Wednesday, 21 December 2005

My Sister-In-LA

I've just contacted another woman who's in a similar situation to myself : ideopathic feminisation. Less rapidly than with me, it might be a different mechanism. But no matter. She's on the other side of the Pacific, in Los Angeles, hence the title.

And she was just as lonely and lost for information on it as I was. I've found nothing on PubMed, or anywhere else on it. the only other person it's happened to that I've been able to contact is Kathy Ann Noble, also here in Australia. 1000+ km away in Queensland, to be sure, but still relatively next door. At least the mechanism in her case is well understood, even if the cause isn't. Fortunately, unlike her, the medics didn't try to reverse what was happening. That must have been... unpleasant... for her.

I hadn't realised just how alone I felt, till I found someone else who I could relate to.

Now all we have to do is find out just what the heck is going on, how common is it (my bet is it's really under-reported), and see if we can go about gathering some useful scientific data about this, to help the next woman in this situation. Transition has been wonderful, the best thing that could possibly have happened to me, but trying to convince every new medic who reviews my case that the improbable has happened has been tedious, to say the least.

Well, on Friday last, I saw a specialist Psychiatrist for a follow-up visit. She confirmed that I'm just suffering from GID (Gender Identity Disorder), a neurological rather than psychiatric condition. This (as far as we can tell) is just a minor developmental anomaly, a female-pattern brain in a somatically male body, or the reverse. The cause is still unclear, the drug DiEthylStilboestrol (DES), an anti-abortifacient popular in the 50's, 60's, and early 70's has been implicated in many cases, but not in mine. Genetic? Environmental? A Combination? We still don't know.

Anyway, I show no signs of any psychosis that might lead to similar psychic symptoms - which is a bit of a wonder considering the ups-and-downs of my hormone levels early on. A classic, open-and-shut case, with an unusually smooth transition so far. So no roadblocks (yet) to getting full treatment. Apart from the little matter of the money. And finding the time to take the months off needed for post-surgical convalescence at some stage.

Good news. The simple diagnosis, but also finding someone else in the same boat - even if they are on the other side of the Pacific.


Kate formerly of LA said...

Hey you! I never noticed this post in your blog before! Silly me.

Um … I'm not quite your sister-in-LA anymore — but still your sister! *Hug!*

And maybe, now, just a little closer? With not quite so much ocean between us?

I love you Zoebie.

Zoe Brain said...

Not alone, Katie.

I wrote this what, 3 years ago? Knowing that I wasn't alone was a big deal for me. Bigger for me than for you, I think.

I was glad to show you you weren't alone either. I tried to come over all confident and big-sisterly, you know, the Scientific One, but inside I was just overwhelmed that at last I'd met someone like me.

Hugs Sis, Zoe.