The trip down to Phoenix went smoothly. It started super early (4am the day before) and included visiting a couple of restaurants, staying in a decent hotel and seeing a desert for the first time in almost 30 years (actually it is 30 years ago next month I believe). If you want to read the post go here, there is also a gallery linked off that page.
The visit itself is of course what is important here. I was a little worried meeting Dr. Meltzer as he is a proponent of the WPath which isn’t agreeable with Wolsey or myself (the strict requirements of transition). Before we could meet the doctor we sat in the waiting room and it was packed.
We met several patients here that were inquiring about new procedures and some that were getting follow up checkups. All of them agreed that Dr. Meltzer was great. I was swayed a lot, but part of me remained skeptical. I have worked over a decade in the medical field and I am usually more skeptical of doctors then most.
We then met the doctor’s administrator Linda. She was great. She was clear that the doctor and his new associate Dr. Ley were super busy and she was going to do the intake. We joked about doctor office stuff, insurance and the dreaded Trump (this was before the Trump/Ryan healthcare was at least temporarily shut down). She made it clear that the wait period for Dr. Meltzer was very long, even for his new associate Dr. Lay it would be a long time out.
It was at this point that Dr. Meltzer came in and introduced himself. After a few minutes any reservations I had about Dr. Meltzer was gone and my worries were not borne out. He was a great person to meet. He was interested in Wolsey and approached the hubby as a person not just as many surgeons do by treating patients like meat.
We explained to Dr. Meltzer that the DoD may cut Wolsey’s medical at any time, that it was only the year before that anything transgender care wise, was approved. He said they would work around that and if we were willing to have Dr. Ley lead, then it would be even quicker. It would be a Friday and Dr. Meltzer would come in to assist (Friday’s are his normal day off). It was still going to be 2018 before it could be done, but it was six months sooner then Dr. Meltzer himself.
The totality of the surgical procedures would be in two surgeries. I sometimes mix up the two stages so I will let Wolsey talk about that.
As we talked about scheduling one of the admin staff came in. Evidently someone had cancelled surgery for May 30th. The doctor looked at us and asked could we be down here on May 30th. We jumped on it and now Wolsey’s first surgery is scheduled May 30th and his second surgery is November 29th. Everything had slipped into place. This means Wolsey should have full surgery done (excepting any updates needed) before the end of the year.
I am incredibly excited for my husband (and incredibly stressed). We are doing ok, we can swing the weeklong (8 day) stay down in Phoenix, along with a car. We have cleared off enough of the credit card that he is good to go. Work understands I will be gone for two weeks (teleworking as much as I can) and that Wolsey will be off for two weeks and then another 4-6 weeks of teleworking.
While I have unease with my job, I have to say I appreciate that they will allow this to happen. If nothing else my time at this job allows me to pay back a good chunk of the debt of his medical care and to take the time I need to care for him after the surgery as well as be there emotionally for him.