Sunday, 21 August 2016

Emma, the nail lady

So this week, my nails lady, Emma, came over. She has been doing my toe nails for over 12 years. It started as a work treat kind of thing and when I left that employment (redundancy) she told me she could do home visits. She is amazing and does a fab job but also as she is qualified in art, she is very artistic with the freestyle hand drawn patterns she does. This is what I love about her. A long term friendship but also unique patterns and nothing airbrushed. During this time she has also become a great friend.

So since 2008 she has been coming to our home to do my toenails and nails in general of any friends and family who want them done at the same time. You can picture the scene, lots of girls chatting and having a drink (as we make this into a bit of a social thing) and taking turns to have our nails done. For a big part this included my mother in law (Lucy's mum) but not now as she has moved away.

I'm sure you can understand the torment for Lucy. For 8 years she has sat on the outside watching, seeing all the toe and finger nails being beautifully decorated and longing to have her own done. This is how it has been...... until now.

I know that in the past I have mentioned to Emma that I didn't want 'tranny' red. I only made this comment as in the past I felt that every transgendered girl I met seemed to have red nails (there is a theory about this a bit later). She never questioned why I ever said this and knew nothing about Lucy.

Emma was booked to come over this week and as it turned out it was only our 2 daughters and I who were having our nails done. As you can imagine over the past few months Lucy and I have discussed telling Emma as Lucy desperately wants her nails done and she is lumbered with me doing them (Emma would do a far better job than me). Even up until the time that Emma turned up Lucy was still not sure and nervous. I was pretty sure that Emma would be fine.

I sat there alone with Emma while she was doing my toenails. Out the corner of my eye I saw Lucy who gave me a thumbs up sign meaning that it was ok to tell our biggest secret.....

So, I said that I had a really big secret to tell Emma and naturally she was curious. When I told her I don't think she believed what I was saying. Obviously over the years she has built a relationship with 'him' as he has been around when she has been at our house. I offered to show her some pictures which she was keen to see and chatted about lots of things. She is a very curious person and has a lot of questions but she wouldn't say at this time but I am sure next time she will be asking away. Lucy and I are very happy to answer questions from anyone.

What is funny is that she remembered me saying about 'tranny red' so we ended up having an in depth conversation about this. The general consensus seems to be that lots of men like red nail varnish and red lipstick on girls. We think it is seen as being sexy and alluring.  Maybe this is why lots of trans girls wear red nail varnish.... possibly only until they can develop their own taste in colours. Lucy certainly doesn't wear red much these days (she did have a bit of a thing about it many years ago). She is also more adventurous with colours and currently has orange on her toe nails... a few years ago she would never have worn this colour!

What was fantastic was Lucy came in and started chatting. As Emma has seen some pictures and knew Lucy's hair colour (and Lucy brought down some of her hair) etc they discussed the nail colours that were in the nail box she had bought on this occasion and were matching colours to her hair and skin tone and discussing what she could have. What a moment. 

We are going on holiday in 10 days and Lucy felt it would be a waste of money having her nails manicured and polished especially as she would have to take the varnish off for our holiday (last time presenting as male).  Emma is booked for 3 weeks time.... except this time she has an extra person, Lucy!

Friday, 5 August 2016

GP update - bridging hormones

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.