It won’t always go smoothly

I thought I was being rather brave and proactive when I called the local hospital (we have ENT appointments coming up for Izzy) to let them know the change in the name Izzy now “goes by”.

I was pretty convinced how the conversation would go, I practised it in my head for several days before dialing the number…

” Hi my child has an appointment with the ENT at…on…  The name in your system will be …… Please would you make a note on the system that …. Now goes by the name Izzy….”

There would be an almost imperceptible pause, then the person at the other end, well trained in the local hospital board’s position on gender identity , would recover and say “Oh, thank you so much for letting us know.  I’ll enter that on the system right now.  Would you spell the name for me please.  Oh what a lovely name.  Is Izzy referred to with feminine pronouns also?  Great.  I’ve put a note here that this patients privacy must be respected too.  Thanks again.  Bye”

So I was a bit thrown when it went like this:

” Hi my child has an appointment with the ENT at…on…  The name in your system will be …… Please would you make a note on the system that …. Now goes by the name Izzy….”
“What? You want to make a name change?  We can’t do that over the phone”.

” Oh, no not an official name change, I just want to make sure her new name is used at our appointment. ”

“No.  That’s not possible.’

” Oh.  Um, what do you need to make it possible?”

“Like I said you can’t just change someone’s name.”

“Ah.  Um, what do I need to do to just to make sure the receptionist, nurse and doctor address her by her new name at our appointment?”

“Like I said you can’t.  If you want to change a name, you need to provide official documentation.”

“Are you sure?  Because at the school dentist it wasn’t a problem there was a box on the patient form that allows you to put Name goes by  if different to birth certificate and that’s all I want to do”

Next followed a lecture about the size of the hospital computer system and a repeat that we need official documentation if we wanted to take this any further.

I should have been clearer.  I should have been firmer.  I’ve got suicide statistics swelling my brain with their ugliness, I can’t afford to be weak.  I’ve got to start like I mean to carry on, I’ve got to be my child’s advocate.  I ‘ve got to become better versed in this subject than anyone else I might come up against.  I’ve got to be more than I was yesterday, more than I am today. That call was a good lesson – people won’t always make it easy.

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