Monday, June 28, 2010

Doctors

Specifically, new doctors. Or new-to-me doctors.

I went to see a new endocrinologist today, because I have not been happy with the care my previous doctor had been giving me with respect to my hormone replacement. I found the new doctor's name and contact information via the local transgender group's site. I had called about the appointment about a month ago, but today was the first available new-patient appointment slot they had. So, I had to wait.

So far, it seems that it was well worth the wait. I immediately felt at ease, and felt that he cared about me not as a problem to be solved, but as a patient, a person, to be cared for. We talked for several minutes about my path so far, after which he declared me to be a post-operative menopausal woman - so, in my current physical state, I am no different from a natal woman who has undergone a hysterectomy. Then he actually looked at me, to see how things were going. Just basic exam type stuff: reflexes, pulse, and listening to my heart and lungs. The other guy never even did that. He also asked to look at my breasts, and noted that the development so far was good, and that the tissue was all breast tissue, and not much fat. So, there is apparently more growth to be done. I can not even begin to convey how excited I was to hear that! He also said that a majority of trans women these days have enough breast growth that they do not need breast implants, as opposed to the 1970s when he began his practice. Also good news!

We went back into his office, and he asked a bunch more questions about my medical history, my family history, and I told him about my depression. We talked about that for a good while, and we both agreed that getting my hormone levels figured out was probably the best (and simplest) first step, which might make other more drastic treatments unnecessary. He described some of the ways the various hormones interact and how they affect the brain, and some of the basic diagnostic tools that are available. I asked a few questions, and he answered them at length. All the while, he was taking lots of notes, but at no time did I feel like he was not paying absolute attention to me.

Once we got done talking, he said that he wanted to take some blood and run some tests on it for hormone levels, and that the results would be ready by Thursday. They drew the blood in another part of the office, and after I took some of it to another lab in the same building, I was done.

I had an extremely positive first experience with the new doctor, and he seems very committed to giving me excellent care. And not just physical care, emotional care as well. It's very obvious to me that he cares about his patients very much, and I'm glad I was finally able to see him. A little bit of hope has trickled into my heart.

2 comments:

Jerica Truax said...

I just wanted to say thanks for posting this. The part about trans girls nowadays being able to grow enough boobage of the natural variety is encouraging for me too. I really really don't want implants if I can help it but I still want to get to a C. Here's hoping!

Trinity Annabelle said...

Right there with you; C would be really great, but if I can't get there, I think I could deal with "more than what I have now". The doctor suggested that perhaps our understanding has gotten better, or that the HRT medications themselves have improved - after all, he's been doing endocrinology for 35 years, and that is a good long while in the medical field.