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01/10/2004

Duly noted

Here are some quick notes from this morning's appointment for an ultrasound and bloodwork.

Time, gentlemen

I was up at 7 and on the road at 7:45 for an 8:30 appointment, determined to be punctual so the weekend staff wouldn't be detained longer than necessary.  Why did I bother?  Imagine my fury when I was the last patient seen this morning, finally entering an examination room at 9:50. 

Eight patients went in before I did.  Did they all have appointments before me?  If so, how did the staff expect to see eight patients before 8:30?  They'd have had to start at 5:50 to get them all in, with 20 minutes per patient.

"All the other patients were running late," the nurse confided when I complained.  I guess it's more important to indulge the inconsiderate by pushing everyone back than it is to reward the punctual by, you know, not making me wait almost an hour and a half to be seen.

Two mommies.  And another two mommies.  And another two mommies.  And...

If you're doing IVF at my clinic, it's easy to forget that there are same-sex couples also pursuing ART.  On weekdays the monitoring is done early in the morning, and I usually see women by themselves (though there is occasionally a stoic-looking man or two on hand, tight-lipped and white-knuckled).  The women are uniformly tired and strained-looking — a lot like me, only better dressed, fully made up, and perhaps a teensy bit more desperate, if you can imagine such a thing.  But on the weekends, anything goes.  Almost everyone is coupled off; many people bring children.  All of a sudden I realize that several of my co-patients are lesbians.

The interesting thing about seeing lesbian couples at an infertility clinic is that most of them aren't actually infertile, in need of big bad science to conceive.  Most of them just need a kindly, impersonal squirt — and most of them have a reasonable expectation that they'll succeed.

This is the difference, easily noticeable in the waiting room on weekends.  There's still a pall of despair hanging over the place thanks to freaks like me, but the several chatty lesbian couples I saw this morning were doing their best to lift it — talking, smiling, acting perfectly normal.  They made me enormously happy and reminded me that despite everything that's happened, I am still hopeful.  It was so refreshing, so unusual to see ordinary cheerfulness in this place, that I considered going over to thank them.

But not even I am that much of a dork.

Actual dialogue

Doctor, inserting ultrasound probe: Am I hurting you?
Julie: Oof.  Yes.
Doctor: Sorry about that.
Julie, trying to be game: Can't be helped.
Doctor: Sure it can.
Julie: Then knock it off.

The outlook

Ovaries quiet.  So far, so good.

Um, which one are you again?

It shouldn't surprise me, but my doctor has no idea what protocol I've been on in the past.  "We did six amps a day with you on that IUI when you got pregnant, right?"  No, four.  "Oh.  Four and full-dose Lupron."  No, four and half-dose Lupron.  "Oh.  When did we do six?"  Never.  "Oh."

An exhaustive list of the questions my doctor asked about my consultation at Cornell





Maybe I'm too stupid to be allowed to reproduce

Because this is cycle day 2, I am bleeding.  A lot.  Painfully.  Before mounting to perform my dazzling routine on the stirrups (which should, I believe, be an event in Olympic gymnastics) I dutifully extracted my super-sized roll of Bounty tampon...and forgot to insert a new one when I got dressed afterward.

This is precisely why my preference for black underpants is wise as well as stylish.

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