This morning I picked up my latest batch of records from my local clinic. They came discreetly sealed in a plain brown envelope, but it was so hard to resist tearing into it as I sat in my car in the parking garage that it might as well have been marked, "ALL THE PROOF YOU NEED ABOUT THAT WHOLE REGRETTABLE GRASSY KNOLL AFFAIR, A DAMNING LITTLE THING OR TWO THAT MIGHT HAVE ESCAPED THE MEDIA'S ATTENTION ABOUT THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, AND THREE DOZEN NAKED PICTURES OF ALAN RICKMAN, QUITE TASTEFUL, I ASSURE YOU, BUT, YES, COMPLETELY NAKED AND MOREOVER FULLY DEPLOYED."
And I sat there, seat belt buckled, key in ignition, trying to figure out why this hefty packet felt so exceptionally compelling. Nothing in my file is news, after all. It wasn't like I was going to page through the stack and suddenly understand why things kept going wrong, or notice the one critical condition that could have made a difference. And though I'm certain I'm so well loved that every dot over every i in my file had been replaced with a plump and curvy little heart, I am equally sure every one of them was effaced with Wite-Out before the Xeroxing began. Oh, I know exactly how these things work.
Because apparently I'm all about discipline, I waited until this evening to open the envelope and spread out the papers, hoping to organize them for Tuesday's consultation. I flicked through them quickly. Although I was baffled to see that my diagnosis changed wildly from cycle to cycle — first endo, then endo/male factor, then endo/male factor/diminished ovarian reserve, then male factor/tubal, and finally patient unwittingly defiled tomb of vengeful Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh/ineradicable mummy's curse — most of it corresponded pretty closely with what I remember. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to catch the eye.
Oh, except for this. On the stim sheet for yet another crappy cycle, the one where my E2 measured a thrilling 13 after 6 days of meds, a note in loopy script announced, "Cycle Cancelled." But that was not the surprise. No, it was this note, hilariously juxtaposed with the cancellation notice:
As if it were somehow astonishing. I think the exclamation point is a nice touch. Of course, I'd like it even better if it ended with a little heart instead of a boring old dot.