gic

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Week 88 – Day 2 : Making progress..

Published October 20, 2015 by Katier Scott

I do intend to get this blog back up to weekly but over the last few weeks I’ve been struggling with my health, combined with starting a second job and other things I simply didn’t have the motivation to post.

This week things have been happening, however, and I am pleased to say I finally have my next GIC appointment. But the first thing that happened, late last week, was sorting my DBS for my Mental Health Nursing course. Unlike the 6 months that my DBS took for my Care Worker job, my DBS on this occasion took just a day to process. I can highly recommend anyone who needs to get a DBS check, takes advantage of the online service that is offered. It has two benefits, firstly saves ever having to re-apply, but also means future employers simply make a check against the online service and bingo – your DBS cleared.

With that done, and needing to give at least a months notice, and an unconditional offer in my pocket, I handed in my notice at the University. This was a big and anxious moment, making a commitment like that, even with future plans sorted, is still a nervy experience.

Then today I phoned up Northampton Gender Clinic, to be told I couldn’t be put through. They have a strange policy now that you must leave a message and ask them to call you back. Not sure of the reasoning behind this but does mean you may get calls at times that are inconvenient to you. In my case I was at work when the call arrive but was able to disappear into a room to speak in private.

It turned out, due to a messup with Porterbrook, who hadn’t sent my record properly, they hadn’t got me in the right place in the queue, but as soon as she corrected the error she realised I was actually at the front of the queue, having just been doing appointments at around the time I was referred.

Looking through the calender she was then able to offer me an appointment far sooner than expected, as they’d had a cancellation, so I ended up with an appointment on 24th November. This date is more or less where I’d hoped to get as a best case scenario when I last spoke to them, so takes a step closer to finally getting surgery.

You’d think after all this good news, I’d actually be pretty happy, but I’m currently struggling with tiredness, lethargy, low energy and as a result, I haven’t felt like celebrating. It’s sad that I can’t even motivate a proper smile, but I guess on the other side it really does show how even when things are going well a good situation can still not be enough to lift us.

Brains, hormones, illness and mental health problems are all fickle beasts, I’m going to see the GP tomorrow to see if we can figure why I’m struggling with tiredness and really not looking forward to it. I guess ultimately I’m scared of conversations that might turn into mental health discussions, this despite my future career!!

Anyway there’s a catchup, it’s nice to have things falling into place, just wish I wasn’t tired and low on energy to enjoy it more!!

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Week 48 – Day 5 : Probably the craziest week.. in a year of crazy weeks!!

Published January 23, 2015 by Katier Scott

Wow.. ok that was definitely a crazy week but definitely a good one.

As you know I’m working on getting into Mental Health nursing and I had my first interview last Monday. I think it went fairly well, and one of the other people who happens to be already studying at the Uni on an access course, said she struggled. So the fact I didn’t struggle, but felt a few answers could have been better, at least gave me a bit of hope I didn’t mess up.

Tuesday was a blood test I finally remembered to get, so hopefully we’ll have accurate enough readings for Testosterone (reduced by t-blockers) and Eostrogen to tweak my tablets as needed.

Wednesday was a telephone interview for a job as a Home Care worker, which went well as they immediately invited me for a face to face the next day. Thursday was the interview and was one of the most casual interviews I’ve had!! After about half of the questions, which had been dictated by the interviewers HQ, he gave up!! Said “Well you’ve answered that, and that.. ‘really all I am interested in is do I think you’ll make a good care worker.. and I do.. so I’m happy to take you onto the next stage.’ The next stage being DBS and ID checks, then I should be working and earning extra income – as well as the important starting to gain experience in the care industry.

Then today was the latest appointment at Sheffield. This was almost a completely wasted journey as I was late due to traffic and the fact I was driving in -1degC temperatures on my Motorbike. As a result I was almost half an hour late at which point she said she wouldn’t see me. Now I still had 30 minutes of my appointment left and I knew, from previous experience, that 30 minutes was enough to get a good deal done. She said “I can’t do a full assessment in 30 minutes” at which point I realised she didn’t know why I was there, and might not even have read my notes!! That obviously annoyed me as the appointment was very specifically arranged and obviously I refused to accept she wouldn’t see me.

Eventually she did cram a 20 minute session in, which ran into the next patients slot by 15 minutes!!! Yes really! which I think went ok and she seemed happy to discuss surgery with her colleagues so ultimately I think a positive outcome but did leave with a bit of concern about what will happen next. I’ll chase up at the end of next week just so I have a better idea of what’s going on.

So yeah, pretty crazy old week!! Coming up in Feb I have my second Uni interview and also my first voice therapy appointment. 2015 is certainly looking to be carrying on with the madness of 2014.. and I’m loving it!!

Week 31 Day 2 – Fighting hard on the job front.

