A Milestone of Sorts

Every fall and winter Middle develops a nasty, lingering cough. It’s her thing. Now, at nearly five years old, I don’t worry about it too much anymore. I make sure she gets plenty of fluid and rest. We’ve got albuterol for when her breathing gets a bit labored. And I know when it starts to look pneumonia-esque and when to go in for professional help. This past weekend her cough got to the point where it was keeping her up at night and she was miserable with exhaustion. I knew the day would come that she would get sick enough on a weekend that she would need to go to urgent care or the emergency room. I worried about that day. What kind of treatment would she encounter with the name and gender on her insurance card not matching how she appears? Would being called her old name by a receptionist or nurse or doctor send her into a tailspin of anxiety. Late last night Husband brought Middle to urgent care. I stayed at home with Older and Baby anxiously cooking and playing with the kids while keeping an eye on the clock; holding my breath a bit the whole time. A couple hours later Husband came home with a negative rapid strep test, a prescription for a cough suppressant, and a happy Middle. Husband reported that despite his explanations the receptionist had been utterly confused. She had wanted to start an entirely new chart for Middle (Middle has been to this urgent care multiple times before as a boy). Husband kept reiterating that Middle [Girl’s Name] was the same person as Middle [Boy’s Name] but to no avail. When Husband and Middle got to the triage nurse Husband told the nurse that Middle was transgender and asked if she understood what that met. Her response was “Oh, ok” and that was that. The doctor was similarly nonplussed. I am so relieved that Middle was able to get treatment without any gender related trauma. Exhale.

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