The year before last, I scheduled a doctors appointment with my GP on my birthday. Now, I don’t really care about or enjoy my birthday and it’s not like I went out of my way to specifically to have a doctors appointment that day because it was my birthday.
I needed a long appointment and the earliest one available fell on my birthday, and I didn’t want to wait the extra week for the next available long appointment.
My doctor was writing me some referrals for a community care plan, and checked in that my age was still the same as she’d remembered it, and she glanced at my date of birth and realised.
I remember the look on her face as she asked if it was my birthday and I told her yes, but I don’t really care about birthdays but I also went on to explain it was more than that.
This is something I’d discussed with friends before, that when you are used to gatekeeping and medical discrimination, because you’re trans or have a chronic illness, or like me, both; medical appointments with good doctors can be really euphoric. Even when no breakthroughs or progress are made; just having a doctor who listens, believes you, cares and validates that yes what you’re experiencing is real and yes you deserve a better quality of life than this; that can be everything.
So when the option came up to have the appointment on my birthday, I realised that actually, doctors appointments with my GP are such a good experience, relatively speaking, that I had decided that would be a nice thing to do for my birthday.
Don’t get me wrong, I do know that it’s sad that the best chance I had of having good feelings on my twenty-eighth birthday was to have a long doctors appointment to arrange referrals for new specialists, but acknowledging that a true thing is fucked up doesn’t make it any less true.
[cover image description: a new portrait made by Emily, @yellowjumperdesigns on insta, a green background with a stylised depiction of Evie with their arms overhead, the right arm outstretched to the left, the left hand grasping the upper right arm. They are bending at the waist, to the left. They have a shaved head, no shirt, baggy black pants and the space where their face would be is left blank.]