Smuggling medications? Check.
When I decided to transition, I did not really know what was expecting me. It is hard — very hard. Personally, I was fully packed with joy at first, finally being able to become who I had been dreaming of for so long. I genuinely believed it would have been quite straightforward; instead, once I started going to the doctor and asking for referrals, drugs, or any kind of assistance, all I was told was to wait and that maybe it was not actually what I wanted but only a craze.
Long story short, I found myself importing prescription-only medications without any sort of prescription…which is not actually “allowed”.
To be honest, there is nothing more annoying than having someone in front of you acting as if they knew better, what you should be doing or how you should feel. I am sorry, but unless you go through it, you will not understand it. However, this does not mean that you cannot help us; you can still be invaluably useful to our happiness, self-confidence, daily difficulties, mental health, and infinite more things.
This said, you might now be asking yourselves how could I possibly be getting unprescribed meds from abroad, get them through the border, cleared and delivered? Well, it was pretty effortless to be honest — psychologically, knowing that I was not supposed to do it, not as much though.
For safety reasons, I have decided not to disclose the details of my purchase, but only the way it went. Also, I would beg you not to do it, since it is dangerous under so many aspects. Self-administration should be your last resource (in fact, it is significantly more expensive than referring to a health professional and in case you have any unexpected side effects, it might also be difficult to trace back what you actually took and no one can ensure you that you will taking what you paid for).
In hindsight, would I do it again? Definitely. Does it sound incoherent? Totally, yet that was my last resort — until my family doctor agreed to prescribe me the hormones.
First, I researched what the dosage for each medication was, how to increase it over time and how to keep it safe and under control. Secondly, I found out that many, many other trans individuals in the UK, prescriptions are the holy grail and thus far too hard to obtain. In a few clicks, I found out that there were a few “alternatives”, among which the website I bought from: sketchy, slow, with drugs galore, asking to pay via bank transfer, completely based on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. But I was desperate and ended up spending over 120 pounds on it.
Two weeks had already passed, when I finally received a notice through the Royal Mail saying that I was to go to my local depot and pay the clearance on my goods in order to pick them up. Ironically, it was my birthday and within five minutes from receiving it, I was going down the street heading towards the post office. I was helplessly frantic and anxious (what if they stopped me and enquired about the content of the parcel once there). I entered, my heart pounding its way up into my throat, the room was spinning; approached the man at the counter; handed in the notice and waited for him to fetch the tiny box. I paid and was greeted a good day.
I could not believe it. They were right there, in my hands, going back home. I was finally so close to it; my mom called and begged not to start yet. She wanted to see the doctor first and ask him if he would have approved to issue a prescription — which, as I previously said, he did. Once again much ironically, this all happened a few days after and on September 3, I was actually taking my first pills. It was hectic.
Actually, I was so scared (if you read the patient information leaflet, you would understand: the list and types of possible and probable side effects is terrifying) and for the first week I genuinely feared the possibility that something might have gone entirely wrong and maybe killed me. It did not, luckily.
It has been a…unique experience, exciting, fruitful and empowering! Yet again and again, if you can, avoid it! For any further information, feel free to get directly in touch with me instead.