Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dr Unpronounceable-ovich and the IVF clinic

Well, Spineless Barreness did not, in the end, write the amazing and perfectly composed letter to the preggers sister-in-law, like she said she would.

Did not send a letter at all, in fact. Just decided to suck-it-up, pretend nothing-is-up, move on with things.

Shameful. But. Naughty Barreness says, why should I have to go apologising to everyone? People will just have to put up with me.

So, husband and I went to our first IVF clinic appointment last week. Our Doctor is the head of Assisted Reproductive Services at our hospital. He is fortyish, Eastern European. Dr Unpronounceable-ovich. He has a kind face, big eyes, ruddy cheeks, button nose. Mousy, almost. If he was a cartoon character he would have whiskers.

He is the same one who gave an infertility lecture to our med student class eighteen months ago.

At the time of the lecture I was still very much in denial about my infertility. Husband and I had not seen a doctor yet. We just thought that somehow our timing was out, or we weren't trying hard enough.

The lecture was torture. I was a mature-age student, in a class full of early-twenty-something pretty-young-things. The lecture was purely academic to them. Endometriosis this, azoospermia that. My class scribbled notes attentively. I sat stiffly and wrote nothing. Glued. Terrified.

"I must leave you vith some important advice, ladiezz," Dr Unpronounceable-ovich said, summing up his lecture.

"Vomen like you are over-reprezzzented in my clinics. Highly educated, professional vomen. You marry later, zink of children later. Do not delay seeking treatment for infertility. It only gets more difficult to treat."

"Time is of ze essence," he said.

After the lecture, the pretty-young-things began the inevitable babble.

"Just imagine," they began, "how awful" it would be if you found out you were infertile.

"Just terrible. I would, like, totally hate that."

"I don't believe in IVF," another said. "If you can't have kids you shouldn't have kids. Natural selection."

And on it went. I tried to hold it together and hoped no-one would ask me what I think, lest I burst into tears.

It was that day, eighteen months ago, that I finally made an appointment with my GP to discuss my infertility (THAT's another story altogether) and it was nearly another 12 months (thanks to Australian public hospital waiting lists) that I finally had a laparoscopy that diagnosed my endometriosis.

Anyway, back to the clinic appointment last week with Dr Unpronounceable-ovich.

He knows I have a medical background and, as such, talks in un-necessarily complicated medical language so as not to talk down to me. Husband has not the faintest clue what we are talking about. Neither do I.

Dr Unpronounceable-ovich, as far as I can gather, agrees that IVF is the best way forward for me. He does not see the point in any unnecessary hormone treatments or other therapies. But, due to the Christmas break, I have to wait until March for my 'consenting' appointment, until April for my 'signing the consent' appointment, and then some time in June to start treatment.

No wonder they ask you to present early for your infertility. It takes literally YEARS to work through the system.

I thought time was of ze essence?