OMG. I wrote a lengthy and (I think) enjoyable post yesterday and then wordpress said some BS like ‘function not allowed’ when I tried to post it, and then claimed it saved a draft but actually didn’t. So now, not only is that post lost to the internet gremlins, I will absolutely not be able to recreate and that makes me mad. I also tried to leave a bunch of comments on y’all’s blogs and got some other weird error. Clearly, despite mercury travelling in the correct direction, technology was not on my side yesterday.
Because I now have yesterday’s post to capture as well as some new things, I’m going with bullets!
- Sickness: After watching my beloved begin the ascent to recovery and even seeing some of my symptoms lessen late last week, I felt confident that this weekend would be sickness free. Unfortunately, my body had other plans. I took a nosedive for the worse on Saturday night and could hardly get out of bed on Sunday. Being knocked down for a week is not typical for me, so I made the decision to see my GP to see what was up. Going to the regular doctor when you are in the midst of infertility treatments is weeeeeird. After all, I have been to the ‘doctor’ more in the last year than ever before in my life, which has made it strangely normal. But also, IF medical stuff is, in many ways, quite different from other treatments. In any case, it was strange to have so much comfort and not fully be able to conceptualize why. I saw a doc in my GP’s practice, since my doctor (AwkMD) was not available. And new doc was *awesome*! She was straightforward, kind, and quick. She peeked into my ears and nose and throat, took a quick listen to my lungs, and then pronounced that my viral cold had grown bacterial legs and become a nasty sinus infection. She asked me how I did with antibiotics, then prescribed the one least likely to give me a yeastie (which I have a tendency to get when I’m on the bug killers) AND gave me a paper script for difl.ucan just in case. THAT is good patient care! After two days of antibiotics, I have regained some sense of smell, although I continue to have swollen and snotty sinuses. Hoping things clear out fully by the weekend.
- Uterine Testing: From the GP, I raced across town to make it to my previously set appointment for uterine testing – the last box to check before the transfer can happen. I am super glad my clinic has this piece in place – required trial embryo transfer, doppler ultrasound and hysteroscopy – because I really don’t want any of those precious embryos going anywhere that isn’t perfectly suited for them. But damn! so many things to do! I was hella nervous for the hyst because I had such a wretched HSG and imagined that a camera had to be 1000X worse than some stupid dye. Luckily, I was wrong. It was painful, yes, but if the HSG was an 8 on the scale of 1 to scratching my own eyes out, the hyst was closer to a 6. But, the ol’ ute got the all clear – good blood flow, just one little curve and then straight forward, and no polyps, adhesions or scarring!
- Losing My Shit: Before the hyst, and before the all clear, came the losing of the shit in the lobby of the fertility clinic. Let me provide some context by saying that my experiences with my nurses, doctors, techs and phlebotomists at the clinic have been EXCELLENT. I have felt cared for, treated as an individual, and all around appreciated at every turn. The same cannot be said for the financial and administrative staff. At one of our IUI’s, La reported to me that the front desk ladies were talking shit about patients while she waited for me in the lobby – something we were then able to overlook since we were only sort-of patients for that IUI. Then, after my first IVF cycle was cancelled, I received an e-mail from the financial coordinator that pretty much just said “you owe us $1000 before you can start again.” No, ‘sorry about the cancellation’ no ‘we understand you have so much to think about in this time, this is a gentle reminder that the balance due is XX’ no understanding in general. But, whatever. Generally, the only admin/front desk person I like is the girl at the Denver satellite office who might also be problematic, I just haven’t witnessed it. But back to Monday. So, I show up at my appointment sick, on an imposed caffeine break that has left me a sobbing mess, and exhausted from my haul from one side of the metro area to the other. I’m also anxious about the myriad things that are going to be shoved into my vagina. I check in and the girl at the front desk tells me I owe $350. I tell her I don’t think that’s right, since today’s procedures should be included in my IVF package, which was already paid. No, she insists, you haven’t paid