So that happened.

CW: medical/trans drama

Today I went for another surgical follow-up, because the last one went so well.

These things happened:

  • I got my statutory declaration saying I have had gender reassignment surgery. This means I can change my gender on my birth certificate without having to go through counselling again.
  • The doctor apologised for the trauma and that it happened and he was part of it.
  • The doctor thanked me for being a trailblazer and told me that they’re working to do better for other people.
  • The doctor thanked me for writing in to complain. I know! I am not making this up!
  • I don’t have to do HRT because I’m informed enough to make my own choices thank you, also, stroke risk. “But that’s for contraceptives, not the gentler ones for menopause…” *glare* … “We can manage osteoporosis risk in other ways.”

I had cake for tea.

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make. it. stop.

CW: medical/trans drama, suicidal ideation, dysphoria, panic attacks

 

Thank you for your nudges, likes and messages since my last update.

 

I had hoped to come back with great news but alas, I cannot.

 

The Zoladex, after ramping to a critical mass of hormones, ended up working. The migraines faded, as did the pain, and the gynaecologist admitted to having delayed my hysterectomy and I was given a date. This came with a warning -that on the day I would have to fight for it. Instead, I needed to fight -not- to have it, and I failed dramatically. And, now, kinda dying? Maybe.

Continue reading make. it. stop.

Escalations and Revelations

CN: gender-related medical stuffs, codeine drama, pain, discrimination, medical ick, brief mention of suicidal ideation

 

Did you know it’s possible to be in so much pain that you forget to take pain meds? To forget they even exist, that there’s a way to make it not all-consumingly awful?

 

I didn’t. Now, this is me, we’re talking about. I refused anaesthesia for my last surgical procedure, twice, and the thought of taking it was highly amusing. The one before, I insisted on only using a local, and that for reasons of muscle relaxing only and, because I wasn’t allowed to type in the OR, and they didn’t ask the right question, I went through that without the local actually having an effect. (Try saying ‘it’s not a sharp pain, it’s an I-can-feel-the-needle-on-my-bone-and-that’s-not-normal-pain in sign with your bad arm being held, dislocated, above your head and the other arm covered by a blanket and held down and stroked for “comfort because you’re so brave, don’t you like being touched?”. Yeah. That’s about right.) This pain was no greater than my normal pain. After my appendectomy I was able to drive and function within three days, and the nurses controlled my pain meds because I was just like ‘but it doesn’t hurt more’. I can’t tell you what my “worst” piercing was because they don’t bother me. If I am complaining about pain it is black-out-in-the-toilet-after-throwing-up pain. The stuff I used to be able to get up to is more extreme than any of the fics I’ve written, and I used to be unmatchable because nobody else read ‘dark’ as anything other than ‘mild angst’.

 

So this morning, I was knitting and watching TV, and I looked at the clock and was like it has been three hours I can’t take my meds yet. Continue reading Escalations and Revelations

Let The Dam Walls Break

CN: medical discrimination, transition, gender-coded medicine, gender discrimination, gender dysphoria, medical drama

 

I have spent the last few months in a haze of hurt and rage and mostly hurtful fear.

 

This is not because I asked, again, for my thyroid to be checked (it’s meant to be checked every six weeks, but because I had one test show normal instead of low, there must not be a problem!) and was turned down. This is not because I am repeatedly called by the wrong name and afraid that if I insist on my pronouns and correct, chosen name, I will lose my meds and therefore my lifeline. This isn’t even because every time I go to the doctor now the receptionist starts writing to me and then throws a huffy fit when I type ‘I can hear you’ and refuse to respond unless I am spoken to by someone who faces me when they speak.

 

This is because, in July, the gynaecologist who promised me that I would get my transition surgery this year, flat out asked me if I was trans, and then told me that the pain was psychological so he couldn’t do the surgery. He then gave me tissues and asked if I was crying, because I was in so much pain from sitting in his office on a chair with no padding and a high back and in the middle of a hot flush. Apparently, ‘but menopause is really bad!!! some people can’t get out bed you know!!!’ is a total justification for refusing what I was promised.

