Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Calendar, Costs and Concerns


What to say about Montréal? Yes. I still despise the layout of the roads. Good God, I hate the insanity of driving in the city too; I am convinced that signal lights are 'options' on Montréal vehicles.

Nevertheless, Montréal it is. And no turning back now: we laid out a huge chunk of change for our three-package IVF attempts. And no guarantees of course.

Never any guarantees with this, are there? Hopes, yes. Expectations? Hell no. Not any more. I go into this expecting to shell out all sorts of money and still have empty arms in the end. I almost had to laugh at the nurse during the information session though... talking like it was just a matter of time before all these couples experienced pregnancy and the fulfilment of having children. Ha. Funny lady. Tsk tsk. Introducing hope into the hearts and minds of those couples. Shameful really.

We had a 9 a.m. appointment to make out our calendar. I watched as our nurse flipped back and forth, forwards and backwards, over and over through our file. She was looking for something, and God knows, she spent about 10 minutes going over it all searching for one or two particular details.

She eventually called us into an office at about 9:45 a.m. so we could go over the calendar. First up, she needed to know my cycle length (relatively short, between 25 and 27 days usually). Then she looked for my Hep A, Hep B and blood type tests. Neither of us have them, so I'll requisition them from my other doctor. Not a problem... or get them done. Easy.

Then she hit us with a date. October 27.

WTF? You've gotta be shitting me? That can't be! Jesus! I'm ready to cycle now dammit! First we had to wait two months to get an appointment at all. Then another two months after all the test were done before we could get an appointment with our RE there (as he was out of the country teaching and attending conferences). Now we have to fuck around and wait til freakin October before we can cycle?! Christ. My heart sank.

Apparently the lab only likes to culture one sample per week and with all the others who need their services, ours would be pushed to the week of October 27.

Besides, we can't cycle for October 27 because on November 1, we head to the USA on vacation for two weeks. So that won't work. Either they find space for us earlier or we are stuck waiting til we get back in November. I'm 38 people. Maybe a 26-year old can wait a little longer, but the longer we wait, the harder this is going to be. The way they are talking, I'll be 39 before we can get this show on the road. If I hadn't paid... I almost would have reconsidered.


Then flipping through our file again, she asks about our having signed a consent form with the urologist when we had our appointment with him. Um... we don't know anything about any consent form?! Needless to say, the urologist is out of the province on vacation til July 21. So no chance of seeing him while we were there, and oh wouldn't you know it! They won't fax us the form to sign either; they want him to sign the form in front of the urologist himself, so it means ANOTHER FUCKING DAY OFF WORK (unpaid) for my husband to sign the damn form. How fucking ridiculous is this!? You're bloody well kidding me. Not our fault he didn't get us to sign it. Get on the ball folks. I don't pay $12K for a slipshod operation here guys. Get your shit together. NOW.

We have to talk to the doc's office in Ottawa too and arrange to have the last vial of our donor sperm transferred up to Montréal in case we need it. Yeah. They don't even do that for us.

And with regards to the bloodwork, I explained to them that I would be having my bloodwork done at a particular location in Ottawa and now I have to see about whether I will be able to transport those blood samples to the lab that will process them quickly (i.e., same day results). My doc here in Ottawa has an office that processes quickly, but that office doesn't have my favourite phlebotomist! I won't go anywhere else if I can avoid it at all. So I have to make sure my phlebotomist can let me take the samples, and I have to make sure the lab I bring them to will accept them if I transport them myself.

And we learned about the cost of the meds. By the looks of it, we're looking at about $5K of medications only covered at 80%. Holy hell. My heart sank again. If the situation were a bit different, we'd be able to cover the last 20% too. Oh well. We're stuck with it.

The IVF nurse pulled out a needle and I had to turn my head. I had just finished explaining to her about my fear of needles... Christ. How frustrating. Once I steeled myself, I was able to watch. She was trying to show us how to inject the meds (sub-cutaneous). We were given a huge brown paper bag filled with needles and a sharps container. It's now sitting on my kitchen table. I guess I gotta get used to them huh? *shudders*

We did manage to have our mock transfer yesterday though and at least we got that out of the way. No problems either. Apparently my uterus is completely normal and measures about 7 cm. Good to know. And yet another doctor who gets a look at my girly bits, vajayjay, hoo-ha, nounoune, fun zone, pleasure park, etc. Dignity... right out the window.

The day was filled with info. Some good. Some not so good. I didn't have a great feeling coming out of there though.

Hubby and I headed north on St. Hubert to do a bit of shopping after we were done at the hospital and then we went back downtown to pick up my friend T after she was done work. She treated us to a lovely supper at a restaurant near her house in Lachine before we got back on the highway for Ottawa, arriving home at about 9:30 last night.

Tossed in with all this fun, I started battling a cold on Sunday morning and by Monday, I figured I'd better take something. I picked up some Cold FX to suppress the symptoms and that seemed to work to keep it at bay on Tuesday in Montréal. However, I experienced a bad side effect. I have a heart murmur (that was found when I was 18 years old) and it was severely aggravated by the Cold FX medication so I had to stop taking them. It feels like my heart skips beats; it's a valve that doesn't always function properly but it's nothing serious. Anyway, it's now Wednesday morning, and those cold symptoms have returned with a vengeance. I am absolutely smothered. So I'm staying home for the day... there's a cup of hot tea with my name on it and the kitties are waiting on my bed for cuddles.


serenity said...

It's so hard to find hope when it's been so long. And the whole pain in the arse coordination thing sucks too.

I am hoping that they can fit you in earlier than November - seems ridiculous that they can't.

And I am so, so, SO hoping that you don't need those three tries. That you get to bring home your baby after just ONE.DAMN.CYCLE.

*hug* It takes some getting used to. Hang in there, sweetie.


Pam said...

"apparently the lab only likes to culture one sample per week"

WTF??? How do they get anything done in a timely fashion at all? That's insane.

As for the meds, that's about right in line with what I'm paying for our donor's meds. They may come in a little lower. Check out this pharmacy in Montreal. She is very nice, and will do what she can I think to ease the pain of the costs.

Anyway, good luck.

Heather said...

Waiting sucks. I'm sorry.
I hope your cold clears up soon. Some good kitty snuggling should help.

Kate said...

I'm sorry that you have to wait. That would be really frustrating.

Aurelia said...

Oh lord, well can you cancel the trip or rearrange it? Just because this is such a big deal.

As for the shots, try going to IVF shoot em up to get tips, the videos are amazing, and give much better instruction than the nurses. I used to be afraid of needles too, but after using ice and learning the easy way to insert the needle, damn but if I wasn't able to give myself 200+ heparin shots easy as pie.

As for the clinic, you are going to the best clinic in the country, the top embryologists, the best lab in maybe the entire world. So yes, I have faith that you are in good hands and will get pregnant after only one try.

sariel & shlomit said...

Holy crap, Gil! As if this whole friggin' IF thing is not bloody well enough, you/we are expected to deal with all of these ridiculous rules/doctors/timelines/any other bullshit anyone wishes to throw at us!?!?!?!?!

It may sound trite but I just. wish. it. was. all. so. much. easier. Or not necessary in the first place.

Sending you guys the hugest of hugs and wishing for some peace in the midst of this lousy storm.


Thalia said...

how incredibly frustrating on multiple fronts. What is it that they need to culture that's keeping you waiting so long? I do hope they find a slot.