This post is filled with happy news to the point of overflowing. Please be advised and forewarned.
First of all, I got the first money from my Bbz welfare thing yesterday, a few hours after I posted my previous blog entry. So far I got 2.5 months out of 3.5. It's a welcome infusion of funds. Now to make my insurance company pay up as well and all will be fine.
Moving on, a few moments ago I received an email from my coordinator at John Hopkins Medical, in which she told me the following:
"Our Medical Director and another physician (Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility) has reviewed your case informally. They have assessed all the medical documents, test results, physical examination reports, Radiology studies and the relevant documents. They have come to the conclusion that this case is unfortunately not appropriate for remote written consult. However, if you would like to come for an in-person appointment, we can engage our International Patient Services, Europe Division and will forward the case to them. They will assign your case to one of the International Care Coordinators who will work closely with you pertaining to the upcoming treatment visit."
She also told me that I'll get the remainder of the budget I transferred to them refunded. Since they reviewed the case informally I only have to pay for the translations. In short this means that not only did I pay less than expected so far (just over EUR 600 for the translations), but they are also essentially acknowledging that the Dutch hospitals haven't done enough yet and couldn't have drawn the conclusions they did with the available data.
It also means that I'll be working together with this new coordinator to plan my visit to JHM. I can't say anything about this yet, but I do hope that they'll have me over for a while, run the proper examinations and tests, try to answer all questions raised based on the clinical symptoms, and maybe even plan in some room for possible treatment/surgery, specifically labia surgery in case it turns out that I do have a usable vagina.
As can be imagined, on one hand I'm intensely relieved that they didn't outright reject my case and are seemingly interested in getting to the bottom of things. On the other hand I'm anxious and apprehensive about what will come next, both with the planning involved in traveling to the US and the logistics there, but also with my work. Whether I require a new laptop, which tasks I can and can't do while over there, etc. etc.
And of course the major question is when. When I saw the photography student I'm doing the project with yesterday and last Friday, she told me that the exhibition is from July 1st until the 3rd. I would love to be present there. It would be right for me to be there, so I hope that I can visit JHM during May and/or June. Also with an eye on my intake appointment at the UZ Gent hospital in Belgium on August 1st. I'd like to be able to cancel that appointment in the knowledge that I really won't need them any more.
In all of this what shines through the most is the incredible difference between Dutch and US physicians. Not only are the latter considerably less greedy, they're also clearly more focused on solving problems and not just dealing with symptoms. Heck, so far JHM has treated me like an actual person, with my current coordinator being actually nice and showing concern, and the physicians involved being honest and professional.
I feel a lot more justified in rebelling against the Dutch 'healthcare' system now.