your day 3 balance. Yes, I tell her, I have – I paid it in March when I started IVF #1. She looks confused then says she’s going to call the financial people. The financial lady comes out and tells me I oew $350. I say, really? cause I thought it was included in the package. No, you need to give us $350 today. At which point the sickness/lack of caffeine/general IF anxiety kicks in and sends me down the rabbit hole of “omg what if this delays the transfer and omg what if I have to go another 72 hours without even decaf coffee and what do I do because omg I lost my wallet last week and I don’t even have a credit card.” So, I start sobbing. And I tell the lady that 1. I lost my wallet and don’t have a way to pay the fee and b. no one, in the approximately 5 messages I received about this appointment, mentioned that I needed to pay this amount and c. Since I had paid them thousands of dollars they could trust that I was good for it. The lady was unmoved. She didn’t care. And then the front desk girl rolled her eyes at me. At which point I truly lost my shit. I reminded them that they were in possession of 5 of my embryos, and so it was highly unlikely I wouldn’t pay my bill – at least as long as those embryos are outside of my uterus, and furthermore, I felt like I could probably be trusted to pay the bill – since I had already forked out thousands of dollars – but that no one had told me I owed this amount, and their chart was confusing, and also maybe the staff could be a teensy bit more understanding about the complexities of fertility treatment and not be all weird about money? I mean, in what other context do you pay that much to be treated like a deadbeat when you can’t instantaneously produce even more? Finally, perhaps just to shut me up, the financial lady said she’d “let me be seen” as long as I could commit to paying my bill by the end of the week. She’s just lucky I didn’t punch her in the throat. I fully plan on giving some feedback to my Dr. at our FET consult this coming Tuesday.
- Death: This week, two major contributors to my community died, leaving a pretty significant hole in the Denver social justice world (in my opinion): Dr. Vincent Harding, a professor of mine from graduate school and general bad ass, who taught me the significance of stories and living and loving into community even when its terribly difficult. Dr. Harding and his generous spirit and ability to teach difficult ideas to damn near anyone will be deeply missed. As he taught us to introduce ourselves: My name is Andie, my mama’s name is Cherie, and my mama’s mama was Mary Margaret. Thank you for the gift you left the world. Another huge loss was Matt Kailey, a trans* activist, author, and community advocate who challenged what it means to be gender non-forming and welcomed all kinds of ideas of transition and transience into his life. RIP, you marvelous, marvelous men.
- AYFKM? The Duggers: I don’t think I’ve gone into my psuedo-obsession with The Duggers (of “19 Kids and Counting Fame” if you somehow are unaware) here, but that’s only because I haven’t had good reason. I am simultaneously fascinated, disgusted and intrigued by The Duggers and The Quiverfull Movement of which they are the most obvious poster-family. While I’d like to think this obsession is academically based (I did, afterall, get a master’s degree in theology and social change) its probably more true that there is something weird and unsavory about the attention I give the Dugger’s. In any case, did you all see this? The Dugger’s went to a ‘fertility doctor’ (actually a high risk MFM ob-gyn, so, you know, not exactly the same thing) to talk about how they can have their 20th kid (for the record, Michelle is 47 years old and has now been not-pregnant for three whole years – the longest she’s ever gone since she started reproducing.) I struggle with this because, here’s the thing: I think everyone should be allowed to make their own decisions when it comes to reproductive care – whether that is access to information about terminating an unwanted pregnancy, preventing pregnancy with birth control, or getting support to have children. But this definitely runs along my edge . . .so, y’know, talk amongst yourselves.
- No-Fetus Fun: I’m trying to get in as much deli meat, sushi, soft cheese, wine and roller coaster riding as I can before the transfer. yesterday we did mid-day sushi special work lunch, which I think can/should happen at least once a week until the FET.
That’s all, friends. The ring of fire comes out next Wednesday, FET consult with Doc Awesome on Tuesday, and then hopefully a FET calendar soon after . . . the waiting is still happening, but it might be coming to an end soon!