I just returned from the annual Trans Health Conference in Philly. Last year I spent a good portion of the conference feeling verklempt about my lonely practice as an isolated, relatively inexperienced, tranny-loving NP. This year I felt better. A few things have changed over the past year: I have more trans patients, I’ve made some headway with management (they’ve progressed from “I don’t care at all about this topic” to “Perhaps Lesbonurse is not crazy, maybe we can get some more patients out of this…let’s give it a go”), and I’ve made a few professional contacts in my community. Overall, I feel good about my work–I still feel inexperienced, but I guess that feeling sticks around for a few years. I met some rockin’ NPs and nursing students at the conference. It’s good to know that other folks are fighting The Man in their own respective corners of the world. And I got to see one of my favorite doctors, Maddie Deutsch, who manages to combine trans-affirming medicine, progressive politics and feminism with a punk rock, bicycle-riding aesthetic–that’s not easy! I also got to listen to presentations from other super-knowledgeable providers. I try to soak up as much knowledge as I can to make up for the lack of any relevant material in my journals and textbooks. It’s also great to sit in on the “community sessions” and hear directly from community members about their concerns.
I took a break from the conference to hit the Mutter Museum. For a dorky gal who loves a good preserved organ in a jar, this is the perfect museum! It is gross, yet riveting. I took away 2 main lessons: 1. Do not get Syphillis. And if you do, treat it quick! There are many, many disgusting things that can happen to you if you have tertiary syphillis (these things are displayed on chillingly realistic wax models). 2. I hope to avoid both “toxic megacolon” and huge–REALLY huge–ovarian cysts. Both of these things are on display and are icky!