7.27.2010

Topless at the Hospital

Unfortunately over the last couple days I have spent a bit of time between the hospital and at the doctors office. Normally this isn't a big deal but lately I have been experiencing anxiety when I get in a situation where my ID betrays my true identity. I have applied for a new medical card but will have to wait for a new driver's license until I can get back to BC.

While I am here I will likely need a doctor to have check ups, refill my T prescription, monitor my hormone levels and just in case I actually get my surgery and need someone to monitor my recovery. I had a requisition form from my endocrinologist but because he doesn't have hospital priveleges here I had to get a doctor here to sign my papers so I could have the blood test. I booked an appointment and went. I was glad that the nurse at the desk didn't really make a big deal out of me making the appointment as Marcus and not having my health care card match my preferred name. The nurse called me in by Marcus so I was happy.

Once I got in the exam room I asked the nurse if she could recommend a doctor for me and I told her a little bit about my situation. I explained about my transgender self and how when I called the insured services department of NWT Health they told me not to move because none of my transgender related surgical visits, or psychiatric visits or referrals would be covered. They told me flat out: don't come here. Needless to say I am a little suspicious of other health care people now knowing that the system is completely biased. She immediately gave me the name of a doctor and said that of all of them at this particular clinic and considering my situation that he would be the doctor for me. She said once I met him I would understand why she recommended him to me...

While I was there seeing the locum, I asked about a medical issue that has once again reared its ugly head. To be thorough the doctor ordered another set of blood tests and an ekg. I didn't really think too much of this yesterday but today I had a different reaction. This isn't my first EKG. I've had a lot of them. this was the first time I ever felt like crying from embarrassment. I had to strip off my t shirt and binder and there was no gown or shirt or anything. The tech offered me a towel and that was it. I felt so awkward and it occurred to me that things were only going to get worse. As I grow into my new body, as I begin to recognize myself as the "he" in other people's conversation, as I become more accustomed to being called Marcus and labelled a man, I know that my breasts are going to make me even more uneasy, more self conscious about presenting a coherent identity. 

I am still not sure how to address these feelings and I am sure that situations will arise where I have no choice but to feel uncomfortable. I just hope that like today the nurse, or doctor, or other person can be as nonchalant as the wonderful tech I had today who treated me as if there was nothing wrong, nothing weird and like girls have had boy names since the beginning of time.

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