I had my appointment in Taunton with Dr Brooks. It was an interesting experience.
I set off with plenty of time to get to the place. Last time I got lost as the address on the letters that they send you is near the train station while the actual place is about 2 miles away. Anyway, I knew one of the addresses was wrong so picked the address I thought was right. Doh, blonde moment. Ended up near the train station again so had a lttle detour while I reprogrammed the satnav for the correct place.
Finally I arrived with 20 minutes to spare. I thought about sitting in the car for a while as last time the place was full. In the end I decided to go in as I only had 15 minutes to wait and had a book to read.
Walking into reception I found that there was only two other people there. I spoke with the receptionist to tell her who I was and who I was there to see then sat down to read.
While I was sitting there and making a few notes on a pad I could hear the two women around the corner groaning at what was on television. Curiosity got the better of me and I went around to join them watching Life On Earth.
After a couple of minutes the one woman was called through which left me and the younger one.
I was making some notes when she shrieked and started going on about a spider. I looked up to see what was going on and she was gesturing at this tiny spider that was dangling just in front of her. I put my book down, got up and took hold of the spiders thread and carried it outside before letting it go. Apparently she was scared of spiders. My good deed was done for the day.
She was called through just after that so I was left sitting in the waiting room with this guy in a wheelchair. He was called in to a small interview room just of reception which left just me.
I sat there for 5 minutes waiting when suddenly there was a lot of shouting and the door to the interview was slammed open.
The guy in the wheelchair came hurtling out, yelling at the women in the room that he pitied them for not understanding, slammed the door shut behind him on a startled looking woman and stormed across the waiting room. I stared at the television ignoring him as I didn't want to engage with him. His incredibly pissed off and dramatic exit was unfortunately halted by the doors when he attempted to open first the wrong one and then the right one the wrong way. :-)
A couple of minutes after this I went in to see Dr Brooks. The interview itself didn't take long. I went over what I'd done with talking to family, including that I can't tell my son just yet. I told her that I didn't want to have to go back to square one so she suggested that I have another appointment in 6 months time. She said that is probably a good thing as The Laurels have currently put a hold on all referals and so even if she had written me a referal I'd have still had to wait.
I'd read about The Laurels moving to Exeter and a halt to any new operations but since they don't do operations there its a halt to new referals that they have put in place.
So in 6 months time I can go back and see Dr Brooks, or even bring the appointment forward if need be.
When I originally sat down to write this I couldn't see me bringing forward the appointment. Events since then have left me thinking that maybe I could end up bringing the appointment forward.
In the meantime Dr Brooks is going to write to The Laurels to see what things they recommend that I can get on with in the preparation for seeing them, I'm thinking things like speech therapy so that I sound more like a female, maybe even electrolysis. Once Dr Brooks has heard from them she will write to me to let me know what they say.
In the end I was back out again by about 10 to 12.
When I got in the car I rang my wife and told her what was happening.
I told her that she could now talk to her mum. Her reply was that there was no need to as things were still a long way off.
I was a bit confused by this until she said that its going to be 5 or 6 years before anything happens! I know that we'd agreed to wait until Rhys was older, 16 years of age at the earliest, which is why I wanted to see what other options there were. As it is I'm not sure that I can wait 4 years. I fully expect that something will happen to change that, probably Rhys finding out before then. Once that happens then my wife is not going to be happy and I suspect the marriage will be over.
The fact that she isn't going to tell her mum right now means, I think, that she is in denial over all this and expects it to go away by the time 5 years is up. I think that she is hoping that by putting this delay in my way then in 5 years time things will be different. Alternatively she's probably thinking that another reason for me not transitioning will come up, probably she's hoping that we'll have another child and she can use that as an excuse to stop me going forward.
Personally I can't see me being able to deal with 4 years let alone 5 or 6. I said to Dr Brooks that if it was up to me then I was ready to be referred to The Laurels right now.
Only time will tell but I'm not expecting to be waiting to transition in 5 years time, either I'll be in the middle of transitioning or have completed everything and finally be living full time as a woman.