Wednesday, 24 February 2016

GIC Induction workshop

So yesterday was the day. The first appointment at the GIC for Lucy. I know it was only for an induction workshop and not an appointment with a consultant but it is still a big day for her nonetheless.

All morning I was feeling nervous and excited for her. She works nights so I knew she wouldn’t be up until about midday to get to her appointment at Charing Cross for 2pm. I knew when she was awake as she started sending tweets about being nervous and then we were exchanging many WhatsApp messages between us. She sounded so nervous despite me wishing her lots of good luck. Family and friends are not allowed at this appointment and I can understand why especially if everyone is feeling like Lucy and this would be a big step for them all however I felt really bad not being there for her as we are always together for things like this. The last I heard from her was at 1.50pm and then nothing.

Then I was playing the waiting game. Just waiting to hear from her and checking my phone for a WhatsApp message every few minutes. Quite futile really, I was fully aware that the appointment was until 4.30pm so didn’t really expect to hear anything until at least then. Unfortunately this is the time I leave work and then I am on the tube for 25 mins before I get back proper network service at Victoria station so it could be as late as after 5 until I could hear anything.

Eventually she rung while I was on the way to the tube and gave me the update I had been waiting for. She drove there and arrived with plenty of time and managed to find a parking space not too far away however the entrance was not easy to find, even though I had warned her that I had read on someone else's blog that the entrance was not on the road that is the address. Anyway she eventually found her way in and through registration and was ushered in the direction of the auditorium. There were some family and friends who were obviously with some of the people who were in the auditorium but they were not allowed in and had to sit in a waiting area. I wouldn't have fancied waiting there for 2 ½ hours to be honest.

When she went in the auditorium was packed, there was standing room only and staff were set up on the stage. Lucy estimated that there were approximately 130 people there and it seemed to be a split of 80% MTF and 20% FTM and aged from those who looked like they were 15 right up to pensioners including some disabled people with carers too. This showed the broad spectrum of people there and everyone was in various stages of dressing from those that didn't dress to those that were fully dressed.

They explained a few things and introduced one of the head surgeons who gave a little talk about what to expect along with a speech therapist who explained their role. They then explained that they were going to be showing graphic pictures and videos and advised that anyone who was squeamish should leave. A handful left but the majority stayed including Lucy although once they started showing the pictures and videos a few people left realising they couldn't handle seeing them. As always nothing seems to pass without a little drama! During the video the person standing next to Lucy passed out on the floor right next to her and banged their head on the floor with a thud. Lots of people looked but did nothing. Luckily Lucy knows first aid and was able to move them into the recovery position, check their airways were clear and check they hadn't swallowed their tongue. She was most upset as apparently it had got to a very interesting part of the video and said "only me!".

All in all Lucy did not feel that she had learnt anything she didn't already know (other than where the entrance was) due to the wealth of information that is available on the internet. One thing that was mentioned was that currently MTF cannot get a boob job on the NHS and the surgeon said that they were hoping it would be available soon. This was good news. We are both really amazed about how many people were there especially when you consider that every person who was there today is on the waiting list to be seen and many wanting GRS.

This is another small step in the right direction.

p.s. One totally amazing fact that did come out of the workshop was that on the FTM transition the testosterone can make the clitoris grow and the most extreme they have seen was 10cm!!!! Blimey!

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