So, Friday, 1st March 2013, the day I had been wait ing months for, finally came. The day of my appointment with Dr Stuart Lorimer at West London Mental Health NHS Trust Gender Identity Clinic (WLMHT GIC) . The night before I struggled to sleep as I had butterflies that were of the anxious-anticipating-excited kind fluttering away there inside me. I actually went to bed with a big smile on my chops. I think I managed all of 3 1/2 hours of proper sleep. Mind you, I also suffer from that – must check my twitter account even though I am absolutely wrecked shattered and need to close my eyes and forget about the cyber world and just sleep for gawds sake sleep woman! So, eventually I did 🙂
6am and the radio alarm bursts in to life and my eyes spring open and I reach over and knock the blessed machine off. I lay there for 20 minutes before I finally raise my knackered body out of bed and in to the bathroom to wash. As what to wear to go down in was pretty simple choice really – jeans and my red and black striped tunic. I’m not a girly girl and it was going to be a cold day too. I went round to my parents as they both were coming with me. My dad looked at me in my winter coat and scarf and asked if I was going to the arctic! Turned out, I was dressed well for that there London town as there was a cold breeze brrrr.
(Picture – Entrance to the GIC)
We caught the 8.15am Virgin train in a carriage that was their old First Class so comfy seats! We get to Crewe to be informed that the train may not go any further or end at Birmingham. Why? Another earlier train had somehow brought down over head cables not so far beyond Rugby. The 3 of us head in to the ticket office to find out what to do – catch the Birmingham train and then try and get bus down, go home and rearrange appointment or get on a train that has been newly laid on because of the incident? We opt for the latter and hoped for the best. An hour-ish in to the continued journey and we are informed that the train WILL make it to Euston, London ….YAY!
We arrived at Euston at 11.30 /11.40am and make our way to the taxi rank as thought it would be quicker than the tube at the time. We get in to a cab with the Union Flag design on it (argh! I despise this flag of colonial oppression) and the driver gets us to the clinic for 12.25pm – good timing as my appointment was for 1.15pm and I had to be there half an hour before hand to fill in some paper work and for them yo update my details if need to see. When I walked in to the reception area, I was the only one there for about 10 minutes before another hopeful soul arrived. Now, I had been here back in 2009 but that was with a friend from Blackpool who had to travel all the way down to London just for her 1-2-1 appointments never mind to get a first and second opinions! Thankfully, I go to Wrecsam for mine to see a lovely chap called Martin Riley (NorthWalesGIDreferralandmanagementpathways).
Whilst I was waiting for Dr Lorimer to call me in, I passed he time quickly reading the 201st edition of ‘Diva’ magaine (Sue Perkins on the cover), and before i know it, Dr Lorimer comes for me and in I go. He introduces himself and explains that he will ask me questions pretty much what Martin Riley and Martin Jones (head of my care and I’ve only had to see him once). The questions commenced -1. When did you first realise you wanted to be a girl? 2.When did you first start to dress in the opposite gender? 3.Are your parents supporting you? 4. Brother and sisters – are they OK with your transition? 5. Work? 6.Friends? 7. Social life? 8. Anyone else in family have gender issues? Where do you see your transition going? The usual questions plus a few others which escape me at the moment. As for my answers: 1. Around 6/7 when watching the Panorama programme From George To Julia’ in 1978. 2. Around age of 8/9 years of age. 3. Parents are across the road in The Southern Belle pub waiting for me. 4. Younger brother is great with me and accepting but my elder brother despises what i am doing and we do not talk. In fact, when my nieces are with him and are coming to visit mum and dad, eldest niece rings mum to say how far away they are, and if I am there, i have to leave so that there is no drama. 5. Work were fantastic even though I had to initially have to use the disables toilet even though I am not disabled, I am a trans-female. 6. Friends have been supportive including their families. 7. I am seeking work, play guitar and bass, socialize with friends. 8. My nieces’ auntie (their mother’s sister) has already undergone GRS.
Questions come to an end and he asks about medications – I tell him what I am on including the GID ones. He seems to think that the estrogen of 2mg is rather low and sends me for bloods at Charing Cross Hospital which is a few minutes walk up the road. Lorimer tells me that he can see no reason why I can not be referred for surgery and he gives me a slip for bloods and an appointment card to give at reception to arrange my next appointment which is Thursday, 18th July at 1.15pm with Dr Penny Lenihen. I can not wait! I leave the clinic and as I exit and step out on to the pavement, I look to my left and my mum and dad are there. They have been in and out of the pub a few times and had a few coffees and a number of walks round waiting for me to come out, not thinking I would be so long. We head up the road to CHX so I can get my train fare reimbursed and then up to the first floor to phlebotomy for my bloods to be taken – a total of 4.
To get back to Euston station, we take the train and is a quick journey to be fair and we go to Nando’s for something to eat as none of us had eaten anything substantial since the morning. We shared a whole lemon and lime chicken and chips. I was not particularly impressed – not a big fan of Nando’s. Mum asks what he said and I tell her. They are like OK – well, not much else they could say to be all honest. 15 minutes later and we’re at Hammersmith station to get to Euston. Due to the earlier incident near Rugby, a tad delay but only marginally and we would be in Flint for 19.50 – later than expected as we would be behind Arriva trains stopping at every station en-route to Holyhead/Caergybi. I nodded off several times on the route home as was just so tired – long day.
19.50 – HOME! Warmer than London but with a chill in the air still. I get in, I change in to my pj’s and do me beans and sausage on toast and a lovely paned (cuppa tea). Sit down to an evening of St David’s day entertainment on BBC One – my hero Michael Barrat aka Shakin’ Stevens is on the Owen Money & Friends show along with the lovely Sophie Evans (Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in London’s West End and Welsh to boot). I’m in bed by 11pm.
A very long and tiring day rewarded by the light at the end of my journey is ebbing ever nearer in to view ….
(( Cwtchis ))