Continue reading Let The Dam Walls Break

PTS*

cn: ptss, chronic pain, gender stuff (inc. references to surgery)

 

I had an appointment with previous-doctor last week. He somehow got hold of my test results, and despite trumpeting himself as a super-duper in-demand expert, said “well you have reasons to feel like crap”, “that doesn’t make sense you’re not fat and you don’t drink”, and walked out. He likes to walk out when he’s done talking and talk over me typing so I don’t get to actually ask questions. So I followed him out, signed the Medicare form, and the receptionist didn’t ask if I needed a new appointment so I didn’t make one.

 

Apart from that, I haven’t left the house in two weeks. I only just, two days ago, convinced myself to do the washing and wash the clothes I wore to the test. I didn’t check my email for over a week and I still have some that I can’t make myself read.

 

This would be a classic PTSS episode, but for one thing. I don’t know if it was the test that triggered it or not.

Continue reading PTS*

update

cn: codeine drama, discrimination, doctor drama

Real brief, because bawling fit:

  • Facebook reader asked me whether the gynaecologist in my last post was okay with the codeine or whether the reaction was because I was taking codeine.
    I interpreted the whole thing as ‘wow the pain is real’ because the ‘you just need a better x!’ stopped and the ‘your pain needs to be controlled I’mma make sure you get through to your next appointment’ started, and while, yes, there was a bit of “that’s because codeine makes the pain worse!” and “we’re giving you an addiction!”, (both real quotes, not my best recollection or paraphrasing), the focus was very clearly on keeping the pain under control and not changing anything until something definitely better was in place.
  • I managed to ask at the chemist if they could recommend a doctor. The pharmacist and the counter person went out the back and discussed it – I overheard them saying “why didn’t her doctor just refer her?” (yes, because they totally refuse to use my pronouns as well) and when they came back, it was “have you been referred to a pain clinic? they’re cracking down, you know, and i can’t influence anyone and we’ve seen a decrease in scripts as a result, did the doctor say anything about where you could go?” I told them he told me to see a female doctor because they saw fewer patients and while the pharmacist realised it was sexist and wtf-y, the counter person then only recommended female doctors, and all too far away for me to get to without the pain under control. It takes me ten minutes to get the 800m to the GP now – the one they ended up deciding on was 6km away, and in traffic is more like half an hour. The only takeaway was that I could still see the same person there every time, and one I tried before has a nice doctor, but they recommended not going back there as trying again wouldn’t look good for me. Fine, w/e.
  • I received two letters when I checked my mail – the GP sent me a letter to say when my test is, but nothing else. It was sent before the gynaecologist appointment, so I don’t know whether they talked or if I should still expect a script in the mail or what. Now, here’s a thing – without even bothering to check with me, the GP asked one of the reception people to call the hospital for me to find out when, you know, because I can’t talk so clearly there’s no way I can, you know, communicate with the hospital by myself. Except I will, now, but an entire week later. And if I had not gone to the GP last week to try to get him to put me on a chronic pain management plan (“what you mean mobility allowance? Centrelink don’t do that and you’re not eligible for NDIS and you’d have to have a label for the rest of your life” ) I wouldn’t have even known at all.
  • Oh, and the pain specialist cancelled. Sorry, “is not consulting that day please ring to make a new appointment”. Remember how they wouldn’t talk to me because it was too hard?

 

Clearly, I was stupid to think that other-gynaecologist would at least come through with the script so I’d have time to do all this with less impending doom. I mean, yeah, I have more time to sort out the pain specialist. Maybe. But if I do -nothing else- I can attend both the test and the gynaecologist. I can’t do -nothing else- because I don’t have a script to make that nothing else restful enough.

 

This is what the Australian government’s all-or-nothing, zero-to-sixty influence against opiates has done. And yes, I’ve heard the “you don’t really need it you’re just panicking because you’re addicted and you’re being cut off” drama spiel before, so stop sending me addiction clinic spam, kthnx. I have been repeatedly told over the years that this is the best way to manage things, that anything else is too hard, that it’s better not to mess with it while it’s working, that managing the pain is most important.