*This is a text message between the Mr. & I today. Due to the fact that we won’t be going in for an egg retrieval on Friday (but probably Saturday), I no longer need to take the day off of work. He is trying to convince me otherwise. He is my constant backer.
One of the many things that feels odd about IVF is that I hardly ever see my actual doctor during an entire cycle. Maybe other people have had different experiences. It was like this for me at my first fertility clinic, too, though. I usually get to know most of the nurses and technicians pretty well, and the receptionist of course, but the doctor may only make an appearance once or twice. It feels like you are seeing a celebrity when he or she pops up.
Sometimes, we IVFers are being put unconscious by a complete stranger while another stranger removes our eggs. Then another stranger fertilizes them, hopefully with the correct sperm. I mean, I get it. This process is determined by our cycles and these doctors have many patients; they can’t be at the hospital for all of us or they would never go home.
The few times my previous doctor, Dr. Hardy was on duty and could perform my egg retrieval or embryo transfer, I was so relieved and much more comfortable. Yet, maybe a stranger would have been better.
Nonetheless, I am trying to be positive tonight. So I’ll tell you about my new doctor. Dr. S, from MGH. She’s the best. She has been so patient with me and such an intent listener that sometimes I forget she is a doctor.
When I came to her for my first appointment, I had already dropped off my entire record from the past 4 years at Fertility Centers of New England. I figured we would spend part of the time going over what happened there but I was pleasantly shocked to hear that she had already gone through it, not like the owner of FCNE who fumbled through my file, obviously knowing nothing about me.
She was concerned and there were two reasons: 1) she knew what Dr. Hardy was being accused of and came off to me as one who believed it was true and, 2) she thought I wasn’t given the appropriate treatment at FCNE. A wave of defeat rushed over me as I felt the enormous weight of the waste of 5 years. The waste of insurance on 4 IVFs. (I have 6 covered IVFs on my policy and have currently used 5 so we are really putting all our eggs in one basket with this current one.)
Dr. S. didn’t talk about wasted time, though. She has always kept it positive with me. The best thing about her is that she has told me that she will fight for me. And she has. She has brought my case before her medical team twice to prove I am deserving of a fresh start (no talk of donor eggs yet), and she has spoken at length to my attorney in order to see if I can get any of these IVFs back for a future procedure. She encouraged me to seek another opinion from yet another doctor so that I could be self-assured in her protocol for treatment.
<If there is nothing else you remember from this blog, please remember this: always get a second opinion. I had two doctors assure me that Dr. Hardy was a top-notch doctor. Maybe he had good numbers or something, but every doctor since him has confirmed that they would have given me a different treatment. I have subsequently dismissed those doctors that told me I would be wasting my time on a second opinion.>
On the day of my retrieval in April, Dr. S. was not on duty but she did have an office day elsewhere in the hospital, and she made a point to come to me and introduce me to my attending doctor in a way that made me feel comfortable with him and confident in him.
This woman, my doctor, has been looking out for my health. Imagine that. She has cared for me emotionally and physically. She has been looking out for my well-being. We all need someone who’s got our back! Even if this IVF doesn’t work out, I am blessed to have had someone pick up the pieces of the mess that was made previously. I am blessed to have had so many chances at this when some have had none. I am blessed to have had so, so many good people caring for me throughout this.