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Forms, Needles and Finnish People

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As my SRS date draws ever closer I can't help but be nervous about the last of the hoops that I have to jump through. My biggest fear is that I'll miss some small detail and end up sitting in a Montreal doctor's office with them telling me, "sorry miss but you forgot to fill out form 6.x14 and that means you'll have to come back in two years after another two assessments." That's not going to happen. I won't let that happen. One of the added bonuses to this whole experience is that I've started to become responsible in taking control of my own life.

Started - that's the key word, still a beginner.

Yesterday was frustrating but rewarding. I had an appointment set for blood work, I recently read through some emails from the office in Montreal and they had said to get my tests done in June. Good thing I caught that! I brought my papers in yesterday to the lab but without a requisition I was unable to have the tests done. Luckily this was something that I could go to a walk in clinic to have done for me. There was even one down the road from the lab! I stumbled there through my fasting haze (no food for 10 hours) only to find that they weren't accepting any more patients that day.

Curses. I gave up and grabbed food, but that wasn't going to stop me from getting the requisition that day, even if I had the tests done tomorrow!

That was the first part of the day that was rewarding, actually. I went to a little donut shop nearby that I knew from long ago but frequented when I lived in the neighborhood. I must have gone often because the cashiers recognized me and asked me cheerily where I had been. After telling them I moved they proceeded to remind me that the bus stopped right outside their door and I should come more often. I don't take the bus, but that was adorable.

So I grabbed my first coffee of the day at 2:30 in the afternoon (sweet nectar of life!) and headed to the next walk-in I knew of. This one was all the way across town but I figured it was the place to go. That was the walk-in that I first went to in bad female drag and demanded of the doctor who saw me to, "just give me the hormones!" Of course, he had no idea what to do but was so kind that he researched it there on the spot and gave me the number that eventually did lead to my diagnosis and prescription.

Of course what I didn't realize was that as of the beginning of this month they are no longer a walk-in clinic except for Saturdays. Frakk! At this point it was about 3 pm and I was running out of time before I needed to meet my friends for dinner - friends who had just arrived in the country from Finland for their annual visit of Canada.

Last resort, I went to a walk-in clinic at a mall under heavy renovations that I knew would be very busy. The receptionist told me it would be a 45 minute wait but she could call me when the doctor would see me. Bonus! I went shopping. At first I was just going to look without buying as my bank account has been a little dry as of late and my hormones are almost in need of refill but I remembered as I found a really cute dress that was just my size that I had a prepaid Visa that had been given to me as a gift. After spending some time in the change room debating between the cute dress and another dress that was very pretty but just didn't sit the same way on me but was much cheaper I finally just bit the bullet and bought the cute dress.

I'm going to wear it dancing, it is the cutest! Now that I am a lot more used to showing off the miles of leg that I have my wardrobe options have increased exponentially and summer doesn't seem so intimidating anymore.

The doctor's hadn't called yet but I went back there anyways. I sat in the waiting room and doodled in my notebook until they called for "Michael Sharkey". Embarrassed I got up hoping that no one was looking at me but deciding that I was proud of being trans I just strutted into the doctor's office. Once there the receptionist asked, "do you still go by Michael?" I found this even more surprising than them calling me that in the first place. I told her, "no, it's been legally changed to Mikah". She replied, "oh, okay - I'll change that in our system, we just want you to be comfortable." I was not expecting that to be so easy!

The doctor was also pretty quick to clue in to what was going on. After seeing the list of tests he asked, "is this for SRS?" and has offered to have the tests sent to Montreal for me, apparently he used to work over there and is somewhat familiar with the whole transition process. Our meeting was brief, he had a lot else to do but after the incredibly long journey to get those papers I welcomed the change of pace. As I left I could hear him talking to his receptionist, "please set an appointment with her for 10 days from now". Female pronouns, I don't know if I will ever really get used to not having to correct people with that.

I blasted back home and almost got changed into my new dress - I wish I had, but the trip home later in the evening was so cold that I'm a little glad I didn't. Rushed out the door to the restaurant and met my friends just 10 minutes late. It was so nice to see them and get caught up after a year! They have been some of my best friends since long before my transition and have been wonderful allies during the process. Drinks and dinner was a wonderful way to end an interesting day.

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Posted

Mikah, about the only test that is truly needed ahead of time is the HIV test. I was told to have an EKG and HIV test one month prior to surgery which I did. They confirmed both but on the day of surgery they could not locate the EKG so had it done on the gurney 30 minutes prior to surgery. The day prior to surgery one set of forms could not be located (which I faxed directly to them) so I had to fill it out then. So the important test in my case and most likely for you in the HIV as it takes time to do. When I went to California for GRS I took all and any documents that might be needed just in case but all was fine. 

In regards to you getting use to female pronouns, I can't see any reasons why you would get anything but female pronouns.

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Dear Mikah and Karen,

When I get pre-operative testing done, I always request a copy for myself, AND, for the report to be faxed to the surgeon's office.  Also, I CALL BOTH the provider that provided the tests (to confirm they SENT the faxes) and the surgeon's office, to confirm that they RECEIVED the test results.

This also applies to general blood tests, as well as specialty tests, usually ordered by my Internal Medicine doctor (they will send the results to her), and I bring my copy (requested at my Internal Medicine doctor's office), before seeing the specialist.  If the Internal Medicine doctor's staff say they will fax it, I always call the Internal Medicine doctor's office to confirm that they faxed it, and the specialist doctor's staff to be sure they received the fax.

Of course, to keep all my bases covered, I BRING my copies with me to the specialist.

Too many times the fax was failed to be sent, or the equipment at the specialist's office was not working.  Also, staff gets busy, and either fail to send the fax or to put the received fax in your medical record.

This seems redundant, but sure pays off!

Your friend,

Monica

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Thanks for the tips! I have been emailing with Montreal so I will definitely do so to confirm that they have gotten the results. A hard copy doesn't sound like a bad idea.

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