CN: moar codeine drama, discrimination
Project New Doctor officially started today.
It actually started last Friday, because after stuffing around with the hospital for two days (including planting myself at the outpatient clinic desk and refusing to leave until they unlost my test appointment, them admitting they sent it to the wrong address, and also put the wrong day on the notification letter and gave me two different times this is not a joke) I had to have the pre-test blood test.
I ended up coming home after that because the nurse was nasty – I had written out all my correct contact details and the nurse left that on the front desk, took me into the back room, then asked me to confirm my contact details.
“Is it written down? Can you give me something with it on?”
I facepalmed and it was “I’ll do that later”… the same thing that last time resulted in me receiving a bill in the mail because my contact information didn’t match that held by Medicare, and which I had expressly asked them to attend to this time since I wouldn’t be able, to, you know, get the bill and send it back, what with surgery and being unable to walk and all.
Then, I walked outside… and found all my IDs gone, and my binding ring (my second, because I still haven’t found the original!! This happens when you lose so much weight since you got it and it’s cold so your fingers are half the size they used to be…). I went back in to sit on a chair and check in my bag, because usually when my binding ring is gone it was caught in my bag when I reached for something. The courier, however, sent me into the back room, where I tried to explain to the nurse that things were missing.
“It’s not here,” I was told, and forced back out without being able to search. I refused to leave, even when they were yelling “it’s in your bag because you didn’t bring anything in with you!” (which, since I definitely did take my bag in with me, and my jacket and…) and “It’s green, I would see it!” and then…
“Oh, and I wanted to answer your question about billing!” when I’d never asked one, and apparently in the like, one minute I’d been outside they’d discovered that I received a bill because the form wasn’t signed last time and if I bring the bill in they can show me how to sign it and send it back! …
I managed to get in to search in the end, though, and was holding my card in my hand while they continued yelling at me about how it wasn’t there.
My binding ring? On the ground, outside.
Did I mention the yelling? And lecturing me about billing? Kind of not appropriate when someone’s having a panic attack.
So I came home.
Then I meant to do it on Saturday, but I slept for fourteen hours and then didn’t have time to get there.
Then I was like ‘I’ll do it Sunday’, and I woke up and wasn’t able to balance, so that put paid to that.
So, today. Monday. I woke up and then I woke up again and it was already 4pm, and by the time the aura faded enough to drive it was 6:30pm. That gave me time for two doctors and to check my mail (and, still, no sign of the promised script).
First one – passed over my letter: “That’s fine, can I have your name? Oh, your Medicare card is fine. Do you have a phone number? Oh! I’ll just make a note then. Thank you!”
Second one – huge sign NO DRUGS OF ADDICTION OR DEPENDENCE PRESCRIBED HERE and then a big note about how police action will be taken against anyone who isn’t pliantly cooperative (okay, it said raised voice or violence or other antisocial behaviour, but we all know what it really means). I’ve also had run-ins with their doctors in the context of WorkCover claims, so it made me even more dubious. However, while I wanted to quietly slip away, the struggle I had just to open the door and the fact that it was entirely silent in the waiting room meant that I was noticed, and an exit would not have been unobtrusive.
I handed over my letter.
“Have you been here before?” No.
“Can you fill this out?” No. I handed over my contact details form, complete with list of specialists and gender identity and etc etc.
It’s hard to convey tone, sometimes. “How will you communicate with the doctor?” can be a valid question and also a tool of discrimination and an indicator of things not going to go very well.
“How do you communicate?” became a loud, whiny “Well I don’t know what to do!” followed by “The doctor has a medical file on the computer. A ME-DI-CAL FILE.” after I mimed typing, and pointed at a computer because that didn’t work. It was made expressly clear that this was an inconvenience when, despite this statement not requiring a response from me, there was eye-rolling, huffing, and “I’ll have to find someone to help me”.
Because that wasn’t enough…
“Have you seen someone else? You have to write down who. I have to get your medical records.” An appointment hadn’t been made at this time, btw. I just stared.
So the receptionist went off to find someone to help, went two computers away, and made an appointment. Thankfully, it’s after the first one, so while I can’t cancel (not without incurring a fee), if I don’t need it I can simply torpedo it. But if I do… well, clearly that won’t go well.
I have one chance left, which is a walk-in clinic. They have one trans-friendly doctor, but I’m not guaranteed to be able to see him, and even then…
I did write to the Minister for Health and copied it to my local representative, who is on the Committee for Health Services. It might be too late to help me, though.