My G.I.C takes bloods every 3 months and so when I was first given my patches I was told we would have a review when I got to 3 months to see how things were going.
I was an hour early for my appointment and I knew my family were busy so I sat in the car and painted my nails. I was actually quite happy, though I noticed that 15-20 minutes after the 60 second drying time had promised, the polish got smudged/scratched when I was doing up the zipper on my coat. I had a clear base and top coat over the colour, but perhaps it was something I had done wrong rather than the polish itself… who knows it’s just nice to do and keep on for more than a couple of hours.
With Covid face to face appointments means wearing the NHS blue disposable masks, answering some questions about your health and then sitting in a deserted waiting room before following their one way system.
While remaining masked all the way through is a pain, if it had been like this when I had my initial interview I would have found it far less stressful to say please call me by my female name lol. The nurses are always really nice and I spoke with one about the pain of wearing earrings when changing masks, andanother about the difference in heat between the waiting room and the weather outside, neither one flinched or paused, so either I am passing better, or they are just well versed in the sexual health clininc which is wheere the GIC is based.
My meeting was initially scheduled for a nurse to take my bloods but ended up being with the lead Dr who has not met me face to face as Dee, and I could tell even witht he mask that she had a huge smile when she took me into the appointment.
I explained that for me, things are overall going really well.
Most of my family and friends know, away from work I am able to socialise as Dee, and a lot of the background buzz and mental static seems to have gone! I am able to concentrate more broadly on my job now that I am not spending all of my energy on thinking about being trans. I still have issues with not being able to fully socially transition as my house is tied to my work and my work in the area I live are not going to be accepting. It is what it is and I will continue to look at my options until I can no longer hide who I am – the way I look at it, I did it successfully for 40 yrs so what’s a few months more in order to manage the risks.
As expected my dosage of estrogen has increased, I will still take it twice weekly, but I explained that so far there have been very few physical reactions, my nipples are starting to thicken slightly and will now stand to attention in the cold, which was not something that happened before, my chest is also starting to round out, but it is only because I am looking that I can see it. The skin around my nose is oily again and I have had a few whiteheads, which is not something I have had to deal with in a long time, and the skin on my hands and arms are starting to feel softer, but I have also started moisturising more regularly than I used to.
I said that the electrolysis had been going well, and was making a difference, but that the 15 hours had barely scratched the surface, and if I was going to continue having to self fund it would mean having fewer appointments per month because it is just so expensive to do.
I asked if the 15 hours was just a set limit or if we could apply again in the next financial year.
My doctor promised me that I should not be self funding, that 15 hours of electrolysis (which should be 15 sessions of laser which can give greater coverage) was never an option for me and that I should not be self funding.
That is covered as part of the NHS’s agreement to help us, and by not doing so they are causing us unneeded emotional harm, on top of what is already a hard and stressful process.
She said she would chase it up and contact the beauty clinic for me so that I can get going again with electrolysis, and this afternoon I received a call from my electrologist absolutely delighted, and saying that she “didn’t know what I had said or done, but whatever it is has bloody worked!”, as not only has she been told to make sure that I get funded for whatever I need up to 250 hours, but to ensure that any other girls undergoing treatment are also being claimed for. She has to give them updates every 40 hrs as to how it is going but that no one could expect to have 15 hrs of electrolysis and then be done because it is such a slow and painful process. So I have booked myself back in next week! My 5 o clock shadow has come back in since I have been shaving over Christmas so we will need to do a few big clearances and then just stay on top of it again, but I am just delighted. Not only can I keep booking appointments and just go as fast as my hair grows, until it is totally done, but any other ladies in my area who are using the NHS now have written confirmation that they will be funded up to 250 hrs so it will save them an absolute fortune (not to mention releive a LOT of stress) too.
Oh, I also formally changed my preferred name in the system to Deanna too, so while I will still use Dee, I now have a grown up name for everyday use.
I am smiling from ear to ear!