More Progress

I’ve started seeing a therapist at the trans* clinic in DC and I will have a letter supporting my decision to get a hysterectomy by August! My therapist, (who is a really awesome trans man) also recommended two more surgeons for me to get in touch with, one in DC and one in Maryland. Things are moving along faster than I ever expected and I’m really excited that this is going to be possible for me, but I’m also starting to really stress out over the financial aspect of it.

If my insurance covers my surgery at all, I will still be on the hook for up to 5,000 dollars before the insurance starts paying, and I just can’t afford that. I will also have to be out of work for 6 weeks. I can’t really afford that either. If they refuse to cover it at all then I’ll just be have medical debt for the rest of my life.

On an equally stressful note, my mother just found out that I’m doing this and is being totally unsupportive  because she believes that “what [I’m] doing is wrong” and that I might change my mind.

TLDR: I’m making more progress  than I ever thought possible and that’s exciting, but I’m still poor and my parents still don’t get it.

In Pursuit of Surgery: Part 2

At the Philly Trans Health Conference in June of 2013 I met two med students who were presenting a workshop about hysterectomies. Later I talked with them via email to see if they could recommend any nearby OB/GYNS who were trans* friendly and might be willing to give me a hysterectomy or an endometrial ablation and tubal ligation. They recommended four doctors, most of them in Washington DC and Maryland. I also talked to a friend of mine, fellow blogger Karen of trans*forming family and she recommended three more doctors. Of the seven doctors that were recommended to me only three are “in-network providers” (covered by my insurance) and none of those three are in my state. I also found on doctor in Pennsylvania who is considered an “in-network provider” by my insurance on the WPATH website using their “Find a Provider” search.

I called two of the doctors and emailed the other two. One doctors’ office told me straight up that they do not provide care to transgender patients. Another had an automated phone system with no option to ask a human some questions (their website was also very pink and had lots of flowers). I crossed them both off my list.

My emails got much better results. A doctor in Winston-Salem, NC emailed me back saying that he does provide care for transgender patients and what he would need from me in order for me to get surgery through him. The Doctor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania also emailed me back and asked me to call him. I talked to him on the phone today and he also said he was willing to see me and told me what I would need to do to get surgery.

Unfortunately, both doctors believe I am a trans man, and require a letter from a mental health professional in order for me to get surgery and that’s not the least of my problems. My insurance deductible (the amount of money I have to pay before my insurance starts paying) is $5,000 dollars, and I don’t have that kind of money. Despite all that, I am pretty excited. For the first time it seems like a hysterectomy might really be possible for me!

 

 

 

In Pursuit of Surgery: Part 1

The publication of this post will be the official beginning of my concentrated effort to obtain either a subtotal hysterectomy (also known as a partial or supracervical hysterectomy) or an endometrial ablation and tubal ligation.

With a subtotal hysterectomy I would have my uterus removed along with my fallopian tubes, but my ovaries and cervix would be left in place. An endometrial ablation is when the lining of one’s uterus is burned away. In people with light periods there is a fairly good chance that this can completely end menstruation after only one treatment and the process can be repeated until all of the uteran lining is completely destroyed if necessary. A tubal ligation is when one’s fallopian tubes are surgically cut, blocked, or closed to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus.

Basically what I’m trying to achieve one way or another is the end of my menstrual cycle and permanent infertility. I am not sure which procedure(s) would be the best course for me at this time, and I also have several concerns/barriers to access of treatment that I have to address:

1. I live in the South, so finding a doctor nearby who is willing to do this for me may be difficult.

2. I am non-binary, so finding a trans-friendly doctor nearby who actually believes I’m “trans* enough” for surgery may be difficult.

3. My health insurance is not trans inclusive and is just generally shitty.

4. I am poor, I cannot afford to pay out of pocket for these procedures or take a lot of time off of work to recover.

5. I have a low body weight. I don’t weigh much and I never have and I am concerned that this might make me unable to undergo surgery (you can’t eat for 24 hours or so before a hysterectomy), especially combined with my history of post-anesthesia nausea.

I mention all this now because these are the major things I am going to address in my posts relating to my quest for surgery. I want there to be a clear record of what my concerns and challenges were when I started and how I overcame them for anyone who might be in a similar position with similar concerns, because there’s not a whole lot of documentation on this stuff.

super useful.

Neutrois Nonsense

This is the 3rd article in the series about hysterectomies for transgender people. We’ll address the two biggest concerns that come up during the process, and specific steps to take towards making this a reality for you.

In the previous 2nd part  we went over reasons trans people consider hystos, and common questions, while the first part went over the basics of the procedure.

Biggest Concerns

Once they have made the big decision, a lot of people still have to jump through hoops and navigate other bumps in the road to make it a reality.

Finding a surgeon

Our biggest concern as transpeople usually revolves around finding a surgeon who will not just validate our identity, but who is willing to perform this surgery on someone who is otherwise healthy, often quite young and within reproductive age. Secondary to this is, especially for those who unmistakably look like men, is…

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super useful

Neutrois Nonsense

This 3-part series dissects all aspects of a hysterectomy, specifically covering the needs and questions of transpeople who are interested in the procedure.

In the first article, we covered What is a Hysterectomy. In this article we’ll go a bit more in-depth about the pro’s and con’s of having one versus not, and address some common misconceptions.

Why Get a Hysterectomy

First of all, your body is your body. This is a very personal choice with lots of factors to consider. Unless it is medically necessary, do it only if you want to.

Moreover, your body is your business. It’s not something you should be pressured into doing. Nobody sees your internal organs, nobody knows whether you have them or you don’t.

Reasons to Get a Hysterectomy

  • Some trans people simply feel icky knowing certain parts are in there. This can be a very affirming surgery gender-wise. In some…

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This post is really useful and informative.

Neutrois Nonsense

This 3-part series dissects all aspects of a hysterectomy, inclusively covering the needs and questions of transpeople of all identities who are interested in this procedure.

 

Brief Un-Medical Summary

Since I don’t undertake anything without substantial research beforehand, I learned a lot about the “female” reproductive system and its removal thereof in the weeks preceding my own hysterectomy. Moreover, I had no clue what the surgery itself entailed, as well as what pre-op and post-op experiences were like.

If you’re equally confounded, or just curious about a hysterectomy, follow along in this 3-part series specifically aimed at transguys, men, genderqueer, non-binary, and otherwise trans people.

Here’s a condensed version of my learnings as a non-medical non-professional. Most of this points to other (infinitely more useful and detailed) articles which you should check out.

Types of Hysterectomies

Though typically thought of or referred to as removal of the uterus…

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