Published September 24, 2014 by Katier Scott

Well had the first of 3 interviews last week with two more lined up, one this week and one next. Unfortunately I failed to get the first job, which was effectively my ‘backup’ choice but I’m feeling surprisingly confident about the remaining two.

I’ll try not to be over confident but I think that failure gave me a huge kick that I needed to get my head in gear and refocused. I think I got a mix of over-confident and too focused on previous failures causing me to loose focus on the job in hand. The two roles that are left I see as interesting, exciting and great experience that play to my strengths. The second came as a surprise as the grade of the post is quite high but I know I have the skills for the job so will be doing everything I can to focus on the interview and aim for success.

The third interview has meant I’ve re-scheduled a GIC appointment but I think it’s reflective of where my mind and how good Sheffield Gender Clinic is that I was happy to reschedule and able to delay things by barely 4 weeks – most GIC’s in the UK couldn’t have done that!!

I have another blood test at the end of this week to check hormone levels, hopefully there won’t be any changes. I still need to get testosterone blockers sorted but that has been delayed by the GIC appointment but currently moving career is more important as the stress in my life is coming more from money than the GIC progression – simply because I’m comfortable with Sheffield and that we’ll get to where I need to be with my transition in a respectable time-frame.

If I was still at Charing Cross I wouldn’t be nearly so comfortable so that good.

Anyway my life is still crazy as ever, I have a new flat mate and busy most weekends with marshaling which I’m really enjoying. Hopefully have good news next week – it’s about time I moved on with my career.

Week 16 Day 2 – New GIC!!

Published June 10, 2014 by Katier Scott

Had my first appointment yesterday at my new GIC as I have moved from Charing Cross to Porterbrook in Sheffield. First impressions were interesting because on the face of it Charing Cross is a much nicer clinic as the surroundings are, believe it or not, actually nicer at CHX. However it’s not about the surrounding, it’s about the personnel, and so far I’ve overall been pleased with Sheffield.

The biggest difference between the two is the support staff I believe, they seem a lot more interactive and helpful than Charing Cross and, of course, they have a reputation of 3 months between appointments, CHX has typically at least double that.

So how did the appointment go?

I think the outcome was good, however it was all a bit rushed. I had problems getting to Sheffield due to torrential rain on the run from Derby up to the city and had sat nav issues both of which conspired to make me 20 minutes late. I then had to get changed out of very wet biker gear so we didn’t start until nearly 30 minutes late. 

The consultant was nice, although communication was a little tricky due to him not being a native English speaker, and he insisted on typing his notes 2 finger style – both of which made the consultation more than a little fragmented.

However the outcome I believe is that he’s putting me in for Voice therapy, happy for me to continue on hormones, and happy for me to look at T-blockers. I’m not clear if he was happy to recommend me for surgery which is a shame but it seemed a positive meeting to all good.

Unlike CHX, Sheffield sort the appointments once the patient has left so I don’t know what my next appointment will be or when. It also looks like normally Sheffield would sort hormone prescriptions themselves, whereas CHX brief the GP and then the GP actually monitors. He wanted to put a appointment in to ensure I got a fresh prescription, however my GP has a plan which I believe she is happy to stick to and therefore the plan is to get blood tests done at GP, send the results to Sheffield, and get them to brief my GP on the T-blockers while continuing the Estrogen regime unaltered.

So that’s it for this week, I’ve now got myself a little challenge, I’m going to start a new gaming channel on youtube so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.

Week 9 Day 2 : Late Again

Published April 22, 2014 by Katier Scott

I have a good excuse for being late though as I’ve just spent the last 6 days in a field and got back, very tired, but happy, yesterday. 

I attended the my first LARP event of the year and had a fantastic time both crewing the event and playing in character. The event I attend is the Empire LARP run by Profound Decisions and after lacking ‘keen’ prior to the event, I definitely have it now. Next event in 5 weeks and I can’t wait!!

I’m obviously in the fortunate position of having a slow, but fairly smooth, transition so far, and appreciate many people struggling with Gender Dysphoria are not so fortunate. Indeed, I’ve probably said it before, I hope this blog helps those less fortunate. However piece of advice I think is essential is that above all else you can’t let Gender Dysphoria rule your lives.

Transsexuals are above all else human beings who have a ‘condition’ that can effect their confidence and mental stability, but if they worry about it then they only make it worse. As with people suffering from a huge range of conditions such as mental and physical disabilities, we are in a situation that, frustrating as it is, should not stop us getting on with our lives.

Not just that but we have to be patient, everyone who requires the services of a doctor or other health specialist has to be patient, even people with life threatening conditions can find themselves with delayed surgery or treatment when someone with a worse condition has to take their slot.

