19 February, 2011

Mixed News

Yesterday I had my appointment with Dr. Deutsch at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center in Hollywood. It was a pretty lengthy stay there, for several reasons. And the results were a mixed bag.

Regarding the actual checkup, it appeared that any infection I may have had is gone. The ointment treatments seem to have worked, and to be safe, she recommended keeping them up for a little while longer. However, she did have one thing to say regarding the blood drainage I'm still having from my labia. She said she was not entirely sure, but that it appeared that I may have broken a stitch early after all, and that some of the draining is from that exposed area. She wants to double check with the surgeon, and took a picture to send in for additional information. She believes that may be why my clitoris seems undefined still at this time. Elizabeth had been thinking this as well, but didn't want to alarm me. Dr. Deutsch said that a corrective surgery may be necessary. I hope not, I still haven't paid off the last one, and it may be awhile before I do.

At the end, she noted that I still had some labs to do that I forgot to do last time. Well, since I was unsure of where to go and nobody told me last time, I had just gone home. Whoops, apparently. So, I went to the lobby to wait. And wait I did. Somewhere along the way, they lost my labs paperwork for about a half hour or so, but I finally got it. While waiting, Elizabeth got some paperwork started to try and get into Dr. Deutsch's care as well. They initially charged me a separate $11 for my labs. When I got my receipt, I had "male" in bold print sticking out of the top of the form. I got kinda pissed at that, so I brought it up to the receptionist while I was further waiting for the lab to actually call me inside.

I had some blood drawn and went back to the lobby. Apparently while there, I had been called back up. Turns out that they made a mistake, as my labs were covered by my insurance plan. They also wanted me to wait and talk to the supervisor regarding the gender label at the top of the form. After getting my refund, Elizabeth and I went into the supervisor's office.

Lisa is a very kind soul, though this would be the first time I had spoken much to her. She explained that, upon reviewing my forms, the lady who had done my financial screening forms had missed some parts altogether and fudged one, leaving me with a "male" marker. This was a major no-no, and it was fixed. Also, Lisa showed us a change they had made to their system.

Several months ago, shortly after Elizabeth and I first met, we went to the center to get HIV/STI testing at the Center. While I had no issues, they had blatantly fucked up her name, using her male name even though they knew her preferred name, and loudly, too. Shocking treatment for an LGBT services center, and leaving a sour taste in both our mouths. When I went to Dr. Deutsch the first time, I let her know exactly what had transpired that day.

Fast forward back to Thursday. The change that Lisa showed us was directly because of my report. She programmed a popup throughout the system that shows the preferred pronoun and name of any patient as necessary. We felt a lot better that we saw the action taken. While there, Lisa also went ahead and did Elizabeth's financial screening instead of waiting for Friday, since we had been pretty inconvenienced already by the error on my part. Even though mistakes were being made, I felt a lot better knowing that at least they were being handled. I reminded myself that the gender services were actually a rather new part of the Center's facilities, and that hiccups can be expected. With that in mind, the actions taken eased my mind somewhat. Knowing also that Elizabeth's name change was only 3 weeks away, something we are both very excited for, Lisa went ahead and updated the profile in their system with the new information anyway, saving us one step in the grand process of things. That was very nice of her.

Finally, we went downstairs for a prescription refill. Since I had never been to the center's pharmacy, it took another minute to process. When it was all done, I wasn't charged for my month of progesterone! I felt pretty good about that. Cash is very tight still, and every little bit helps. Things will get better, soon, I know. Patience, however, is not one of this Taurus' stronger attributes, however.

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