i have travelled this road for many years as you will read from my other posts. The vast majority of my time I have done what I have done without any medical assistance, including self prescribing hormones on the advice of a friend.... how dangerous is that?
All that changed 6 months ago when my Doctor felt I needed counselling. I know in America therapists and counsellors are almost as common as part of life as Doctors or Physicians but in the UK you need a doctors referral to see a counsellor. The young lady chosen was easy to talk to and we got along just great. At first I did not trust her with my innermost secrets. We talked about the death of my parents, the fact that 3 close friends over the years had taken their own lives, the fact that I had been made redundant 3 times in my life....we talked about everything except for my transgender issues.
Then one day I went to my meeting determined to tell her and yet bottled it. Arriving home I sat and wrote a long email to her explaining how I felt. She waited to read it until she could do so in private and without colleagues around. Those 3 days waiting felt like an eternity. Yes I had told some very very close and dear friends and even the wife knew but this was "official" and I guess I was expecting ridicule and perhaps even laughter but I could not wish for a better and totally supportive response and we sat and talked for over an hour at the next session, though my allocated time was 15 minutes. With her help I told my doctor who also was supportive but admitted she had no experience of this in her surgery, nor did her partners as far as she knew. I had to be careful as 2 of her coleagues were friends so I was not ready fpor them knowing yet.
So this kind of supportive yet inexperienced advice and help went on for several weeks when my doctor announced she was leaving the practice and I would have another one to talk with and get medical assistance from. Sadly she was totally oppossed to anything remotely to do with transgender and made it very uneasy and difficult. On the advice and support of my Counsellor I left the practice and seven weeks ago started at a new one still within my town but slightly smaller and certainly more modern.
My doctor is South African by birth and in just one session on a totally unrelated health issue I grew to trust this lady very much and felt entirely confident but was not ready to share my transgender issues and she had not yet got my notes.
Yesterday was my second session with this Doctor and she made me feel very comfortable, did not rush me at all and wa happy to talk. I had presented in my male gender. However when she asked me to remove my shirt so she could listen to my lungs, apparently the marks of my Bra that I had only removed half an hour earlier were clearly evident. As she then listened to my chest she was very professional and made no comment at all, yet my chest is hairles as is my back and arms and I have a generous bust with very dark circles around my nipples. I got dressed and sat down.
She explained my notes had still not come across and wanted to verbally explore my medical condition. We talked about everything except my gender. She then just gently asked, saying "please do not be offended I may have it totally wrong but can I ask do you cross dress at all"? Before I answered she said " I don't want to upset you if you would rather not say but I noticed some marks on your back which looked like strap marks".
It was that moment, do I lie or do I share the truth so I decided there were too many lies about and the truth was the answer and I spilled all, including the self medication. Her response was just fantastic. No judgement and instantly she shared that she had 4 other transgender patients and that she was the specialist for transexul, transgender and Cross-dressing within the practice. She knew of my hormones and said I was OK to continue for now but ordered a complete blood screen. We are now meeting again in 10 days to look at the outcome of that and decide how we progress. Whilst I was there she also created a new patient in my Fem identity and said it was easy for me to turn up in either, so that is great Jo has her very first Doctor and the journey is moving forward. It feels so good to finally have the support of a doctor who is experienced in dealing with transgendered people.