Earlier this week, Suzanne ticked another box. I would have been quite happy to leave this one bereft of a healthy tick, but needs must, and so I arrived at the appointed place and time for a Medical….

It should come as no surprise that I was worried about what this would entail. A casual glance in my direction will tell you everything you need to know about my general level of fitness.

To expose myself to a barrage of tests designed to highlight exactly how far out of shape I am was quite frankly terrifying.

The Drug test didn’t worry me until I discovered that the urine sample is taken under supervision. Even then it wasn’t the results that worried me, it was being watched by a complete stranger. “Take Your Time” she helpfully assured me. Seriously ? Did she think I was going to be able to rush this…..

The Lung Capacity test, and grip strength tests whizzed past fairly quickly, and without drama. I then found myself ushered into a tiny soundproof box for a Hearing Test. I assured the Nurse she probably didn’t need to run this test. I have hearing loss, I always have had.

After the Blood Pressure machine reported a BP reading high enough to warrant the nurse changing the machine for a second unit, because, “It can’t possibly be that high” I sat still for 20 minutes and they took another reading. “Have you got chest pains ?” the Nurse asked helpfully, whilst tutting and changing the machine for yet another unit. I confirmed that the only discomfort was residual stress from having to urinate in a pot whilst being watched.

Eventually after a friendly chat, the reading settled to a number that was only marginally elevated, and satisfied that all was well, I was ushered into yet another room.

Here, I met a Dr. He asked me some questions about my medical history, listened to my chest, looked at my abdomen, listened to my back, and then asked me to repeat some basic dance moves. I’m not sure if this was part of the medical, or if he was just bored.

We then sat down again, and he began leafing through my notes….He then looked up above his paperwork, and said in an inquisitive voice “Gender Transition…Why ?”

This question took me by surprise. I replied that “Gender Dysphoria” was the major reason. He continued to look at me, clearly expecting a more detailed answer.

What happened next made me smile for the first time that morning. “Can you spell that for me please ?” he asked. Given that my career rested on the answer, I resisted the urge to tell him D I S F O R I A and watch him write that in his report, and instead gave him the dictionary spelling.

So now I am waiting and whilst I do so, I am quietly regretting every sausage roll, every square of cadburys dairy milk, every glass of Italian Red, and every missed opportunity to take a brisk walk over the last ten years……

I may also be even more quietly regretting not saying “Gender Incongruence” because thats even harder to spell 🙂