All it takes!

You may have noticed a more positive theme to the last couple of posts I have done and yesterday was just one more step nearer to getting to the place I want to be both physically and mentally. During my conversation with the surgeon in Brighton last month he mentioned that he thought my hormone levels were not where they probably should be and I should seek advice and guidance on my return to Australia. I mentioned this to my GP when I saw her last week and she suggested I see an endocrinologist again, we discussed the numerous ones I have seen in the past and I made it clear which of them I wanted to see again and which I most certainly would not want to see.

For one reason or another I didn’t get round to making an appointment last week so made it a priority on Tuesday after the long weekend. Getting through to the reception was more of a challenge than I expected and it took me most of the day to actually speak with someone. When I did I was a little surprised to be told that the choice was either 9.15 the following morning or the 25th of July, I did remember that she only works one or two days a week at this particular hospital so was usually booked up solid for some time ahead. After a moment of thought I decided to take the 9.15 appointment even though it would mean a very early start but felt I needed to see her sooner rather than later.

I duly set my alarm for 4am with a view to leaving at 5. Now 4 hours to get from Busselton to Perth may sound like a long time but at that time of the day I knew the freeway would be chaos and it didn’t disappoint. After a very easy run as far as Cockburn I found myself parked up with the occasional few meters of progress but thought I had plenty of time in hand so wasn’t too stressed about it but after about half an hour I started to get a little concerned and decided to put the address into the GPS and see what the prospects of progress were. I was duly told to leave the freeway and sent on a very unusual way through back streets until I rejoined the freeway about half an hour later and north of the “incident” which had caused the hold up.

I arrived at the suite with plenty of time to spare and dealt with the name change details first. As there was a lady in front of me I decided to visit the cafe for a coffee rather than sit in the waiting room until my turn. When I returned there were 3 other people in the waiting room and it wasn’t long before the lady before me came out and paid her dues at the reception. Shortly after the endocrinologist came out and after a moment of hesitation invited me into her office, what she said to me next blew me away, she said she didn’t pick me in the waiting room and that I looked really good and she couldn’t believe the transformation! That really is all it takes, all it takes to to make the difference, all it takes to make me stronger, more able to deal with the not so positive moments which with help from my psychologist and my wonderful Denise I have reduced to a much more manageable level. I can’t deny there have been some very difficult decisions made recently but in terms of both my physical and mental health I feel they have been the right ones so long may my positivity last!

Warm welcomes and big hugs

Two out of the three day long weekend for Denise and I was spent driving down to Albany on the south coast to attend the 60th wedding anniversary of one of my father’s cousins and his wife. From the day I arrived in Western Australia in 2006 this couple have made me feel very welcome and very much part of the family. They are simply gorgeous people for whom I have a great deal of time and respect and in anyone’s eyes being married for 60 years is a huge achievement.  It was an absolute honour to be part of their celebrations and lovely to catch up with so many of my Australian relatives. My confidence at gatherings like that has grown so much over the last twelve months and I never once worried if I looked okay or what anybody else thought of me, I did however have a moment when I didn’t quite expect the reply I received when I greeted someone whom I have known for at least twelve years, don’t see regularly, usually only at family gatherings but who somehow had slipped through the net and did not know of my transitioning. It could have been a difficult moment but they were lovely, after an opening line of “sorry, do I know you?” Then I could see the cogs start turning but I felt it best to come clean and reply, yes, Stephanie, as in used to be Robin? They had no idea of what I had done so a very very brief explanation followed and there were numerous hugs from them both. We had the pleasure of sitting on the “close relatives” table for the luncheon and the conversation never stopped. It was such an easy atmosphere full of love and admiration for the couple of the moment who both took a turn with the microphone and spoke with great ability about their lives and journey.

All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable event, the second of which I have attended with the family in two weeks. The first one was in Yorkshire on May 20th. Although the occasion had a sad part as the gathering was for the scattering of the ashes of another of my Father’s cousins in the churchyard at Harpham, it was followed by light refreshments at the local pub where I met up with lots of people I haven’t seen for many years. Every one of them was supportive of my journey and interested in my story, some knew a little and some knew a lot of it but there was not one who had anything negative to say only full of encouragement and even some admiration for what I have done. The overall feeling was a sense of acceptance, after all I am the same person just in slightly different packaging and a good deal happier.