Monday, 4 April 2011

1st Real Appointment

I just got back from my first real appointment at the clinic in Amsterdam.

I was working from home this morning - my boss was worried that I would not be able to concentrate, but actually being able to get my head around some of the more annoying things that I have had to do recently made life easier.  I hardly though about the appointment whilst working (well consciously, my nerves were playing havoc with my stomach doing back flips from time to time).

At 12, after being at it for 6 hours almost non stop I turned the computer off and had lunch (ham and cheese on toast, with peanut butter on toast for desert.  Yum).  Watched some TV (empty homes on BBC 1 - wow are there some nice houses in the UK if you have a couple of million to throw at them...) and tried to get the courage to go and get ready.

Showed, dressed, hair and make-up done I double checked the route I needed to take and left.

A little to early apparently :)  I always go for early rather than late.

Got to the hospital and managed to annoy the hell out of several drivers.  I tried to get into the garage and nothing doing.  Hit the button to speak to someone and was told 'this car park is for permit holders only'.  Great, that would be what those signs in Dutch say then.  Only for permit holders.  Right...  Oops.  It's an underground car park with the gate half way down the ramp from the (busy, major) street.  There were 3 cars behind me backed up onto the street.  And they all had to reverse back a couple of car lengths for me to get to the escape road.  Oops...  Just what I needed when I was already nervous as hell.  Hohum.

So eventually parked and got into the reception for the gender clinic 30 minutes too soon (thankfully my new handbag has room for a novel so I read for a bit, and the receptionist was nice enough to get me a hot chocolate).  After a few minutes someone sat next to me and we got chatting.  She had much further than me to travel, coming from the other side of the country (it's not a big country, but there is still a couple of hours travel time to get from one side to the other, double that for her return journey in the heavy, rush hour traffic.

My psychiatrist came to get me on time and we went and had a talk, she asked questions about who knows, how everyone took the news (and was shocked at the reactions of my parents, and their attempts to help me - in a good way).  We also talked about what I have been doing over the last 12 months - and complimented my therapist.

Apparently I'm the third or fourth patient that has been with him whilst waiting for the hospital and every time she is really happy with how well prepared the patient is - both in terms of knowing procedure, and in having thought everything through.

After an hour we ran out of time.  I was really relaxed talking to her, but when she asked what questions I had my mind went blank.  I think the effort of the day had taken it's toll and my brain had shut down.  Thinking back I still don't know what I would have asked :)

I have appointments once a month for the coming 4 months, and well see what happens at that point.  All in all a much better day that I was expecting.


  1. Brain always goes blank! Take flash cards next time to remind you.

    Sounds like you worried for nothing as we all do. Glad it all went so well.

    Caroline xxx

  2. Silly Nederlanders, don't they have enough sense to write there signs in English? :)

    Melissa XX

  3. Glad your first clinic appointment went well! As for questions, when I see my doctor, I always have them written down. Otherwise I would never remember them.

  4. Great, it went well. A lot of worry goes into this one, doesn't it.

    I have spent the last six months formulating my questions. My mind will go blank too.

  5. Caroline: I think the strangest bit of being nervous is that when someone asks why I just have no idea... It's not like anything bad is going to happen. It's just terrifying...

    Melissa: I know! Strange people, foreigners and their languages :)

    Ariel: Thanks :)

    Jenny: I know - days of worry... And for what... :)

    As to the questions... Thinking back I still have no idea what I would have asked... Oh well.