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calling all Vets for action!

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Been a long night, but i got to get this out!  please fix and move if needed so all can see..  I found a possible solution that has not been addressed here to the VA tg issue for those not getting the care they need:)  Please bare with me on this one, feel free to pm me with questions..  will post news as i get it on the progress at the VA..

So today after going all the legal routes and for the most part got my transition help on the outside of the VA.   I still recommend that it is easier to use medicare to transition than the VA.  I wrote the following of what has transpired the last 2 weeks to come to this..  I am asking Vets who want to make a difference for us <not allowed> in the system to please check your local va and see if they have implemented va-2013-003..  If not I will have a solution on how to check and fix the solution :)  Together we can make a change in the system! (I hope?  I’m so loaded with morphine from the pain tonightSad smile)

This part is to explain how I got to what I did today:

Last week I saw my primary care and psychiatrist to help me but neither had no idea how to help me with my transgender needs.  they have not heard they can do anything for it and fear trouble if they do help!

Just this month, i started having issues getting cheap hormones rt now, I decided it's time to push them through the VA..  Both of my drs literally did not know what todo and we're afraid to go any further trying to get me hormones,  and asked that I contact patient advocate..  My psychiatrist was under the impression that you can only get hormones if your transition was service connected?  Wow, she's a nice lady but that shows the current issues with the VA training down here..

Last week, the issue with stroheckers pharmacy loosing their liscense,  my estradiol meds have gone from 60 to 300 bucks overnight..  Or so I thought when I found no pharmacy in town carry estradiol injection type..  So now is the time for me to push for pellets or goto the VA for help:) If anyone knows a cheap compounding pharmacy that has their license currently, please post!

Today, I finally was down at the el paso VA to talk with patient advocate.  The lady who's name eludes me tonight,  was glad to help me but had no idea of the va directive 2013-003.  If you do not know about it, or have not read it, please see the following link:

I explained to her that no matter how much my dr was trying to help me, it was her superiors who are not doing their job implementing this directive to create a safe working environment for the drs to treat the patients and make sure the patients get the level of care they deserve..  She was shocked to find this was not happening now, but most things in the VA are behind  :(

Below is what the VA by law has to already provide to you!  If you feel you are not getting this service, please keep reading below to find a safe solution I came across to help implement it:)

va directive 2013-003 basically ensures that:
a. Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) Director. Each VISN Director must ensure that necessary and appropriate health care is provided to all enrolled or otherwise eligible Veterans based on the Veteran’s self-identified gender, regardless of sex or sex reassignment status.

b. Medical Facility Director, Chief of Staff, and Associate Director for Patient Care Services or Nurse Executive. The medical facility Director, Chief of Staff, and Associate Director for Patient Care Services or Nurse Executive are responsible for ensuring: (1) Transgender patients and intersex individuals are provided all care included in VA’s medical benefits package including but not limited to: hormonal therapy, mental health care, preoperative evaluation, and medically necessary post-operative and long-term care following sex reassignment surgery to the extent that the appropriate health care professional determines that the care is needed to promote, preserve or restore the health of the individual and is in accord with generally-accepted standards of medical practice.

This is what I did today to get the ball rolling!  Hopefully you can use some of the same stuff to further our progress!  I did this to help everyone in the El Paso district..  The patient advocate was shocked to know there are others and some not transitioning because of the local VA's inaction!  I am doing this to, besides help me, to help others in their transition too.  I’m tired of being the only one walking the halls there:)  People at this VA and the las cruces branch are very respectful, I hope at your va too!

getting back to the solution:
1. goto the patient advocate and find someone who you are comfortable talking to
2. bring a copy of the va directive 2013-003 with you, ask the advocate if they know of this directive and has it been implemented?
3.  if they say it has been implemented, ask them for a point of contact to call if denied care..
4.  Ask to make sure the directive gets implemented and get a response back after it does.  once this is implemented, all vets will (hopefully) receive transgender health care in your area!

if you are worried to ask your local va due to repercussions, feel free to pm me, but please find your va’s local patient advocate phone number and I will gladly call and verify this program for you and tell you how to get into it..

ok, I hope this all makes sense..  I was in pain today when I got home and slept..  I just need to get this info out asap so we can get the ball moving..  My advocate even had the impression that “why go through the va, because we would have to pay for the service and meds anyway?”  I explained to her that I’m 100% service connected.  Any disabled vet are entitled these services for free!  (Another piece of info to go loaded with)  To be honest, my transition may be the one reason i'm around still!  I want to see how this all turns out:)  feeling good about my dysphoria does more help than any pain meds and mood pills any day!  Yea, I still hurt bad and feel like i came out a meat grinder, but I don't have that "give in" attitude anymore!   I hope this may help a vet on the edge too!

please let me know if I need to change any of this info, but I think I got it right!

I too went through the VA although it was much less difficult getting care... I didn't even have to bring up the directive I just talked to my primary, They transfered me to my endo, and I've been on for nine months... with the blessing of a phyc of course... JD

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Hi blue_firefly, may I ask where you are located?  Some VA'S are going to have this directive implimented already..  I found the elpaso one wasnt..  I'm sure there are more out there.  These are the ones we need put online with this directive. .  As long as they know about it and drs are willing to work with you, but when the drs seem scared and lost on what todo, that what we have to fix..  I have a fellow vet who is transgender but will not transition because she works at this va, and scared she would loose her job..  now that's sad, but it's also texas! 

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I live in iowa and due to Dr patient confidentiality I am currently transitioning and am also employed through central iowa VA helthcare and as far as I know noone at my job knows. I will keep it that way as long as I can because it doesn't matter in the kitchen... we all wear the same uniform and the same hair nets and no one is allowed to wear makeup or polish or things of that sort.

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:)  thank you..  hopefully everyone around your area has no issues too:)  now if all the va's will model after your va:)

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