April 17, 2008

Big Fat Stupid Doctors.

This is an important post. I am very angry in it.

I am transgendered. To transition from female to male in my city I need to go through a gender clinic. I have no choice. There is only one clinic. I cannot go anywhere else.

This clinic is bigoted in ways that would astound you.

I have been told (to my face) that I need to lose weight before I will be allowed to transition - and when I explained that I cannot exercise I was told that I can "take pills for it nowadays". I have been told (to my face) that I should wait until my chronic illness that I have had for ten years gets better before I transition.

I've also been scowled at, looked down upon and scoffed at for being bisexual, polyamorous, and unemployed (even though, you know, I AM DISABLED.)

All this is coming from medical professionals, ladies gents and others. These people control my health. These people get to decide whether or not I get to have medical treatments that will save my life (in this case by stopping me comitting suicide).

I am being denied medical treatment.

Let me repeat that, in case you missed it: I AM BEING DENIED MEDICAL TREATMENT.

So I cried, I got angry, and I realized that complaining won't help with this particular lot (people have gone that route before and not gotten anywhere). I will have to jump through their hoops.

So I go to the doctor. I tell him what the problem is. I tell him that I need to lose weight in order to receive medical treatment. I tell him why I cannot lose weight the "normal" way - I already eat well and I cannot exercise due to that whole disability thing.

He spends 20 minutes telling me that I am disgustingly overweight and it's all my fault. Oh, and by the way, I'm not really disabled - I'm just fat. And that whole thing where I can't walk? The cure for that is to walk, apparently!

After many tears we finally get to the point where he might be able to help me. He prescribes me a drug. I am the first patient in his career he has ever prescribed it to.

It is Duromine. A legal version of speed. An amphetamine.

It is not a safe drug to take. It does awful things to my body, and it can be addictive and easy to abuse. I don't want to take the drug. But I have to. What are my other choices? I have none.

I have to do this if I want medical treatment. You see, as it stands, I am not a real human being. I do not have human rights. I do not have the right to medical treatment right now. Because I am fat, mostly. But also because I am transgendered, and because I am disabled.

I do not have human rights.

Let's recap this little tale of joy:

* Cannot transition until I lose weight.
* Potentially cannot transition until my disability is "better", whatever that means.
* Cannot lose weight due to disability.
* Told to lose weight regardless of disabiliity.
* Given a potentially harmful drug to make me lose weight.

* If I cannot transition, I may be a danger to myself.
* Denial of treatment for transgenderedism may lead to my death.

In short, these people are okay with their poor or lack of treatment leading to my death.

Because I am not human. I do not have human rights.

I am a fat, transgendered, disabled person. No, not a person. I am not a person. I do not have rights like people do. I do not have the right to quality of life, to good and caring medical treatment.

Because I am fat, transgendered, and disabled, all in one neat package. I am not human.


Erinkyan said...

Go for it, dood.

nixwilliams said...

here you go.

lilacsigil said...

(here via nixwilliams)
That's disgraceful - the First, Do No Harm blog collects stories of fat discrimination in healthcare and may have useful info for you, though I can't remember anything trans-specific. It's bloody awful when the requirements of transitioning won't let you see another doctor - after being misdiagnosed as fat and lazy (I had cancer) I have found other doctors who have looked at me as a person, not as a blob of fat. Is there anyone else that you can see, even if they're in the same practice? Is there any actual medical issue that they are addressing (like the fat/estrogen issue) or are they just punishing you, which is what it sounds like?

Tom said...

I heard about this via Jonathan's blog. That's absolutely terrible and one of the worst Monash-related stories I have ever heard (and I'd already heard some bad ones).

I'm really sorry that this has happened.

Unknown said...

just, god.

I also heard about this from Jonathan's blog, and while I've come to expect just about anything from Monash, this is really plumbing the depths even for them.

I'm really sorry this has happened to you. I also blogged about it - I hope you don't mind.

Erinkyan said...

lilacsigil, I'm definitely going to be sending my story to that blog (I've been aware of it of some time), but I'm wating for my story to have something resembling an "end" before I do so.

There is sadly no one else to see for surgery - if I was just after hormones I would have other options but for surgery, no way. even if I approached surgeons independantly they want people to have gone through the clinic.

For the surgery, there is possibly a medical issue involving my weight, however, there is NO REASON AT ALL to withhold hormones from me because of my weight or disability - in fact many studies have shown T to help female bodied folks with CFS and fibro a lot!! The "side effects" of that treatment is masculinized features! Go figure!

Tom, thanks, knowing I'm not crazy and they really are mistreating me really helps.

Rebecca, thanks, and no problem on blogging about it or linking. :)