Wednesday, 30 November 2016

GP update

After having been to the GIC for her first appointment last week Lucy has been totally on a high (that was until she got flashed by a red light camera, then a couple of days later a speed camera and then drove her car into the back of another car so lets not linger on that!!). She booked an appointment with one of the 2 GP's at the surgery who know the full situation as she wanted to update them.

This particular GP that she saw is not her usual GP (who knows and is fine) however Lucy has seen her in the past and she has been brilliant in the way she treats Lucy and I think she actually prefers her. I do think it is a bit of an interesting case for this GP as she has not treated a transgendered patient before so Lucy is her first so she has a vested interest. Lucy went through all the discussion that she had with Jess (the GIC therapist) and discussed the Vaniqa. Although this is blacklisted by the surgery that is for the usual use of it and she thought they may be able to make an exception in Lucy's case which is great news as this is so expensive. Lucy also mentioned the blood tests that the Gender GP requires and again this GP is happy to undertake these and she wanted Lucy to email specifically what tests are required so she can get this organised. At the same time Lucy also changed her name on the medical records they hold so everything is aligned. This will prove interesting when she goes for her blood test and the nurse calls her name in a busy waiting room. Hopefully the nurse will see what the blood test is for and may be discreet but I think I am expecting too much. When the usual GP has Lucy as a patient he always comes and gets her and doesn't call her name out. Will let you know what happens when she goes.

Yesterday Lucy went for more tattoo coverup work. This time it was the shading on the phoenix and there is still an hour or so required on the peony tattoo before it is finished and Lucy is back there on Friday. Once that is finished completely I will share some pictures but it is looking amazing.

At the weekend we had Lucy's eldest son S and his girlfriend over for dinner. Lucy is so close to telling him but is just so understandably nervous. We do know Lucy's sons have been discussing her tattoo coverup between themselves and it was nice to able to show S the tattoo in real life. He did make a comment about associating his dad with the old tattoos however did understand when he was told that his dad had always hated them so didn't feel they symbolised the person he was. It was funny though as after they had gone I felt more reassured about telling him and Lucy felt less. He is the block standing between Lucy as she is now and going full time. I do feel the time is very near and she just needs to bite the bullet and do it and then we can get on and deal with the fallout, if any (but I suspect there will be).

In the meantime Lucy has received official confirmation from the GIC for her second appointment in September 2017 and has been told the consultation will be with Dr Stuart Lorimer. We have done a bit of a search about him and cannot find anything negative and I like the fact that he was nominated as a trans ally in the 2016 Sparkle awards and in 2015 he was included in The Independent on Sunday's Rainbow List of the most influential LGBTI people in the UK. There have been a couple of comments about how thorough he is and can see through any lies but I'm not sure why anyone would lie who wants SRS? I don't think Lucy has anything to worry about and although she is on the cancellation list she has already booked a hotel for us to stay at the night before the appointment. Not the same one as before and slightly further away. It is Lucy's birthday the day before so I am hoping that she will be up for going to dinner or doing something which would be nice.

There is not much else to report back on other than Lucy has now applied for a couple of jobs as she is looking to move away from driving. As yet there has been no response but fingers crossed she gets an interview for at least one of them if not both. I also have been made a moderator and admin of one of the partner support groups I belong to as the person who owns it is taking a bit of a sabbatical. It is the best partner group I have been on and although the partner group is a 'secret' Facebook group they have a public page as well as a website, Distinction, and they have a social group for couples, and separate spaces for the transitioning partner and another for the non transitioning partner. You just have to email them to join any of the relevant groups if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

1st Charing Cross GIC appointment

Lucy's 1st GIC appointment was booked for 9.45am on 22nd November 2016. We didn't want to go from home as she is not full time we didn't want nosy neighbours seeing us leave as Lucy was going fully dressed. So we booked a hotel in the GIC area and went off to stay there for the evening. As it was only a 30 minute drive from home we left late in the evening.

We arrived at the hotel which was part of a chain that we have stayed in before and we had an unusually tiny room. All seemed ok and we had the first room just through some double doors by the lift on the 5th floor. We sat and chatted for a bit and when I went to clean my teeth it turned out there was no cold water only red hot... and even the toilet was flushing with hot water. Yes really! The night staff came and had a look and couldn't sort it out so they offered us another room but by this time it was 1am and we were all settled in and didn't want to move so instead they gave us a key to another room so we could shower in there. Our room turned out to be quite noisy and there was lots of door slamming as we were near the double doors, noise from the traffic, people's alarms going off and not being switched off, hairdryers etc compounded by the fact I have a cold and a hacking cough so we didn't get much if any sleep. A late night, no sleep and early morning was not what we wanted.

Eventually we got up and started to get ready for the appointment. We had booked a taxi to pick us up at 9.15 and we were ready just in time. It was a very expensive mini cab ride, £9 to travel 1.8 miles.

We were dropped outside the door which was nothing special and it didn't look like a clinic entrance at all and it was above a Sainsburys Local store. As we were standing there a trans man came over and told us what buzzer to press and we all went in together.

