Actually, that's a pretty inaccurate post title. There was nothing to sign, and it won't necessarily be my last visit. But, subject to any future need to consult him, this was my last regular visit in a series that began in December 2008. I have now moved off Dr Curtis' 'active' list of patients, and will henceforth consult him only 'as needed', and will not see him at regular intervals any more. No more letters reminding me that a visit is due. My records will be preserved, and not wiped. He will write to my doctor to confirm the new arrangement.
And to recommend no change in my current hormone regime.
He was satisfied with my latest test results - see the post Hormone Balance on 15 August - and remarked that at this stage (after more than four years on hormones) I should be focussed on maintaining my female look, rather than creating it, or enhancing it. Indeed, too much oestradiol would risk such things as breast cancer, and possibly other health risks. A lowish dose was sufficient. At some point natal women came off their HRT, but I could not. It was not known what the consequences of taking feminising hormones lifelong were. He was glad that my doctor was so co-operative and monitoring me closely, with six-monthly or annual blood tests, depending on what was being tested for. So was I. It was a major reason to stick with that practice, and not move away from my village.
Really, the only physical problem I had was that I was a bit overweight. It was a stable condition - my weight now was exactly the same as twelve months ago - but it would do no harm to get myself in hand. And the two obvious solutions (reduction of sugar and fat intake; and more exercise) were simply waiting for the right motivation. Such as wanting to impress someone very special.
We parted on very cordial terms. I felt he had seen me through a difficult phase of my life. I was very grateful. I felt properly 'finished' now.
It struck me, as I left the building, that all day long I had moved through one social situation after another that would have had the 2008 self in a panic. Seated on a packed train all the way to London; the ladies' loo at Victoria; an Underground journey cheek by jowl with all kinds of people; a visit to a popular national gallery (The Tate Modern); a walk over the Thames on a crowded pedestrian footbridge; another Underground journey; a walk through John Lewis. Under scrutiny all the time. All done without thinking. The 2013 self could function rather well as an ordinary woman, a woman who did everything that other women do, and I felt myself wondering why I wasn't taking full advantage of the fact. I should be pushing the boat out.
On the train back home, there were three presentable men in my part of the carriage. Two were doing something on a laptop or tablet. One was engaged in emailing somebody on their phone. From time to time, they looked me over, and then continued with their work, obviously not seeing anything more than a harmless middle aged woman. I wondered what would happen if something occurred to make us all start talking. I rather looked forward to an incident that would halt the train - a lineside grass fire, perhaps - and create just such an opportunity to speak, and break the ice. But it didn't happen.
On the journey up to London, there had been a different kind of incident. A cheerful-looking woman with a baby in a pram boarded at Croydon. The very young baby soon began to cry. I couldn't help trying to see. I wasn't the only one. She had a bottle ready, and that did the trick. I wanted to say something to her, but she was just a little too far away. Oddly, my eyes filled with tears. I did not understand quite why, but they did. It must be an ongoing effect of the hormones.
I wonder what other emotional surprises are still in store. I may be signed off, but I think I'm only at the very start of whatever female adventure will come my way. Bring it on.