I thought I'd better clarify that last entry. Because, if anyone has been reading these entries, they might have noticed that, a few posts back, I was bemoaning the lengthy wait I had ahead of me for an appointment at the Gender Identity Clinic, and how it had pushed me to seek a T prescription from somewhere else in the meantime.
Well, I did seek a T prescription, from a private source, and I received one. And I've been taking it for almost two months. No ill-effects, so far, but not a lot else happening, either. I feel good, and I've noticed a little redistribution of body fat, and perhaps a slight increase in muscle mass - but I've been working out so that muscle might be because of that.
The T prescription was sought with the full knowledge of my GP - in fact, it was her idea for me to try to find some private treatment. And I decided that, if I was going to get interim private treatment, while waiting for the GIC to send for me, I might as well consider private treatment for the whole lot.
And that's where the last entry comes in. The psychiatrist and the psychologist I mentioned in the last entry both work at one of the top GICs in this country, but I'm not on the waiting list for that particular GIC - instead, I've gone to them privately. And now I'm being officially, properly assessed by that GIC - and, judging by the report that the psychiatrist has written, he has few, if any, qualms about treating me. He believes me; he's not doubting the things I've told him; he's not questioning whether I have 'gender dysphoria' - and in the initial interview, he didn't give me a hard time or try to catch me out or ask any of the horrible questions that I had assumed he would.
I've heard horror stories about how people are treated at GICs - about how they try to disprove your story or try to catch you in a lie or tell you you're not what you say you are. I didn't get any of that. Instead, I got a doctor who was sympathetic, maybe even empathetic, and when I left his office I felt happier than I've felt all year. I think I even had a stupid grin on my face as I walked out of the hospital.
The night before, I hadn't slept. I had been too busy worrying about how it was all going to pan out. That night, I slept like a log.
I'm still waiting for the second appointment - the one with the psychologist. I've called her number and left messages, and I've emailed her. But I'm not so worried anymore. I know the appointment will happen at some point fairly soon. And then I'll see where we go from there.
In the meantime I reckon I need to go back to my GP and get her up to speed. She'll be getting a copy of the psychiatrist's report soon. He wants some blood tests - of course - to see what my hormone levels are, amongst other things. And so I'll have to get those done too.
And then, I suppose I need to consider taking myself off the waiting list for the original GIC. I've been on that waiting list for eight months. But I've kind of jumped the queue now, having managed to get myself into this other GIC. It's amazing what throwing a little money around can do. I'm lucky that I can afford it. I find it annoying that private treatment can be obtained within a couple of weeks whereas NHS treatment can take years to materialise. I feel really bad for people who can't afford to do what I've just done. I also feel a little bad that it will appear to others that I've jumped the queue - but at the same time, I will be freeing up one spot on the waiting list, so that's the thought that is consoling me at the moment. The NHS system is in such a mess that just freeing up one spot for someone else to get assessed and treated a little sooner is probably a good thing.
But I ain't removing myself from that waiting list until I'm sure I'm going to get proper treatment privately.