My mind has been running away with me tonight, it’s hard to control when I get like this. I get wound up and over think everything, paying attention to things that are stressful or hurt and dwelling on things I can’t change. I would probably say it’s my biggest flaw, but then my analytical mind is often my biggest asset too, so I can’t always win with it.
The focus of my frustration today is not a surprising one. It is, as you would expect, very much to do with my transition and I imagine a common theme for so many trans people, particularly in the UK at the moment. I am fixating on my waiting time to surgery (srs/grs/genital surgery).
The NHS is wonderful, it provides free medical care and saves so many lives, as well as taking pressure away from people who would otherwise not be able to afford health insurance. Having said that, it is also severely underfunded and is leaving thousands of trans people in the UK waiting with no access to medical care, let alone surgeries.
I am with the Laurels GIC in Exeter but must now wait to be assigned a doctor, which I was initially told would be up to a 12 months, now it is to be at least 18 months (since my first assessment). A timeline which has no guarantee of staying at that, it could easily increase.
Only then can I begin the process of being referred for any kind of surgery. Had I not found private help I would only then be starting hormones, 33 months after first being referred to the service.
No wonder so many trans people self medicate. No wonder self harm and suicide rates are still so high.
We feel like we are not important and as if no ones really cares what happens to us. At least that’s how I feel. I feel like the Laurels GIC just sees me as another number on their list. That’s why I fought to be given a counsellor, that’s why I insist on having an appointment every 6 weeks. I refuse to be forgotten about, I refuse to just be another number. They will see my face, they will hear my voice and I won’t go away or be quiet until they give me the help I need.
Yet still, I am getting nowhere. Backwards progression if anything. My waiting time has done nothing but increase in the last 6 months. They can never explain why, or they hide the reason, whichever it is I am losing faith in the service. Will they ever be able to provide me with what I need? I just don’t know anymore.
I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.
Disappointed, frustrated and to be honest a little bit lost.
I want to be positive about 2018 but it feels so false right now. My head is swimming away with these endless avenues of thought about my inadequate medical care, whilst struggling to see any possible way of afford private surgery. I know all 2018 brings is another year of treading water and trying to distract myself so I don’t just give up and drown.
Oh wow, that’s really fucking depressing, sorry. But that’s how this is all making me feel. I know fixating on surgery is a bad thing to do, but I think I’m only doing so because I’m being told to wait. I am hellishly impatient and get very worked up when I have to wait.
My private doctor says I’m ready for surgery, but I can’t afford the cost (about £11k). If it were available right now I would probably plan it for when is most appropriate and make sure I am ready in my own mind. Instead, I am left to wait. Not able to have any control of what is one of the most important and influential parts of my life so far.
No wonder I’m having trouble concentrating at work.
No wonder I held back tears when at my desk this afternoon.
And no wonder thoughts of self harm and suicide once more circle my tired mind.