However ultimately the biggest difference between most people and Transgendered people is we can start the treatment process ourselves. Anyone who is 100% clear in their mind that they are living in the wrong gender can, and should, start living in the correct role as soon as possible. It should make your own life more manageable as you are more comfortable with your appearance (although I am fully aware I hate looking at myself in the mirror until I have my hair sorted, have shaved, and put make-up on) and beneficially it helps with the diagnosis when you see the Gender Clinic.

It took me two appointments with the GIC to get my hormones prescribed, that is the absolute quickest that it is possible to so as all steps of any medical treatment which can’t be provided purely on factual analysis (i.e. blood tests, x-rays etc.) requires the separate referral of two specialists. Other examples of such things would be any plastic surgery done on the NHS – e.g. a boob job, tummy tuck etc. . 

If I had arrived at the GIC with zero time in role I certainly wouldn’t be in the position I am now, in other words be pro-active and it’ll help you a LOT. Not only will you be making progress mentally, but you’ll be making things easier once you get to the GIC.

Next step in my own treatment will be next week as I’m having my blood test on Friday and then seeing the GP the following Weds. That meeting will hopefully double my hormone intake if everything goes to plan. 

 

 

Week 8 Day 2 – Moving on up.. more piercings.. kids.. and microboobs.

Published April 15, 2014 by Katier Scott

Well the life of the Hormonal Woman sure isn’t slowing down.. but neither is the life of my friends. One of my best friends, and flat mate, is busily packing as I type this because she has a fantastic job opportunity in Scotland so is doing a month trial prior to moving there permanently if everything goes to plan.

I’m so pleased for her as she has worked so hard, and is the consummate professional, in all she does especially in her professional work.

Last week I mentioned piercings and I’m now up to 11 as my intended Tragus piercing turned into a double Tragus. I’d not even considered a double which shows why going to a top quality piercer is so worth while. I love the balance my piercings have and when the Rooks are healed enough to change the jewellery then they will have double concentric, seamless, rings. Should look really pretty when it’s all done.

My new job went really well in it’s first week and alongside my flat mate, I bumped into another friend in town the other day who told me she had god a new job – so new jobs seem flavour of the month. Just need my other flat mate to get a bit of luck and get the job he deserves.

On the transition front it’s a little bit of more of the same, my boobs are definitely growing and skin softer but nothing more I’ve noticed. At the weekend I met up with lots of family and some old family friends to celebrate my parents 70th’s (they were born 7 months apart) and had a fantastic time.

Funniest bit was waving and smiling across the room at an old family friend who looked at me and I could see her brain whirring into action before she worked out who I was. She knew I was transitioning and there was far from any problem, but of course I looked different with makeup, a nice dress and long hair, so it took her a moment to realise who I was.

Was fantastic to meet up with the old family friends as many I’d not seen for possibly as much as 5-10 years but they were all completely accepting and we just chatted and caught up. They were interested in the transition of course but purely from a curiosity and learning point of view – which is fine by me!!

The second moment that made me smile was my lovely eldest Niece who, back in January when visiting my sister and her family, apparently asked my sister whether I was a ‘man or a woman’. The Neice is 5 years old and obviously the confusion is understandable, but fair play to my sister she didn’t sugar coat it and simply said “She was a man but is now a woman”.. from that moment on she simply refers to me in the female context.

Which caused a moment of confusion during a casual conversation at the dinner table because my family do still often use the wrong pronouns – which doesn’t bother me because it takes time and they are doing it out of forgetfulness and habit NOT out of lack of acceptance.

My mum said ‘He’ referring to me and my Neice (I’m keeping this blog anonymous for everyone you might notice) was clearly confused because she thought mum was referring to me.. but I’m a ‘she’ to her – mum bless her corrected herself..

But the purpose of this story is the proof that of all people kids, especially young ones, are very accepting and as such if your reading this blog and are in the situation of interacting with a trans person, say in a school environment, don’t worry – your kids will be fine, they just see people as what they are told they are and that’s the end of that.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a number of 4-9 year old children in different situations and to a person they just accepted and treated me the same as all the other adults, and indeed generally got on with me so well as an adult who taught them interesting arts and crafts that they were disappointed when I left and asked when I’d be back.

Speaking of GIC’s I’ve now switched from Charing Cross to Sheffield and have my next appointment next month – around 5 months after my previous appointment. Considering Charing Cross’s normal appointment ‘gap’ is 6 months, and in 5 months I’ve changed clinics AND got an appointment.. that’s rather pleasing to say the least.

I managed to get the change because Sheffield omitted to take me off their waiting lists and by the time I reached the head of the queue I was lucky that the funding rules have changed. As such I was able to make the change with no fuss, and it is in theory a change anyone else can make – although most clinics have long waiting times – Sheffield is around 2 years, Charing Cross and Leeds, around a year to 18 months.. etc.

If you are on the queue to one GIC and they are giving you a years wait, however, I’d highly recommend phoning the GIC’s and see if you have a better option as by switching to one which is currently running shorter waiting times will help balance the patient base in the long term.