Identities II

I feel powerless with doctors, and wanted something to communicate my value: how can I show that I am a worthwhile person, and should be treated well? This shows a lack of trust in the medical profession. Well, I have had particular experiences with doctors.

My medical practice wrote to arrange a medication review. I take prescription hormones, and wondered about just ignoring it; but they might not give me a repeat prescription. I have a named GP but don’t like him. He did not know what it was when I described my retrograde ejaculation, and did not seem to care. So I did not want to see him again. I made an appointment with the first GP available, a woman in her forties. The male GP then got the receptionist to phone me up: I had been discharged from the gender identity clinic, was I happy with that? Yes, happy enough, thanks for asking two years after it happened. Then he wanted my blood pressure taken. I was happy to see a nurse to do that but did not want to go twice to the practice. We established that the female GP could probably do that.

She has a small fan just directed at her, but barely strong enough for the airflow to be noticeable, though the whine was. The motor had overheated. So that it just points at her is incompetence getting a decent fan in this heatwave, not discourtesy. I am a middle class person. Don’t fob me off. I was delighted to notice the booklet from “All too human”, a Tate exhibition, lying about her room. I said how much I loved the show.

She started telling me how much she had enjoyed it, especially the Lucien Freud. I loved the- can’t remember the name, Cookham man, entirely different view of him. [Stanley Spencer, of course.] She knew a woman who had curated the — gallery, which had done a retrospective of David Bomberg and showed a lot of the Jewish artists who escaped the Holocaust to London. After, I thought, yes, Germanic surname, Biblical first name, she is Jewish, I would not have considered it but for what she said. Is that why Jewish artists specifically appealed to her? Freud could be the greatest artist in that show. I would be interested in a Quaker artist, or a Scot, there.

Later, I thought of what I might have said- that Jewish refugee immigration did a great deal of good for this country- something I believe, something that fits with my attitude to refugees now, something that might have built connection there. I want to build connection. I sympathised as the fan died. She did some standard tests for why I might be TATT (Tired All The Time) from physical causes, and noted my blood pressure is within normal range. Under 140/90 is OK.

I started it, and am not sure she should have been so open to small talk. She wants to be able to relate to me, as well as I to her. I liked her as a human being and want her as an equal. I went off to the phlebotomist, who had to hunt for a vein, waggling the needle inside my arm. Piercing the skin was the most painful bit of that.

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