Risk

CN: moar codeine drama; gender-nonconformi-ness and medical care, mention of genital-related medical issues

 

I saw a different doctor at the same practice. He was nice, apart from two things

  • the guilt trip and ‘you know the risks’ talk, when by now if they really think I don’t know that medications have risks, they should be sending me for a capacity assessment…
  • ‘she’ and ‘Miss’

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invisible

CN: moar codeine drama, doctor angst, medical anxiety, disordered eating, panic attacks

 

I saw the doctor today. Last week it was ‘try Panadeine, obviously if you’re still allergic you can’t have it, but try it!’. So instead of seeing my family and having an actual Easter, I spent the weekend having an allergic reaction to paracetamol, something which was diagnosed by an actual real doctor a whole three and a bit years ago.

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i am crushed

CN: moar codeine drama, discrimination, disability, medical stuffs as gender non conforming

 

I got home from the doctors two hours ago and I have not stopped shaking and cannot seem to stop myself from crying. I am, I think, in shock.

 

 

Yesterday I was planning to go visit my parents for the long weekend.

Now I’m not sure I’ll ever see them again.

 

It wasn’t a great day anyway, owing to an incident in the post office where I went to collect a parcel and they gave it to someone else, who then dumped it on the floor, kept saying it was theirs, and the post office clerk spoke to me like I was two – you know how people are with disabled people, when they speak slow and their voice goes up and they use simple words. I had to get down on the floor and pick up a box, oh, about the size of a television. Nobody apologised to me. I don’t do well with people touching my things in any case, but this was simply horrid. And then a man followed me out, yelling ‘can you manage’ and trapped me between him and the door. It was not the best foundation.

Continue reading i am crushed

before and after

CN: medical care with gender non-conforming body, disability, accomodating disability and medical procedures, mentions of sexual boundaries being violated, body image issues 

So the MRI went as well as I expected – that is to say, not well. I was not allowed to lie on my side as I asked and so, apart from running out to get meds the day after (which was not fun and extremely difficult for me, to the point that random strangers insisted on ‘helping’ and making things worse) I have been stuck at home all week, not able to cook for myself, walk unsupported, shower, stay awake, or see unimpeded. It has been six days and my legs and feet are still burning, my back still aches, and the band pain kicked in last night, so at least I know it’s peaked now.

 

But on Tuesday I have to have an ECG (electrocardiogram). My echocardiogram from 2014 has gotten lost to the annals of time, and the doctor who ordered it is about as good at sending records as he is at diagnosing chronic pain, so it’s as good as never having existed, except for the utterly dehumanising experience burned into my memory and the report which I know I saw.

Continue reading before and after

Why Boycott?

CN: SSM plebiscite, politics, homophobia

 

Unless you’re lucky enough to live under a rock, you have heard -something- about the Australian Government’s “brilliant” idea of getting everyone to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be allowed. You probably also heard a bunch of people saying the vote is rigged, that it’s defeatist, that it’s probably illegal but maybe not, and that it’s homophobic and causing real harm to people.

Antony Green points out that voluntary postal votes have lower participation rates, particularly among groups that might be expected to have more people vote yes. Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court, called it ‘unacceptable‘. It’s been reported that the organisation tasked with managing the vote isn’t up to it, but no alternatives exist. And, of course, now we’re being told that if we don’t vote, it’s our fault if the result is no. But it’s also quite possibly illegal, so.

After my experience with last year’s census, and remembering how my vote wasn’t counted since I couldn’t write neatly enough, being disabled and all, I don’t trust the ABS, even if they’re held to AEC rules, to pull this off. A lot of the damage has been done already, while this issue has been dragged out over years, and people are continually treated as ‘different’ and being ‘othered’ for existing.

While I’m writing this, an interlocutory hearing for an injunction against the vote is being held. I’m hoping PFLAG’s application gets upheld, but Kirby isn’t on the High Court any more, so, I don’t know whether it will.

If it doesn’t, and the vote goes ahead, I intend to boycott.

Continue reading Why Boycott?

A Privileged Position

TW: medical treatment for non-gender-binary and trans people, privilege

 

Side note: rumour has it that one no longer needs to provide ID to get codeine, at least until it goes script-only. Small wins are good, right?

 

So all this medical stuff I’m going through lately, and specifically how people seem unable to see ‘me’ in all this, has made me think about how i fit into the whole thing and how trans* and non-binary people get care. My position is that because i am afab (assigned female at birth), and since that’s generally how people assume when they see me, even if i do my makeup and bind and layer specifically for passing (especially now), i don’t really get put in the position of having to ‘convince’ anyone i was afab for things that is necessary for.

And, it is, unfortunately necessary. Because medical experimentation and treatment outlines and pretty much everything is designated male or female, it’s something that sticks with someone even if they surgically transition and live entirely as their preferred gender identity. (It’s very embarrassing to have to approach FtM relatives, for example, to ask if they had endometriosis, just fyi.) So, because i was afab and because i don’t want to permanently alter how i look, i don’t get the ‘but i was afab so you do need to give me a pap smear’ things.

What i also don’t get is valid and appropriate care for things which should not be gendered but are. Half of my heart is enlarged and i have a family history of heart disease (the rocks fall everyone dies kind of history). Because i don’t present male enough, it isn’t being taken seriously. Nobody knows why my heart is enlarged. Nobody thinks it’s worth looking into, no matter how much noise i make over it. Heart disease is a male illness; the warning signs and treatments are all designed for and tested exclusively on men. The fact that my heart isn’t working how it should, because i do not present male, is not important. The fact that i get dizzy if i move too fast, that my right shoulder doesn’t work, that i get chest pains for no reason – these mean nothing.

Well, i am told that the chest pains are just anxiety, because i have a mental health diagnosis, but then if that was the case it wouldn’t happen exclusively when i’m either sitting doing nothing and being very calm, or in the middle of the most strenuous physical activity i can not fail at doing.

 

Because i present female (even when i don’t mean to), doctors treat me as the stereotypical female. Since i have a mental health diagnosis from when i presented as a female under thirty… every physical thing gets written off as stress. i don’t get second opinions. i don’t get the right scans – just the cheapest. i had an echocardiogram after six months of saying ‘this isn’t right’. The cardiologist sent back a report saying it wasn’t concerning. My family history wasn’t passed on to him. i’m sure my file sits next to my dad’s in their file room, but confidentiality means even if someone noticed, they couldn’t use that as a reason to suspect a connection. Another doctor asked why i hadn’t had an ECG or a stress test, until he saw the report. Then, well…

Because people who present female and still count as ‘young’ are still ‘hysterical’ and ‘its just stress’.

 

And this is before the gynaecologist, where suddenly i’m not dysphoric enough to have a procedure i asked for for medical reasons, and i’m meant to wait until i’m older “in case”.

 

My point is, i think, that having any kind of non-binary or trans identity not only blocks people from accessing care due to the attitudes and assumptions of physicians, but even without those, we can never escape our birth identity. It still defines us, for them. We can’t avoid their boxes and the traits that go with them. Some of us have privilege that matches enough to get what we need; some of us do not. Some of us have to apply labels we don’t identify with to get what we need; some of us do not. Some of us can fight for what we need; some of us can’t.

It’s not us that need to change.