Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Story Part 115 – Men In White Coats

I have always had good luck with doctors so far, I know many who did not and I always wonder will my luck hold. My first encounter with doctors and my tranness were my annual physicals. I use to schedule my annual physicals for the fall, that way when I stopped shaving the hair on my body in the spring for summer I would have all my hair back in time for my physical. This worked well until my doctor wanted me to have one of those tests that you get when you are over a certain age. When I went to make an appointment in early September, they were making appointments for late November and in October I was going up to Provincetown for Fantasia Fair. Dilemma… should I shave or wait until after the appointment? I choose to shave and when I went for the appointment the nurse asked me if there was a reason why I shaved my body hair, oh what the heck, I told her I was a crossdresser. Nothing happened, the world didn’t come to an end, I didn’t get hit by lighting or get thrown out of the office.

A number of times before that I didn’t go to see the doctor when I had the flu or a bad cold because I was worried what the doctor would say. Another time I broke my foot and I didn’t go to see the doctor because once again I was afraid of what would happen. I told everyone that they were only going to tell me it was broken and take it easy. I waited for my hair to grow back and I went to the doctor a month later, they x-rayed it and said it was broken and take it easy.

When I started hormones I knew I would have to tell all the medical personnel. The first doctor I told was my GP and he seemed uncaring and asked who I was seeing for the care. When I mentioned the psychiatrist name, he said that he knew him and asked about him… not about me being trans or anything, just about how the other doctor was doing. The next time I had to mention about being trans was when I sent to the emergency room and I give them a list of my medications. I saw the nurse writing down, Proscar…prostrate, Spriolactine…high blood pressure, Estrogen… Hun? What are you taking that for? When I told her, I saw go back and cross off prostrate and high blood pressure, and write in its place “transsexual”

When my dermatologist left the clinic, I was assigned a new dermatologist. I was reading over his bio that they sent me and I read, “Dr. ______ comes to _________ from service in the U.S. Navy where he was the Chief of Dermatology at the National Navy Medical Center NNMC.” “… Bethesda, Maryland” Hmmm, this should be interesting. So when I went to see him for the first time and he asked for my list of meds and I started rattling them and when I got to estrogen… Hmm, what are you taking that for? So I told him, he sat back closed my file and I thought, here we go… But instead he said I was his first transsexual patient and would I mind if we talked about it. So after a half-hour “Trans 101.” Since them I have had many other encounters with medical personnel, including having a mammogram done… Oh what fun! [sic]

So now a week from Friday I am having an outpatient test done. The hospital just called and needed an update on my health history and when she asked me if I ever had the test done before, I said yes back in 2002.
Oh, was it done here?
All I have listed is a male with the same last name and date of birth.
Yup, that’s me.
… pause, OK, I’ll update the records to show the change.

But I know other trans-people who have been not so lucky. A friend slipped and fell on some ice and when they took her to the emergency room, they found out that she still had her male parts, they walked away. She could hear them talking, “you take care of ‘it’” and they told her to go home and take two aspirin, no ex-rays or nothing. The next day she when to another hospital and they found that she had broken her back and other bones in multiple places. To this day she still has debilitating pain in her back.


  1. It's shameful that people can't get over themselves and accept people for who they are.

  2. I love your post and was chuckling along thinking how things are getting better for trans women and thinking how my doctor might be. Then the last paragraph left me sighing and thoughtful. We are vulnerable and I am so grateful for the work you do to help remedy that.