Plenty of stuff has happened since my last post, and I got some good news and some bad news.
First, the bad news:
1. I got the referral to the Urologist, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Apparently, the one I got assigned to doesn’t treat hypogonadism (my doctor actually put “Transsexualism” – which is problematic because I’m not Transsexual, I’m only Transgender and on top of that, I’m Intersex). On the bright side, I think I owe it to Obamacare for not getting discriminated against this time around . As a result of all this, I had to go through hell for several days. Fortunately, I’m back on my feet.
2. I had to switch doctors because my now-former doctor will no longer be covered under my insurance starting on the 25th. This is because my current insurance won’t be around after December 31. Since Medi-Cal is getting expanded, there is no need for the insurance program I’m on right now. As a result, I’ll be getting transferred to Medi-Cal and that will become my health insurance on January 1st. My former doctor will be under the Medi-Cal program but its going to take 6 months for it to be approved, so he won’t be able to serve me. I’m actually very excited about the switch to Medi-Cal – I’ll be able to get more benefits, which includes getting T covered.
Now, the good news:
I got a new doctor last Friday, so that means I’ll be able to start fresh and forget everything that’s happened these last several weeks. The last few visits to the doctor have been about trying to get a second opinion on my Intersex before going on hormones, and just getting a physical examination based on that (which included checking my hormone levels before initiating HRT). Well, I already did that, so I don’t need to do anything else. Everything’s good down there and a specialist (a gynecologist) agreed with me about my intersex. My previous PCP wanted me to get an ultrasound, but I don’t think its necessary. He wanted to be sure that there were no ovaries or other internal female reproductive organs – which I know there aren’t.
My testes are palpable (you can feel and see them) from my bifid scrotum (which look like labia), so I know I don’t have ovaries. Its impossible for humans to have both a fully working set of testes and ovaries, since they’re both derived from the same tissue. My guess is that my former PCP was just misinformed – and I don’t blame him for that since there still isn’t a lot of awareness about intersex…there are still a lot of misconceptions about it. I’m guessing that the specialist (a gynecologist) that saw me back in late September kept this in mind (he seemed to be a bit more informed about intersex), so he didn’t didn’t have me do an ultrasound. If the testes weren’t palpable in the labioscrotal folds (the bifid scrotum), then he would’ve had me do one.
In addition to the testes, I also have a penis that looks like a clitoris but isn’t one (it is about 4cm long when its stretched). It is capable of erections and ejaculations, and in my case, the urethra attaches to it. I can even have sex (both partner and solo) like any other guy. My sex drive is like that of a regular (read: “standard-bodied”) guy. Additionally, I have something that looks like vagina but isn’t…what it really is is something called a urogenital sinus, and yeah, it doesn’t do anything – its just ‘there’ (and yeah, if you haven’t guessed already, I don’t have a vagina).
I’ve done enough research (lots of it) to know that I’m not genetically female, and I am indeed intersex and genetically male. I trust both my research and my instincts. I no longer need to undergo any physical examinations. The only thing I would love to do is get karyotyped and get my genes sequenced, so I can know what kind of mutation I really have. I know its 5 Alpha Reductase Deficiency (or even 17 beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency – I really think its the former, but you never know), but I really want to know what I really have. I really want to know if the type of mutation I have is novel (which I suspect it is), and if it has even been discovered yet. I’m just really curious to know. But I can wait, and I’ll need to. Getting one of these tests is going to cost me a lot of money (about $700 for each test – that is, to get tested for both 5ARD and 17BHSD).
So I’ll be seeing my doctor on Friday. When I go see him, I’m just going to tell him that I want to go on TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) to treat hypogonadism (I also want to go on Arimidex, btw). Additionally, I’m going to tell him that I was born as a genetic male, who didn’t know he was one until just last year and that at the same time last year, he also came to the realization that it would be best for him to live the rest of his live as male since that’s how he’s always felt. Hopefully everything goes well, and I can finally start treatment and get back to my life. Hopefully he can also help me to fix the gender marker on my SSA records and ID. I think this time around, I’ll be able to try the Endocrinologist again (because of Obamacare prohibiting the time of discrimination I went through the other time around – which was before Obamacare went into effect), but I’m going to see what my doctor recommends this time around.
In addition, I’m also going to conduct a small experiment. When I fill out my application, I’m going to mark “Male” where it says “sex” or” gender”. In the past, I either marked “Female” (based on my ID and SSA records) or left it blank (I did this when I first went to see my previous PCP). I’m hoping that goes well. Hopefully, I won’t get asked anymore questions like “when when was your last pap smear?”, and hopefully I won’t need to answer “I don’t have a cervix, so I don’t need to get one” or “I don’t have cervix because I’m intersex, so I don’t need to get one”.
Hopefully, I’ll get my needs met.