Thursday, October 20, 2011

I’m Still Waiting

Anyone who grew up as part of the ‘Motown’ generation will probably remember this Diana Ross song.  It keeps going through my head and I can’t stop it.  ‘I’m just a fool, still waiting’.

I saw a Psychiatrist in my GIC in the first few (and probably the only) warm sunny days of September here in the UK. The plane trees in London were full and green and I went out to see an evening show wearing a sleeveless dress and no cardigan. Its mid October now.  Where I live and work here in Wales, the fields around about have been white and thick with hailstones.  As we’re by the sea, the leaves have mostly been blown off the trees and I’m in leggings and a long warm cardigan. I’m still waiting.

My Psychiatrist had taken one look at my hormone levels and pronounced the testosterone way too high and the oestrogen way too low.  No surprises there. My conservative endocrinologist, remarkably unsupportive of my transition had insisted on the lowest dose he could prescribe of estradiol patches.  It was welcome to hear what medication I SHOULD be on.  My psychiatrist would write to my doctor and advise of the changes that need to be made to bring my hormone levels into line with what is required before I have my surgical referral (4 months time).  A month and a half later and my doctor is still waiting for the letter.  As instructed I had checked with my doctor after 4 weeks and almost every couple of days since then.  I rang the GIC.  The letter, I am assured was sent out 4 days ago.  It still hasn’t appeared on my medical notes yet as it needs scanning in (if indeed it really has arrived), still waiting.

still waiting

When I do see my doctor, hopefully before the end of the week, I still have to make sure that he is willing to actually prescribe what someone else in a hospital hundreds of miles away has suggested.  I’m still waiting and hoping that my doctor won’t defer to my unsupportive endocrinologist for further advice, delaying things even more.  I’m still waiting and hoping that my Psychotherapist based in yet another hospital 50 miles away will support me by writing to my doctor to ask for a change of endocrinologist.  I’m exhausted and drained with waiting….

I shouldn’t complain or should I?  This latest waiting period comes after 6 long years of waiting and being passed from one person to another within the creaking health care system we have in Wales, UK.  I know that I should be lucky that I seem to be beginning to come to the end of what has been a very long wait indeed.  I shouldn’t be surprised at the delays and problems caused by lack of money and too few doctors having to work too hard for too many patients.  Like the shy girl in the Diana Ross song I guess that I’ve waited patiently for what some day must surely come.  I’ve had a life to live in the meantime, a family to raise and seven blissful years of being a woman anyway in the meantime.  Today I guess I’m feeling a bit impatient. I’m beginning to feel I’ve had enough of waiting (stamps her foot).  I just want the next bit of my life to start.  Here’s hoping!


As a frustrated postscript to this blogpost I visited my doctor this morning.  No letter has materialised almost a week after it was supposed to be sent. This left me talking amicably to my dear old physician about transition and frustration, the past and the future as well as all the waiting….He promised to get someone to fax the GIC and request a 2nd copy of the letter, so, until then, I’m still waiting,


  1. 40 years and I am finally getting somewhere...

    When I first started to re awaken my desire to actually "do" something since the attitudes seemed to have thawed over the decades it was a documentary about a Welsh female surgeon doing GRS which first came to my notice! How Wales has changed back a few centuries in these last few years, probably bring back burning at the stake before treating us like humans.

  2. Too true Caroline, things have maybe, no probably gone down hill since Christine Evans retired. We no have one NHS Trust for the 6 counties that make up North Wales. They closed the GIC in Bangor leaving patients having to ask to be put on someone else's waiting list even if they were currently undergoing treatment! There had been a 'Dark Age' here for some time before Health Comission Wales ceased to exist and referrals began to be made to Charing Cross. I'm really grateful for the latest move but not the 7 year wait which lead up to it!