A couple of things I neglected to include in part 6.
One of the side effects which the doctor mentioned to me, which I had come across online, is that taking estrogen increases the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and advised that I get up and walk around every hour when at work. Not always practical if I have meetings, but I’ll be mindful to move about as much as can even when stuck in the boardroom – I can employ airplane exercises.
There is also a risk of liver problems associated with taking estrogen, which is why in future tests will need to monitor liver function. My current results for liver function are within normal range and considering I frequently drink quite heavily on weekends (when with certain friends – you know who you are hahaha) I try to not partake during the week and I’m without any complications.
Incidentally, if you’re looking for information on gender transition, medication and effects, I found this document most helpful. The booklet was written by Olivia Ashbee and Joshua Mira Goldberg as part of the Trans Care Project, a joint effort of Transcend Transgender Support & Education Society and Vancouver Coastal Health’s Transgender Health Program.
Also, as discussed in my second counseling session on Thursday evening (the evening before my hospital appointment) I know no one who is going through the same thing as me to talk to and share experiences with, which would certainly be beneficial to my not feeling so alone in this journey. When I was diagnosed with diabetes at Samitivej Hospital Sukhumvit, the doctor invited me to a regular peer group meeting organized by a hospital dietician, but I declined; a decision I don’t regret. So I asked the psychiatrist at Yanhee Hospital if they had a similar support group, but sadly they don’t, and it seemed like they had never considered the benefits or arranging one.
I will write to Yanhee Hospital and propose that they facilitate such a group, as they must have many people of all nationalities embarking on the same journey as me, who would benefit greatly from talking with others. It would be wonderful if they could have someone qualified from their psychiatric division to run it, but even if they only provided a room at the hospital on an evening once per week for people to meet and chat, I think many people could get something from it. I know I would. (A shout out here to anyone reading this in Thailand who is going through or thinking of going through the same thing – want to start a peer group together?)