Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Still looking back

In my last post I was looking back at the first part of last year, somehow my work diary tells me that I was not very busy, and I didn't have much in the way of gigs, but since I still have unwatched films I recorded in January 2018 (I know I watched a couple yesterday!). By the time March came round normal service was resumed as the sun came out and I played concerts with orchestras, wind bands, brass bands and jazz bands, indeed in total I think I played in six performances, there was also a Croydon Pride event, several meetings, the Transgender Day of Visibility; and of course WOW

What there was not in March was an appointment with the GIC (Gender Identity Clinic). Looking back I see that I have been under them since December 2014 but it was only late in 2017 that I finally made a decision concerning the surgical options that were being offered to me.   Right from the beginning of my transition I have been determined to only address the next question, so at first the question was whether to transition at all, then to be full time or just on occasion, later it would be about seeking medical help, hormones, name changes, degree of visibility etc. I had always thought that I would not opt for surgery at all. To be honest I am a bit of a wuss! my identity has never been centered around my genitals, and I'm not anticipating any sort physical / romantic attachment.

Until then I had given myself three options, Yes, No, and Not Now, I had been firmly going for the not now. I was worried about the intrusive nature of surgery, the possible complications, the amount of time off work and the life long maintenance. On the other hand I was not entirely sure about the benefits so on my Cost/Benefit analysis the costs outweighed the benefits. At some point during 2017 I became aware of the variety of surgical options available, and one of those options became slightly more attractive.   The more I thought about it the more convinced I became that this is what I wanted. So in September I had my first surgical assessment and the good doctor was very happy to put me forward for surgery. The protocol dictates that we need two referrals for surgery so an appointment was made with another Doctor for my second assessment. This second assessment should be within 6 months of the first, so I was given an appointment on the 31st May!

I won't go into all of the details but 6 letters, seven dates and innumerable phone calls I eventually saw my second doctor on the 13th June, not within six months, indeed not quite within 10 months.  Some of the alternative dates I was given would have taken it over a year and then I would have had to start all over again.
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