It was up several flights of stairs and reception was straight in front. We were the first people to arrive and the receptionists were very friendly, took Lucy's details and we were told to sit and wait. We were waiting to see Jess Gran.
As we sat there several other people arrived and they seemed to be mainly trans men. We were called through for our appointment 20 minutes later than arranged.

Jess Gran was happy for me to accompany Lucy into the room and we sat down. She explained that this would be the first assessment and would take just over an hour. As time was limited she would move the session along if we were running out of time. She had lots of sections on her computer screen and started asking probing questions to Lucy about how she was feeling, her childhood, when did she feel the way she did and basically her life story right up to this point and all the feelings along the way and also our involvement in the trans community. More probing questions about relationships, body dismorphia, suicidal thoughts, who knows about the situation at this time and plans and fears and what is stopping her being full time now. Although I have heard most of Lucy's stories something always comes out this type of session I didn't know and listening to her speak was very emotional. Here was the person I love so very much telling all her personal thoughts, experiences and memories.

Jess was very good and it did all feel very personal. I interjected when I thought I had something to add to Lucy's words and the whole session went very smoothly. She arranged for Lucy to go on the waiting list for voice therapy, will send through details to her for access to facial  laser treatment and also send through a request to our GP to issue a prescription for the Finasteride and Vaniqa cream although she did say that some GP's refuse to issue a prescription for the Vaniqa as it is a very expensive cream which has been blacklisted by the NHS. She also offered counselling sessions which Lucy did not feel she had a need for and also told her that if she had suicidal thoughts and felt she needed someone to ring the Samaritans, 999 or go to the local A&E.

At the end of the session she recapped on everything and explained that before any hormone treatment could be started on the NHS Lucy would need a second session with another therapist. This appointment would be in 6-9 months but she was happy for Lucy to continue with the hormone treatment she is receiving from the online Gender GP. She did explain that once this 2nd session is completed and they are in agreement to treat her (with an end goal of full SRS) that a transition would need to be done from the hormone treatment she is currently on to the one they provide as it is different. She also wanted a blood test to be done immediately in Charing Cross hospital itself which was a 5 minute walk away and gave us a form to take.

We came out of the GIC and we both felt great. Lucy is now in the system and the cogs are moving albeit very slowly. We walked to the hospital and went to the phlebotomy department where she was seen within 5 minutes. I thought Lucy was being so brave as apart from when we were at Sparkle in Manchester where she was walking out and about in the day on a trans weekend, she has never walked out dressed in public in the day before.

We then went down to Snappy Snaps for her to get some passport type pictures which she needs to change over her driving licence and taxi driver documents. The shop was quite busy but Lucy sat there confidently while her photo was taken. We then popped into Cafe Nero for a coffee and Greggs the bakers for some sausage rolls as we had not had breakfast and by this time it was gone midday. We proceeded to walk down the whole of Hammersmith high street to the hotel which was over a mile away from this point. She got a couple of funny looks, many people didn't even notice her and quite a few smiles. No transphobic comments despite walking past quite a few workmen. This of course made Lucy's confidence soar on what was panning out to be a great day.

We got back to the hotel so she could get changed back to 'him' which is always sad however we were both buzzing with the events of the day so far. Everything had gone so much better than expected. On checking out Lucy explained the issues that we had with the room and the hotel refunded the payment in full. An unexpected bonus to an already great day.

It didn't take too long to get home and we were not in for very long before we were off out again. Lucy had 2 hours booked with the tattooist still trying to complete the full arm cover up. I cannot express enough what great people they are. Both husband and wife were there and they asked about the days events as they knew where Lucy had been. They are genuinely interested and conversation with them is just so easy. This is the 8th time in 7 weeks that Lucy has been there and they feel like old friends. What was really lovely is that she always goes as 'him' however they only know her as Lucy. They mentioned that they had seen her in the town centre looking in the window of a shop (a lovely clothes shop) a few days ago but as she was dressed as 'him' didn't want to surprise her by calling 'Lucy!'.... they don't know 'his' name and they were not particularly near to her at the time. This made us all smile. So 2 and a half hours later and there is now more colour on the peonies and it just looks so gorgeous. They think there is only an hour or so left on that arm now however Lucy is booked in next week for the colour to start being added to the Phoenix. That will be a long job.

While we were there Lucy received a call from the GIC advising that her next appointment will be 11th September 2017, in 10 months time! That was far longer than expected and she has been put on the cancellation list should anything become available sooner. This NHS process is so damn long!

In other news we went to Pinks on Saturday. We went for dinner with our friend Paulette and her girlfriend first which was really lovely and we had yet another wonderful night. Paulette couldn't come to Pinks as she was off to Manchester early in the morning to the Sparkle Transgender Day of Remembrance and was giving the closing speech.

I was watching the ceremony live on Facebook at home in the kitchen on the Sunday and M walked in and started to watch it too. As Paulette made her speech we lit our candles and put them on our window sill. The whole ceremony was very emotional and Paulette's speech was great.

