1.18.2011

Hand Sanitizer is the New Latex

Well it happened again. I had to go to the hospital which I was planning on doing anyway to get my T levels checked and the liver function tests that go along with HRT.  I wasn't  thinking I would have to take of my shirt and sweater, or get x-rays or be topless and vulnerable at the hospital again so soon BUT I hit the boards pretty hard with my shoulder at hockey and woke up with quite a bit of pain. I don't want to ruin my ability to chop wood or put on a pullover so I decided better safe than sorry and sucked it up for some x-rays. And of course I got to meet the student doctor, which was fine but I really wish the nursing staff would learn that just because the door is closed doesn't mean I can't hear them talking and asking questions. I swear if I (and the rest of the ER) hear, is the patient male or female? one more time I am going to refuse to go back.

Maybe this whole thing could have been avoided if I had just said something right off the bat but when it took nearly an hour to register at admitting because they had to admit me a second time after some confusion as to how two people could have the same health care number and the same birthday. Once I had convinced them that I was both of those people...one in the same just with a new name and fancy new set of shoulders they admitted me.

Maybe I should have said something to the adorable and super friendly triage nurse in the ER? Or should I have said something to the baby doctor after sitting alone in a room being embarrassed by what I could hear through the door? Should I have said I can hear you? Should I have explained that I heard there was some confusion about my gender because my doctor (who did his residency at a trans clinic) has the decency and understanding to mark me down as M when all the other forms and cards and insurance still list me as F? When do I explain that?

I don't know if explaining my transgender self would have been something I should have listed under OTHER medical condition? Allergies? "Why, yes I am allergic to the big F everyone keeps trying to make me wear....." or maybe... "I'm allergic to my gender, it makes my throat close off and I have difficulty breathing?" sadly sometimes that is the truth.

Would explaining have made it easier to take of my sweater, t-shirt, binder and stand under a thin hospital gown praying that the fresh faced baby doctor didn't just pull it down in front to have a good look at that shoulder?  Would it have been enough to articulate the shame and awkwardness of having him tell me to stand up straight and move my arms around and up over my head (which any good MTF can tell you just makes those damn tits stick right out droopy gown or not). If I had explained my dysfunctional gender identity would it have made it easier to stand next to the young buff x-ray tech who kept calling me buddy while I tried to make sure he didn't stand too close to my chest wishing that I had two larger t-shirts on so I could hide my breasts better?

I doubt it.

Thank god the nurse in the Lab was too busy to look at or care about the M or F on my paperwork and only wanted me to roll my sleeve up enough to get a needle in my vein. She was pleasant enough but I really really wish that they wore gloves. Yeah, for real. Hand sanitizer is the new latex.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ughhh that is so frustrating!! I'm actually kind of surprised that people in the medical field don't have a better understanding of transgendered people... you'd think medical school would teach them something about that. Clearly it's not part of the school program yet, and not part of the hospital training either. Sorry to hear your day sucked.