There are days and then there are days.
Post Luke’s departure for Germany our lives have settled into a gentle rhythm – well for two weeks anyway, then J and I succumbed to the the dreaded lurgy, a chest rattling bronchitis that coupled itself with a fever and bonesapping lethargy. During this period Jeremy had his first full testosterone shot. This was quickly followed by the full effects of bronchitis and frightened me with spiking fever and lack of appetite, certainly not normal side effects of a testosterone shot. Of we went to the weekend doctor. Explaining Jeremy’s symptoms I added;
“Jeremy had a full testosterone dose on Friday”
“Why?” asked the doctor
“Because he is transgender, its part of his treatment”
“How long will she need to be on androgen?”
Seriously. I did respond quite politely that treatment was forever, the doctor did check J’s blood pressure and heart beat and pulse and made sure J was only suffering from a virus and not any additional side effects. Such is the casual ignorance that we face daily.
On the weekend, after a week of trying to get back to normal, J and I went out for lunch to a new little local place. The weather was mild, one of those days when the air feels like milk on your skin and the sun finally made an appearance, a whisper of spring was in the air. Over lunch J started talking about school, how he felt negative about not staying in a normal school, that he felt he could have tried harder. Had he done that he would be finishing school in three weeks time, instead his studies will be completed next year, I must admit my response was pretty poor at the time, I think I was taken aback more than anything else.
Then yesterday I received an email from Ginger Gorman, a wonderful journalist who interviewed us a couple of months ago. She had included some of J’s story into a wider article How do we stop transgender children being bullied at school? As I read it, the realisation hit me like a brick. We are in the distance ed system because school was torturous, the every day rub of ignorance magnified because those that J relied on to teach him could not deal with him, added to the general ignorance of teenagers made a hostile environment. His mental health was precarious, he was depressed, anxious. His psychiatrist and I could see the toll it was taking. The decision to move him away from that environment achieved one key goal.
Jeremy was mentally healthy enough to deal with the two and a half year wait for treatment,
I don’t know what the outcome would have been otherwise. I can only say that with the benefit of hindsight, the decision that we made back then was the best one that we could. Nothing in J’s life has been straightforward, it stands to reason that his senior studies will follow a slightly more circuitous route.
Point is he will achieve what he wants to achieve. No one can ask for more, especially not me.