Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's a Small World

Yesterday was the day to have my fluids checked at my local VA Clinic.  As a point of reference, my clinic could be compared to an urgent care center on steroids and my much larger regional hospital center is 20 miles in Dayton (Ohio).

After being probed, tested and questioned, I'm happy to say my primary physician Doc told me all was well and go on with my life.  Of course none of that is as easy said than done when you are my age and on HRT. My primary risks are potential blood clots and mood swings because of my history of being bi-polar and my Mom's cause of death from heart disease.  Definitely, I do pay attention to both.

Of particular interest on this visit to my Doc (my second), he said he felt a certain closeness to my treatment because he has a Mtf transgender niece!  Even I was at a lost for words for a second.  It turns out the niece is in her 20 somethings and lives in the Chicago area.  Very quickly our conversation turned to my dealings with my endocrinologist, dosages of meds and future plans.  Even gender markers!

He asked of my dealing with the VA as a whole and I said the only problem I have ever had was getting someone in the system to prescribe my HRT meds.  My original primary would make sure I got them filled but he didn't feel comfortable in prescribing them.  My problem became getting the VA in Dayton to pay for me to go outside the system to find a endo-doc who would prescribe and monitor.  The process took me nearly eight months. If I would have had to pay for the outside doc myself the cost for the initial visit and others would have been over one thousand dollars. I should point out, all of that was about two years ago and much has changed in the system. As far as my meds go, my estrogen is about the same cost with my VA copay, but my Spiro is much less. (Spiro is what is prescribed to lower testosterone fairly commonly.)

Of course I understood after the appointment why my Doc seemed to have a little more empathy for me and of course was pleased with the prognosis I would live on for a couple more days or so. (Have a lot to do!)  I am also set up with a stable number of refills on my prescriptions.  On this visit, I did ask him about if I should ask for a mammogram because my maternal grandmother died of breast cancer and I was developing more and more breast tissue.  I am supposed to hear back soon.

Now, the next hurdle for me will be how all of this will work with my upcoming date with Medicare coverage when I'm 65. (If I make it through the party!)

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