So this week after the GP ignoring Lucy for the past few weeks and despite being told he will ring back within a week or on a certain day, she booked an appointment and actually managed to get to see him.
For Lucy, it is so very important to have been on hormones for a few months before she starts living her life full time. The subtle changes that hormones can give are necessary to make it easier for this huge step.
The way it feels at the moment is that access to bridging hormones through your usual GP is a total myth. Despite what anyone may advise, they are a total nightmare to access.
Our GP has appeared sympathetic to Lucy's situation and after Lucy supplied copious amounts of information and despite promises to ring back, he never did. The empty promises just tormented Lucy and I. Even if he could have rung to say it was a no go would have been better than waiting for a call at a promised time that never came.
The upshot is that the partners of the practice are refusing to issue bridging hormones in advance of a GIC prescription (9 months and counting still waiting for an appointment) no matter how this affects Lucy's welfare. The GIC long waiting times are just torturous especially when it has taken many years to make the decision to transition and then you have to wait further months/years to even get started on the road to change. Delays caused by a lack of staff qualified in this area of medicine and an influx of referrals due to the raised trans profile in society enabling people to have the courage to approach specialists
So where does this leave us? Well there is the online service of the Gender GP which I have mentioned before. Lucy has been in contact with them already as we had guessed the outcome from the GP by the lack of promised response. Every contact with the Gender GP has been received with friendly, informative and timely responses. Yes this service does come at a cost, some of which can be mitigated if the GP can do the blood tests and blood pressure checks which he has agreed to do.
Lucy is all signed up. Pending the blood tests etc she should be on the road to hormone treatment very soon. She only needs to use the Gender GP until she has the okay from the GIC for the GP to start prescribing hormones and then we can stop. At least there is an alternative/stop gap that she can use for now but we will have to pull our belts in to cover these costs. In addition to a signing up cost there is also a monthly fee, a 28 day charge for each prescription issued and a one off charge of a skype counselling session however if this means that Lucy can start her transition sooner rather than later then it is worth every penny.