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06/23/2003

Mission: aborted

Today started badly and got steadily worse.  I was up at 6 to wait by the phone.  I knew the doctor's office didn't open until at least 8, but I guess I wanted ample time to work myself into a high enough dudgeon. 

The first call was around 9, from the doctor who'd instructed me to trigger yesterday.  She apologized for the timing mistake, but reported that my doctor's opinion was that we'd be better off converting this cycle to an IUI after all.

My usual doctor called later after he got out of the operating room, and reiterated that opinion.  He said, "If I'd seen the ultrasound yesterday, I would have given you that advice then."  On Friday I'd had one follicle larger than all the rest, but by Sunday, he said, a second had jumped out.  "Three eggs, max," he said, "but more likely two" if we went to retrieval.

It was an extremely difficult conversation.  When I'm upset I shut down — these long silences occur while I try to think of something to say that sounds sufficiently sane and controlled, with no sputtering or swear words or inarticulate squawking.

I finally asked him what accounted for the discrepancy in his opinion today and the other doctor's comments yesterday.  He said he didn't think there was one, claiming the other doctor had agreed with our desire to go to retrieval as a gesture of respect for our autonomy.

Here's where I actually did start squawking.  We don't need a doctor to validate our fragile feelings of independence, for crying out loud; we need a doctor to give an informed medical opinion. 

"We're not allowed to be directional," he reminded me. 

"Please," I sputtered, hoping my eye-roll was audible.  I get very impatient with this statement, which he's trotted out on a couple of occasions.  Pop quiz, kids!  Who knows more about assisted reproduction: my doctor or, well, me?

Generally speaking, my doctor (yes, he has a name, and yes, I do know it) seems to tend toward optimism.  But his predictions about this cycle's potential for success were so grim that they frightened and convinced me.  An IUI it is.  Practically speaking, that means another $185 down the tubes with nothing to show for it — with our fertilization history we might as well write it off before it even happens.

As we wrapped up the conversation, he said that if we thought we'd be happier at another clinic, he'd write us a referral.  I don't even know how to think about this, and will worry away at it later when I'm bored by the usual topics.  For now I'm feeling sufficiently pathetic to leave it alone for the moment, thank you very much.

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