Turning Point

Cree sat nervously in the internal medicine waiting area. After six months of intense psychological scrutiny, his case manager finally referred him to internal medicine. It felt a little odd, since Cree believed that endocrinology usually handled patients with gender dysphoria.

“Staff Sergeant?” a young nurse called him forward, and led him to an examination room.

Once again alone, Cree sat on the end of the examination table and swung his feet rhythmically as he looked around. The small gray room featured several Naval procedures on the wall, a computer, a spinning stool, and a small sink. A gentle knock on the door snapped Cree back to attention.

“Good afternoon Cree,” a slightly older nurse said as she stepped in. “I’ll be teaching you how to administer your medication.”

How to Perform an Injection

She recited a safety brief on cleaning at spot on his left quadricep. Then, how to use the already attached needle to draw precisely 4mg into a syringe. Next, she showed him how to trade out the needles to a smaller gauge, sharper needle to administer the shot. Finally, she instructed him to pinch the skin lengthwise, and ease the needle between his fingers into the muscle.

Cree watched her, waiting for the next step, and realized she was waiting for him to actually follow through. The sheer uncertainty made him feel suddenly very self conscious.

“I’m supposed to do this?” He asked her uncertainly.

“Can you?” She responded, a knowing smile softening her face.

“Yeah,” he said, adding “I just feel the enormity of it.”

Taking a deep breath, Cree slid the needle between his fingers, and allowed his thumb to slide the plunger forward.

“That was anticlimactic” Cree mused out loud. Starting a little as another knock let in the Doctor.

“Hi Cree, how’re you feeling?”

“We were just about to finish showing her how to apply a bandage,” the nurse said without a pause.

“I can handle it myself,” Cree said as he quickly grabbed the bandaid and unwrapped it. He carefully slid the backing off of one side, and centered it on the tiny hole. Then, he pressed the other side down, allowing the backing to slide away.

After Effects

By the time Cree arrived home, the medication had taken full affect. For the first time in a long time, he felt at peace, excited even. It was possible to feel okay, even with this stupid disease.

To commemorate the occasion, Cree snapped a selfie.

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