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What to expect with VA LGBTQ care ?


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Hi everyone,  I have my first video appointment with Endo in about a month, and I was wondering what to expect ?  They didn't want a blood test yet, but I just did a fasting blood test recently.  I'm a Senior that came out to my LGBTQ Coordinator at the beginning of 2021.  She is very nice and has given me a lot of Transgender resources from the VA.  I got a Therapist right away and met in video appointments about once a month.  In about 3 months I got a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis and about  a month later I got an HRT approval from my Primary Physician.  And I did get into a Seniors Trans Psychotherapy group that meets once a month which is great.  Everyone at my VA has been really nice.  You just have to be patient with two month waiting times to get an appointment which seems about par.   If anyone has any questions about me or the VA I would be glad to help and if anyone has any info on what to expect from here I would appreciate it.  BTW I was the last draftee in 1972, I was in the middle of puberty, not that is was possible mtf transition back then.  My how times have changed, Vini

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3 hours ago, Vini said:

I was in the middle of puberty, not that is was possible mtf transition back then.

 

Totally was, it was just harder. We've got at least one member that transitioned back then in the before time. ?

Granted, I wish I'd known it was an option back then (well maybe not WAY back then, because I was two, but you get the idea) also, but it is what it is.

 

Kind of surprised your endo doesn't want blood-work yet though. Mine always, always, always wants blood. Anyway, my first meeting was face-to-face. We talked about my goals, then she sent me downstairs for bloodwork. I'd expect something similar, but she'll make an appointment for you to give her the red stuff and she'll get a baseline. Then she'll go over it and see if you're healthy enough for HRT.

I'll share a bit of advice my endo gave me, "Don't worry about it too much. We can almost always find a treatment plan your body can tolerate."

 

Hugs!

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Thank you Jackie C, you made my day!  I can quit worrying.  I had no idea there were different dosages, hormone combinations and approaches for different people and ages before this year.  I may have just talked to a scheduler so far, and will meet an Endo Nurse next to continue like you described.  Yes it is amazing how people came out before there was an internet.  I just wanted to survive basic training and ait.  I will be happy to take some steps to transition that are possible for me.  Right now I'm working on my new pierced ears which are a big step for me, lol. Vini  PS, I got my courage to wear my girl jeans in public everywhere from my group therapy.

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@Vini I am going through the VA for my transition. I came out about 4 years ago. after decades of wonder. They have been great. Through the VA I am seeing my PCP, I see a GYN. Therapist, I have a Pharmacy team, that monitors my Meds (but my HRT) All of them are fantastic. I have even seen a speech therapist. I have gotten hair and breast prosthetics, though the VA.

 

I am comfortable when I go to the VA. I can be myself, I use the ladies room without any problems. My GYN wants to do a bone density scan. And a mammogram. She says might as well start now. (not that I will have much to scan right now.) With being a disabled Vet. I haven't paid a dime for anything the VA has done.

 

Kymmie

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I'm also transitioning through the VA. It's been a very accepting and encouraging experience. Although like a lot of veterans I feel very isolated and alone... all by myself in my foxhole if you will.

I certainly do not feel connected or accepted within the gay community.

TA

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I get my care from the VA as well.  My experience has been positive also.  You do have to be patient at times tho.

 

Vini, I was drafted also.  It was annoying, but I don't regret it.

Having served, I feel that I have a right to my political opinions and transgederness.  I have little respect for those that question my patriotism - especially from those who wouldn't serve themselves.

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Thank you KimmieL, TommieAnne and Jandi for you Service and Messages.  I probably said everyone at the VA has been great.  I even liked being called Ma'am by a Veteran much older than I last time I went to the Lab.  Annoying is a good description for  being drafted, Jandi.  Your shared experiences have made me feel great and not so alone in my foxhole too this Memorial Day. Please feel free to reach out to me any time here.  Thank you so much, Vini

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TommieAnne, I can understand maybe how you don't feel connected with the gay community.  I am not attracted to gay or straight males, but I have always wanted to be a female.  So it has made making friends a little tricky in the past and is part of my goal of finding my self and a relationship that may work better than my failed marriages.  Good luck with your journey, Vini

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  • 4 weeks later...

@Jackie C.  Just to update and confirm.  You were right, my first meeting with Endo was great.  My Clinician was cool, knowledgeable, and proactive about Transgenders.  He gave me a pretty standard regime of hrt from what l've read.  I had the feeling he would have helped me one way or another.  I'm even looking forward to the next meeting in 6 months.  But you know that exhausting feeling when you arrive at something you wanted your whole life it seems ? Wow.  Thanks again for all the help, Vini

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  • 5 months later...

Hi everyone,  Going on Six months hrt and a warning.  I havent been on tpulse since June or July after I had my low sodium reaction to Spiro.  I am not an expert so I dont know everything.  But after about a month on hrt food started tasting strange, I was getting weaker and weaker to the point I couldnt stand long enough to make a pot of coffee.  Sounded like Covid so the VA told me to go to a local hospital.  Which is a whole saga if anyone has any questions.  But like some others I am thrilled to still be on mtf hrt on a lower dose of Spiro and salt pills. My boobs  are firm, nipples nicely sensitive and my hips are getting bigger.  I am also very grateful to the VA for sticking with me and covering the bills which is another saga if any,,,,   Good luck, Vini

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Glad you're okay now.

 

Low sodium is a possibility with Spiro that doesn't seem to get mentioned very often.  It can kill you.

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Hyponatremia,  Low sodium will shock you.  You're laying there in a hospital bed and you can barely make it to the toilet.  You're wondering if this is how old age is going to end,  trying to remember what it was like to walk two miles the week before.  None of the Doctors or Nurses even mentions the word "Transgender". Luckily one Doctor said he had patients who were "Guys like You' and said that was too much Aldactone / Spiro.  So you have faith that you're going to get better and survive like your friend Jandi did.  And you have faith that the VA is going to help you with the $20,000 doctor hospital bills, so you call the VA Billing phone number and they tell you where to tell them  to send the bills. And you remember you have Medicare Part A which covers hospital stays... And now you know that there is 24hr VA phone number that you have 72 hrs to call to get authorization to go to the nearest Emergency room 1-844-724-7842.   All the best, Vini

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  • 6 months later...

Hi all!  I just came out to the LGBT Care Coordinator.  Already scheduled an interview for next week to verify my gender dysphoria.  I'm told that I'll have a diagnosis that day.  Then I have an appointment with my PCP in two weeks.  So far the folks at the VA have been nothing but encouraging and supportive.

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3 hours ago, Bobbijean said:

So far the folks at the VA have been nothing but encouraging and supportive.

My experience with the VA has been mostly positive.

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