today i have been plying my ‘not-quite-ready-for-primetime’ computer skills, trying to get releases downloaded, printed out and faxed back to the various entities that might be able to help with wrangling medi-caid of florida into doing the right thing.
doing the right thing…
for some folk it is often difficult to simply make a practice of doing the right thing. for others it is the gold standard by which they model their behaviour. but for public entities such as medi-caid the right thing, no matter how obvious it may be, is something that eludes them.
one case in point. i am fatally allergic to even one bee sting. i can die within a matter of minutes from one prick of venom to my big toe and the closer the sting is to the heart, the less time i have before the curtain closes on my humble role upon life’s stage. but, instead of paying for the two bee kits necessary to keep me alive in such moments, medi-caid seems to prefer that an ambulance be called, (once even a med-evac helicopter was necessary) and then pay thousands of dollars, rather that the 30 to 60 dollars that the bee kits would cost.
so it was last week, whilst discussing ziona’s upcoming appointment with a pediatric urologist to decide how to proceed with regard to her undescended testicles, i was not fully surprised when ziona’s primary physician tried to prepare me, lest medi-caid refuse the surgery to simply remove the testes and insist instead upon the costlier and more difficult surgical procedure of ‘descending’ them.
altho, surely in the case of a nine year old transgender child who will subsequently have need of testosterone blockers, and who will in seven years, at age 16 undergo the absolutely necessary (for her) surgery to align her body to her true self, the right thing is clearly to opt for the surgical removal of them, NOT surgically removing them, then re-implanting them into the scrotum.
the latter option would terrorise my poor young daughter, who can’t bear to bathe except in a tub full of bubbles so she isn’t reminded of the ‘boy parts’. she can’t bear the ‘parts’ that are there now! i can’t imagine the jolt to her psyche suddenly having ‘balls’ would be.
mental health aside, there are ample reasons medically to opt for removal as well. removing them would exclude the need of testosterone blockers, for one thing. in addition, often undescended testes become (or are) cancerous. ziona already has one pre-cursor to cancer condition with the juvenile polyposis syndrome for which she has had annual surgery to remove polyps from her colon every single year since her third birthday.
despite all the reasons and evidence for how to proceed in doing the right thing, i have no illusions that medi-caid will be reasonable. so i have already contacted a reknowned psychotherapist, member of the board of wpath and author of many scholarly articles in the scientific community who will speak on behalf of ziona with regard to what is the right thing to do. and i’ve also contacted the national center for lesbian rights and have a lawyer even now drafting official sounding letters intending to stave off an outright refusal by either the urologist, surgeons, or medicaid to do the right thing.
society sometimes needs help, a little shove in the direction of fairness, openness, compassion. it’s constructs need a bit bigger shove due to their being entrenched in policy…and i will not shy away from even the biggest bureaucracy to ensure that as far as my daughter is concerned, everyone involved in such important decisions as the ones we face next, will be appraised of what is the right thing to do and is made to do it!.
that, is my own ‘right thing’, as her mom, to do.