Glasgow city centre so I’ve decided to drive up there instead of messing around with the train.  We’re staying in a Premier Inn just off the motorway about 5 miles from the hospital.  The room and breakfast are all booked – fingers crossed that all the snow is gone by then.

1st Appointment in Edinburgh

I went yesterday to see Dr Myskow in Edinburgh.  I was super nervous in the morning and had a bit of a upset stomach but once we got on the train I calmed down significantly.  I was incredibly grateful that we had first class tickets – quieter, more room, a table, WiFi and phone charging facilities all helped to pass the time in comfort.

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The clinic is just over a mile from Edinburgh Waverley station and was a pleasant walk down Princess Street.  The clinic itself seems quite small but comfortable.  Dr Myskow came down to introduce herself and take me to her consulting room overlooking the river.

She asked me how I’d made the decision to transition and whereabouts I was in the process.  She went through my medical history, measured my height and weight and reviewed the blood test results I’d taken with me – she complimented me on my facial hair which she said was impressive considering that my testosterone levels were significantly lower than expected.  We talked about my social situation and family background and some of the experiences which have shaped my life.  It was actually quite nice to talk to someone who understood how it feels and sees it as normal rather than exotic or special – the best word to describe it is validation.

She explained the process which she insists on (and mirrors that of GICs) – the initial appointment with her followed by a second assessment by a psychiatrist.  Once those assessments have been completed I can arrange a follow up appointment with her and assuming that all is well she would administer my first testosterone injection.  She recommended that I see Dr Yellowlees in Glasgow for the psychiatric opinion and is arranging a referral to him.  The appointment was about an hour long and cost £250.

Initially I was disappointed that I had to see a psychiatrist (incurring extra expense and adding another delay in getting a prescription) but that was because I was expecting to see a GP with an interest in gender dysphoria to start a bridging prescription.  What I didn’t realise is that Dr Myskow, before retiring into private practice, was the clinical lead of the East Lothian gender identity clinic and as such was/is one of Scotland’s foremost experts on the issue.  The result of this is that when the assessments have been completed I will have an official diagnosis which starts the countdown for a gender recognition certificate and can potentially look at getting top surgery in 12-18 months time.

Beardy weirdy

It’s been nearly two months since I stopped shaving and I’m very pleased with the facial hair I’ve got coming through.  Most people assume that I’ve started hormone therapy when in fact it’s just hirsutism as a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome.  Either way it’s definitely helping me to pass.

The only issue is that most of the growth is very soft and very blonde (and some of it is actually white/grey!).  I was chatting about this to our friend Babs and she decided to have a go at colouring it in using a mascara brush and eye shadow!

Obviously not a very practical thing because it’s non permanent but it gave me an impression of what I’ll look like with a beard and also a burning desire to grow one.

In the meantime I’ve bought a beard trimmer to tidy up the growth on my chin and I’ve got some Just For Men Beard and Moustache Dye to have a play with.  I had a bit of a go with it last night to help define my top lip.  Was expecting to have some sort of skin reaction but since the product is only on for a few minutes there was no irritation at all which is encouraging.

 

 

Hormones

The doctors surgery rearranged my appointment with Kim to Dr Patel because she didn’t feel confident prescribing the hormones.  Had the appointment with him this morning and he’s reluctant to initiate the bridging prescription.  He’s had a meeting with the community pharmacist and is happy with the idea of a bridging prescription but doesn’t feel comfortable starting it because he doesn’t feel confident prescribing off licence without having more expertise.  Apparently he’s contacted Leeds GIC but they’ve been less than helpful.  I was disappointed but not entirely surprised.

I mentioned the possibility of getting the prescription initiated privately through a gender specialist if he was willing to enter in a shared care agreement and continue the prescription.  He had no problem with that and seemed visibly relieved.  I’ve booked in to see Dr Myskow in Edinburgh.  I can’t believe I’ve managed to get an appointment on February 19th – I was expecting to wait a lot longer for an appointment.  I’ll need at least two appointments to secure a prescription and the cost is more than other private clinics such as Gender Care but since their waiting list is months rather than weeks I’m happy to pay the extra.

I’ve booked the day off work and booked the train tickets so now all I’ve got to do is wait…

Shark week

Just come out of a mental health crisis.  I’ve not been to work for a week, I’ve only just got out of bed,  and I’m struggling to interact with people.  I started my period 6 days ago and it sent me into a tailspin.  I don’t really know why it’s affected me so badly this time – it’s not like I’m not used to them.  I guess being the first one since I came out has just reinforced how unnatural it feels for me and how distressing that aspect of my biology is to me.  One thing I’ve realised is that I haven’t got another two to three years of this in me – I’ve got to get a bridging prescription sorted and quickly – I need these shenanigans to end.