1st appointment at CX on Fri. What to bring? What to expect?

SarahG
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: South Wales

1st appointment at CX on Fri. What to bring? What to expect?

Postby SarahG » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:08 pm

Taken me two years to get here, and I seem to be coming down with a stress related cold, but since they operate a policy of discharging you if you don't turn up, I'm going to turn up even if I have to be carried there and then pass out in reception. I've already arranged for my partner to drive me, either because the cold being too bad, or because after the appointment I might not be in a suitable mental state to drive back home.

I have absolutely no idea what to expect, the last therapist who I saw, who is the local gatekeeper for south Wales was really horrible, constantly cutting me off mid sentence, said I couldn't possibly be trans because I'd turned up presenting as male, even after I'd already pointed out that this was my work uniform and generally made me feel like my presence there was an inconvenience to her.

This time I'm seeing Dr. Lorimer who I'm told is rather better, but given my experiences of the system so far, I'm not convinced.

Currently got a little folder together with all the proof of name change I can think of, including:

Stat Dec, Deed Poll, Driving Licence, Blood test results, payslip showing new title but not new name, letter confirming updated security clearance, letter confirming updated police vetting, letter from pension company and credit card, receipt for the laser treatment I've been having, original appointment letter, referral letter from the local gatekeeper.

That's all I can think of. Anything else I should take, and can anyone give me a primer on what to expect. Is it going to count against me that I started self medding back in April, after getting their appointment letter and realising it was on the two year anniversary of my originally asking to be referred.

Knowing my luck, someone will have a crash on the M4 and I won't make it and get discharged anyway. Either that or I'll just forget to bring that folder. I think I might tape it to my car keys tomorrow night.

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Christine
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Re: 1st appointment at CX on Fri. What to bring? What to exp

Postby Christine » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:31 pm

Please try not to get too uptight! Speaking as the world's most uptight person ever, just to be clear. The best bit of advice I had about CX is that they're really there to help, which has so far been demonstrated to be true. The only really important thing you can bring with you is yourself: speak to them plainly and they'll sort you out. Any paperwork you take along might be a bonus, but remember that they're not there to interrogate you or to try to trip you up. I felt a similar way about the assessment to get to CX in that I seemed to be doubted and felt I needed to prove myself, but once there, I really just had to describe my life and the way I felt. I think the one bit of information they seemed especially interested in was my change of name deed, I guess as proof I was serious and living as a woman. Incidentally, the other thing of the assorted bits and pieces that seemed to catch their attention on my second appointment was a couple of declarations from people who knew me personally that I identified as female: nobody mentioned that to me before, but it seemed to be of interest.

Like you, I was and still am concerned about missing appointments so I've made a habit of booking myself a room at one of the local hotels the night before. Not the cheapest way of doing it, but it's nice having the opportunity to have a night out with a friend while I'm down there. Makes the trip a bit more of an event.

SarahG
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: 1st appointment at CX on Fri. What to bring? What to exp

Postby SarahG » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:38 pm

Interesting idea, the hotel, but I'm also a carer for my disabled partner and she typically doesn't get home from work until 8-10PM (typically. She still isn't home tonight!), so I'm just going to have to head down in the morning as if it was a work day, and hope for the best.

I guess I'll just head down and see how it goes. It's a bit late to get a statement from someone else, though I will be bringing my partner with me.

I guess if the local side of the system wasn't so cr*ppy and adversarial then perhaps that first CX appointment wouldn't be so stressful.

Next task: Decide what to wear!

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Christine
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Re: 1st appointment at CX on Fri. What to bring? What to exp

Postby Christine » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:17 am

That does make it a bit tricky, and taking a couple of days off every time is going to cost more holiday than I guess is entirely reasonable. I wouldn't worry too much about the statement, one of the doctors found it interesting, but its usefulness is yet to be determined! I think the change of name deed is probably the important one.

It does seem that actually getting referred to CX in the first place is the difficult bit. Since being there, my only real problems have been with the admin side, what with letters typically taking at least couple of months to find their way to me (if they reach me at all) and the long wait between appointments, which seems to be typically six months. But to date there's been nothing I'd flag as being worrisome (hopefully I'm not tempting fate!), the doctors have been generally helpful and even brought up some unrelated matters for me to look into.

What to wear to my next appointment is also vexing me! But not as much as the memory of what I wore to my first appointment, which in spite of my best efforts saw me ultimately just looking overweight and bedraggled, a particularly humid summer's day not exactly helping things along...

I take it you're familiar with the exact route you're taking? I only ask as I managed to get lost on the way the first time I went down there, but I'm good at getting lost.


SarahG
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: 1st appointment at CX on Fri. What to bring? What to exp

Postby SarahG » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:13 am

Getting there isn't a problem, I've been there before (as driver and moral support for a friend), parking is a different matter though.

You've just reminded me to call them and ask if they received my change of name form I faxed to them a month ago, every time I remember to try the phone is perma-engaged and I give up after an hour or so.

And, yeah, getting referred. 11 months of work, including arguing on the phone with the Welsh side while sat in the reception at CX relaying messages between them since they're apparently incapable of referring to each other, and then a 13 month wait for my actual appointment. (8 months waiting for them to process my referral and put it at the end of the 5 month waiting list. Nice scam to keep the waiting list stats down!)

Turns out that the reason my referral didn't get processed is because the Welsh side sent the confirmation of funding before the actual referral. This broke the admin process at CX and my referral was stuck in the "awaiting funding" pile where it sat in limbo.

Bloody useless.



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