Second Appointment at WLMHT & Ysbyty Gwynedd
Thursday, 18th July 2013 – After my last visit to WLMHT (West London Mental Health Trust) back in March, July seemed to come around ever so slowly. 18 weeks in fact. When they gave me the date for the second appointment, this time to see Dr Penny Lenihan, I was disappointed and yet, not surprised that it was July and not sooner. Mind you, once the 18th July arrived, it only seemed a mere few weeks since my last visit down south. Wales and England are currently in the middle of a heatwave hitting 90°F or 32°C. The hottest since 2006. Down London, it was ridiculously hot – even in the shade! I was in denim shorts and sleeveless top and open sandals and I was still melting like a bucket!
My appointment was for 1.15pm (same as in March), and had to be at the clinic 1/2 an hour before my appointment so that they can check all my details. I was there for 12. 40pm. So, what did Dr Penny Lenihan have to say? Well, she said that she would go over what Dr Stuart Lorimer had with me at last visit but just ask a few similar questions and discuss next steps – surgery. She asked about my medications and only two had changed since March, and one of the was propranolol from 80mg to 120mg a day to help with headaches and a change from oral to gel estrogen (Sandrena 3mg). How supportive are my family? I told her that my mam and dad had come down to London with me and that they were going to make a weekend stay of it, whilst I returned home later that day because I had to be in Bangor the following afternoon. Was I working? No, made redundant at the end of November 2012. Did I transition at work? Yes. 2009 when I change my name too via Deed Poll. That I had no harassment from work colleagues nor from people out and about on the streets in my home village / town.
Prior to seeing Dr Lenihan, the clinical nurse Iffy Middleton was grabbing everyone attending the clinic to do the basics – height, weight, waist measurement, asked whether had any hormone related issues. At the end of the consultation with Dr Lenihan, she wanted me to see Iffy before I left the clinic to check whether I needed genital electrolysis prior to surgery. So, I had to get on the examination bed, reveal my genitalia for her to check. Iffy said that I did not require any electrolysis and was OK to go ahead for vaginoplasty when the surgeons are ready. I told my mam and dad about the whole appointment, and mam said “Bet that was embarrassing?” To which I replied, “No, not at all”. After all, the whole point is to convert my penis to a vagina. I would have been apprehensive seeing a gynaecologist had I been born with correct anatomy rather than with having a medical person examine my male genitalia.
After leaving the clinic, we headed to Charing Cross Hospital so that I could claim back my travel expenses, what with being on JSA (Job Seekers Allowance), before heading to Euston train station. Had a bite to eat at Nando’s – mild piri piri chicken wrap and mango juice – nice 🙂 The train was late leaving due to their being an off track fire on way down apparently. Was only 10 minutes departing London. I nodded off for a while on way home due to the heat and ever so glad of having a bottle of water with me. Got home around 7.30pm – good timing to be fair.
Friday, 19th July 2013 – Heatwave persists. 30°C 82°F in North Wales.
My Psychosexual Therapist, Dr Martin Riley had made an appointment for me to see Clinical Psychologist Dr Kenny Midence (Mid-ence not My-dence) after I had informed him that my Gp Dr Elizabeth Shaheir had completed section 2 of the medical section for my GRC application (Gender Recognition Certificate). Dr Midence is the only member of the GRC board who is resident in all of Wales!
Living in rural Wales, one has to travel miles to see all these gender specialist or any specialst for that matter because the majority, it seems, are based across the border in England or down in South Wales even. On this occasion however, Dr Kenny Midence is based at the Psychology Department which is in the Hergest Unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.
I left home at 10.45 am as I needed to nick into town first – stick a repeat prescription in Lloyds for my mam, and I thought I would have a leisurely drive down the A55 to Bangor, as it was such a glorious sunny day. So, by the time I had actually left Flint, it had gone 11am.
I arrived handier than I thought at 12.20pm and despite being able to see Ysbyty Gwynedd on approaching Bangor, I didn’t know where exactly I had to drive from within the town itself. Therefore, I drove round and followed the signs for the hospital, which did not take me long to locate to be fair. I decided to get something to eat; I spotted a McDonald’s on entering the town and grabbed me a cheese burger and fries at the drive thru and ate them in the car park. Not my usual choice of grub but it suited my purpose at the time. By now it was 12.40pm and I had just under an hour and a half before my appointment with Dr Midence – no point going round town as I had initially planned to do. So, I drove round and up to the hospital and sat in the car for half an hour before walking round the right hand side of the main hospital building towards the Hergest Unit.
The unit must be fairly new as it looked so from the outside and from within. I was 35 minutes early and only had to wait 5 minutes for Dr Midence to come for me. He had been phoning earlier to ask if I could attend earlier than my appointment but, it went straight to answer machine on both my home and mobile phones, the latter because I was driving at the time.
I had an A4 envelope with the GRC form (several pages long) all completed and just required Dr Midence to complete and sign PArt 1 of the medical proof. As he is on the GRC board, he asked the usual questions as well – At what age had I first ‘cross-dressed (as he put it) and whose clothes were they’? When was the next time? How did my ex-wife feel about my doing so? Had I self harmed? How supportive are my family and friends? Work environment? Home life – live alone or in a relationship? How do I identify – lesbian, straight, trans-female? Do I suffer any harassment? Answers I had already given to Drs Riley, Lorimer and Lenihan. I was with him for long – half an hour or just over. I have to say, such a lovely guy, foreign and had a bit of a laugh with him too. He is completing what he needs to do for me, post it back to me and then I can send it off and get my GRC; and then I will be 100% legally female!
After leaving Ysyty Gwynedd, I drove straight home but I should have had a wander around Bangor as I had driven all the way to the other side of the country! Mind you, I will be back in Bangor on Saturday, 27th July for Balchder Cymru Pride 2013!! I am so looking forward to it 🙂
((( Cwtch )))