today i picked up ziona’s hospital band from off the bathroom floor where she had discarded it. you know the one, that paper bracelet tagged around the wrist upon sign in for a procedure? it typically has any pertinent information about the patient.
date of birth
any allergies or medications being taken
and of course
a simply m or f usually
when we had checked in for the procedure, as i was answering all the pertinent questions, the scene was something like this
intake person “any allergies?”
me “no, she has no allergies of any kind”
intake person “any medications?”
me “well, she takes about 12.5 milligrams of diphenhydramine for sleep issues”
intake person, looking up from her paper work with questions in her eyes “i have done here that ziona is a boy”
me “god! don’t let her hear you say that!” jokingly, then seriously “she’s transgender. affirmed at age 3. she lives as a girl because she is one.”
notation on chart. no reaction.
about this time ziona comes from around the corner where she’d been checking ou the books to see if there were any she found interesting.
the intake person engaged her cheerily. complimenting her on her beautiful big blue eyes and purple outfit, using all the correct pronouns in genuine friendly manner.
it was a hard procedure for zee.
an ultra-sound that had to be performed because, in addition to being at or very close to tanner level two, that magickal time when steps must be taken to prevent a further betrayal by her body, that time when we must decide ‘implant’ or ‘injections’, her testicles were found to be hiding…way up inside. or so zee’s doctor thought. the ultra-sound was to confirm. which it did.
it was hard for zee because she doesn’t like anyone, even herself, to see that she has those things which pertain to a boy, on her girl body. and this was worse because the technician needed her to hold the (whispering now) penis, off to each side while she probed with what we decided to call the “wand”. of course this holding was done with a thick white terrycloth towel over the offending member…but still.
the technician offered ziona to look at the monitor to see what the ultra-sound was showing. yeah…as if! of course she didn’t want to see the “ball-shaped spare parts” as she calls them. but she was curious as to what the red and blue lines were, which the technician explained referred to the arterial and venous flow. to make sure the blood flow wasn’t being blocked. ziona said simply
“isn’t venus a planet?” her confusion about the word diffusing her own discomfort with what was happening.
so the tech and i began explaining about arterial and venous flow, something that she had just been learning about in our homeschool biology class whilst discussing the circulatory system. she even remembered that arterial flow is away from the heart, due to our mnemonic A for artery and A for away.
when the technician saw the depth of the testes, she explained that the usual way forward is surgery to ‘descend’ them. but added that perhaps given our circumstances we would opt to have them removed. ziona was on cloud nine for the remainder of the day.
i wondered why she had left the little band on her wrist for so long after we got home. she usually takes them off immediately. but this one stayed on, for the next two whole days, until her bath day. i thought maybe she kept it on because it reminded her of what the tech had said. (and what she hoped would happen, like yesterday!)that maybe soon that at least one of the wrong parts would be gone.
it wasn’t until i was cleaning up after her bath and came across the band that i discovered what was another reason she might have kept it on for so long
the letter F
right there next to the date of birth and name
the letter F
i’m not sure if that’s usual procedure. surely in some instances it might even be inappropriate to do this. to mislabel the physical body of a patient…
but under the circumstances, the technician knew that she wasn’t looking for undescended testicles in a girl. and i suspect that a phone call from the intake worker may have even smoothed the way. in fact…i think we may have had a last minute change of technician because of this sensitivity. i could’ve sworn the intake person had referred to the technician with male pronouns. and i’m pretty sure about that cause my first thought was, “hope this doesn’t make ziona uncomfortable” …and because we were taken in earlier than we had originally been scheduled, i suspect that a trade may have occurred to allow a female technician. i may never know for sure.
what i do know is that ziona wore that simple paper hospital wrist band for two whole days! and i think it was because of that simple kindness of the intake person. by typing in the letter F