ickle_yuki is staying with us for a few weeks after her SRS in Leicester a couple of weeks ago, just until she's up and moblie.
For the last few days she's been having problems with bleeding, and by last night it was showing no signs of slowing down, and starting to worry all concerned. This morning, in preference to having to have her sit for hours in Accident and Emergency at the local hospital, I phoned my GP's surgery and explained the situation. They arranged for her to come and see the nurse and sign on as a temporary patient. This was timely - she's been feeling faint and is looking quite pale.
So it was that we found ourselves in my GP's waiting room this morning, with poor Yuki having a terrible time with hot flushes (it was quite stuffy in there). We must have provided quite a spectacle - her struggling to sit with a pained expression on her face and me wafting her repeatedly with a fan.
At first she was called in to see the nurse. I went in with her at her request, and we explained the situation before the nurse checked her blood pressure and pulse, confirming to my, and no doubt, Yuki's relief, that she wasn't in any imminent danger of running out of blood. The nurse wanted her to see a doctor though, and sent us back into the waiting room for half an hour. After this, we were called through to see the head of practice. A couple of years ago, I suspect his exposure to transpeople had been very limited. Umpteen of my HRT prescriptions, blood test reviews, lots of correspondence with Dr Curtis, a few Zoladex jabs and the occasional bit of gynaecology later here I was again bringing him yet another trans patient whose own GP was 100 miles away. I'm sure he must just love me.
He is very good though, and quickly ascertained that the reason the bleeding wasn't stopping was a post-operative wound infection. He took a swab, wrote Yuki out a prescription for broad-spectrum antibiotics, and sent her back to the nurse for a blood test to check she's not anaemic. Reassured, we left to head to Boots to pick up the antibiotics.
While there I asked if my repeat prescription (my Oestrogel HRT, which I colloquially refer to as "tranny-crack" thanks to its rather pleasant effects for the first couple of minutes after administration) was ready - I dropped it off a couple of days ago. The pharmacist said, "It's Sarah, isn't it?" before heading over to the shelf to grab it. It's possibly a little bit worrying when the pharmacist at one of the main dispensaries serving the local population of about a quarter of a million people is so used to me that she knows my name on sight...
It was then Yuki prompted me to ask if they sold Chlorhexidine acetate, which she'd been given by her surgeon to douche with (everyone seems to have different regimes in this regard - I was told to douche with povidone-iodine immediately postop, for example). The big bottle she'd been given had spilled in the car on the way back from the Leicester Nuffield, ensuring the back seat of my car was a) wet and b) free of bacteria. The little that had been left in the bottle had now run out. It turns out that Boots don't stock it, and weren't able to order it in as a result. I suspect the female pharmacist, knowing who I was and no doubt putting two and two together knew exactly what we wanted it for, but her male colleague who had been listening in was in the dark. At this point he interjected:
Male pharmacist: What was it you were wanting?
Me: Chlorhexidine-acetate solution
Male pharmacist: What is it for? Is it mouthwash or something? (I guessed he was trying to work out if he should just direct us to the dental aisle for a bottle of Corsodyl, which is chlorhexidine based, and thus be the Saviour of the Day - if only he knew)
Female pharmacist: No, it's for er, irrigation, right?
Yuki and I signal our agreement
Male pharmacist: (still trying to be helpful) Is that Hibiscrub?
Me: No, that's chlorhexidine gluconate, this was chlorhexidine acetate.
We then explained about the big bottle, and the spillage.
Me: Well, I guess we could improvise by taking Hibiscrub and diluting it - it should have the same effect, right?
The female pharmacist agrees at this point. Both pharmacists express their apologies that they can't otherwise help us. I smile and say it's fine, we'll improvise with the chlorhexidine gluconate. She doesn't offer to sell me any. Since she remembers me by name, she probably also remembers that I randomly come in and buy large amounts of the stuff, and local anaesthetic, and occasionally iodine. I am never asked what any of this stuff is actually for.
I wonder if I'm one of those customers who makes the job worthwhile, or whether they see me more as a pain in the arse?