This morning Lucy has an appointment with the GP to update them on the GIC session yesterday. This is not with her usual GP but another within the practice who has also shown a lot of interest in Lucy.

All in all we have had a wonderful few days. Things are moving slowly but at least they are moving at last. 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Close call - swerved

So, as you know Lucy and I have plans when we are going to tell more family and specifically the rest of the children; 3 out of 7 know.

At some point next year Lucy will tell her 2 sons and immediately after that I will tell my other 2 sons. Then that's the kids all updated and then it is the rest of the close family and friends before we get onto our wider family and friends. 

This weekend it was my sisters 50th birthday party. She does not live locally and all the family from all over the place made their way to her party venue and we were all staying at hers or in local hotels. Lucy (as him) dj's and my sister had asked Lucy to dj for her. It was a totally fantastic party and of course the music was great. A lot of old school 'Ibiza' type dance classics which you would not normally associate with a family party but this was what my sister wanted and it went down a storm.

During the course of the events someone noticed how long Lucy's nails were and asked if 'he' had taken up playing the guitar. To be honest I can't remember who asked but we kind of blagged it away about how I usually cut and file 'his' nails to stop 'him' biting them and and that I hadn't, blah, blah, blah.

While we were at the party my second eldest son J came up to me and we were having a chat about relationships. He asked me if something was going on as he had noticed some changes with 'him'. I asked him what he meant and what he had noticed specifically and he mentioned 'him' wearing earrings, eyebrows being shaped, long finger nails, how feminine the tattoo cover ups are and how much happier 'he' seems to be.

To be honest I'm surprised it has been this long before he has asked me anything as I know J is quite observant. If the time had been right this would have been the ideal circumstances for me to tell him the whole truth but I know Lucy has it all mapped out in her mind so I had to bend the truth. I told him that there was nothing to tell however me and 'him' are very happy together and that 'he' is in a good place. J said he could see I was happy and I said that actually I am the happiest I have ever been and he said that he could see that too.

Swerved that one for now however I don't think J is stupid and I am sure that my son and daughter who do know have not said anything as he would have been more direct and as a family we are close. I do feel like it was a bit of a missed opportunity however I have to abide by Lucy's wishes.

It was doubly weird as my son that does know said to me that his dad (my ex) had been very pro trans in a lively debate recently - I wouldn't have expected that of him to be honest. We will see how pro he is when he knows about Lucy! 

One of my sisters best friends was at the party. Her ex-husband transitioned over 20 years ago. She does not know about Lucy but when we were talking about her kids 'he' was mentioned. It was interesting that it was not him transitioning that split them up and that it was the not nice person that he was and apparently still is. Their children are all grown up but do not see him by choice, again not because he has transitioned but because they actually don't like him/her. It is a bit like old people where people think all old people are nice however if they were an objectionable person anyway, being old does not make them nicer. Same with transitioning..... you are still the same person inside.

In other news Lucy had two sessions with the tattooist last week so has the outline of the final two cover ups done. They both look great. She is booked in for 3 hours this week which should get the bulk of the colouring and shading done. Saturday we are at Pink Punters on a non trans night which should be great and we are both really looking forward to it.

Last week Lucy also bought some smaller cup size bras for when she grows enough to wear them however she is wearing them now. It is quite weird seeing her with these smaller cup size bras as the breast forms she wears are much larger. Seeing her walking around in these bras when in reality she does not have enough to put in them yet reminds me of my puberty days and probably pretty much the same for any girl. Oh I remember so well the excitement of buying and wearing my first bra and loved wearing it so much even when I had nothing to fill it out. Unfortunately I was teased quite a bit by my mum and the neighbour we had at the time and I remember feeling quite embarrassed by their words. Seeing Lucy wearing hers just makes me smile so much as I remember that feeling so well. No teasing words from me though :)

Tuesday, 8 November 2016


Ha ha I bet that title got your attention!

We definitely have a change in the breast area.

Despite only having been on the patches for nearly 5 weeks there are noticeable changes. There is definitely breast tissue starting to form however the biggest change is in Lucy’s nipples. It feels a bit uncomfortable writing about the intimate changes in her body but my blog is kind of a diary documenting all the changes that happen during her transition as well as all the other things in our lives.

I hadn’t noticed the nipple change until this weekend and I was surprised as this change had happened in a few days. We both know each others bodies well. When I mentioned it to Lucy of course she had noticed but hadn’t said anything. The shape hasn’t changed however they are much softer, pinker and slightly larger. This change is great news as it mean that the patches are taking effect. 

There has been so much chat on some forums recently where the patches have not been working for many people and they have not seen any changes. The reason given is that the patches give a trickle dose of oestrogen (estrogen for those in the US) rather than a large hit like the tablets or the injections. Lucy is on the high dose patches which delivers 100mcg of oestrogen in 24 hours and these seem to be working fine for her. It will be interesting to see the changes in her oestrogen and testosterone levels when she next has a blood test.  
Exciting times!!