Friday, 18 June 2010

The Doc and The Dude

Yesterday's appointment was never going to give me the go ahead for IVF and all the answers I needed.

I knew this in May when I received a date for a test that post dated the "go through all the results and give you your protocol" appointment. Time-travel not being within the skillset of the NHS.

Yesterday the doctor went through all the results so far, and used words like “outstanding”, “exceptional” and "Ok ... fine". (The former results were for tests relating to my ovaries the latter for the husband's spunk). In fact every test came back good – quite frankly if it wasn’t for the lack of pregnancies I wouldn’t deserve the moniker ‘infertile’.

My egg reserves are so healthy that, when I start IVF, he is going to do as little egg production stimulation as possible as there is a danger of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. So it is good news, but also a little scary.

There is also a slight issue that my ovaries have not been particularly cooperative of late. I haven't had a period for 50 days.

"Have you taken a pregnancy test?" He asked, all wide eyed and innocent.

"Yes...

“ A couple...

“Well, three ...

“No. Four. All negative." (But that is another post)

So I am back on the Provera for five days, which timing wise works quite nicely, hopefully I'll get to expunge whatever is lurking in my uterus in time for a nice clear view up there when I have the hysteroscopy.

The problem is what happens next.

"Ideally", he told me, "we'd get you straight back in after the hysteroscopy in July, and assuming there is nothing to worry about we'd put you on birth control for a month to completely suppress your ovaries and then two weeks of very low stimulation followed by IVF.”

You know it is never going to end well when they start a sentence with the word ‘ideally’.

"The trouble is," he confided "we can't always give you the appointment date we'd like..."

No shit.

".. and I know from when I tried to book someone else in today that there isn’t an available appointment now until September."

Sigh.

So we ummed and ahhh. He could, he said, give us the drugs now and we could just call the lab for our hysteroscopy results and if I had the all clear from the Hyperplasia just go ahead with the protocol. But this would be easier if my cycles were regular because then we'd know when I was going to start my period again.

He paused.

We waited.

Had we been waiting long for this appointment? he pondered out loud.

“Yes,” I managed to say without weeping. I tried to keep the hysteria from my voice as I casually mentioned that I was given the go ahead for IVF back in January and the only reason I had waited more than the length of time it takes to get a blood test result was the delay in getting appointments for this and the hysteroscopy.

But then a thought occurred to me. If we wait until the hysteroscopy result, and it is all good then no problem, then we could go ahead with the suppression without the need for another appointment. If, however, there is a issue I wouldn’t know until mid-July and I’d have to try and book another appointment at that point, which at the rate appointments are filling up would likely take my until November. However, if we book now for an appointment in September then we use that either to start IVF or address any problems that arose as part of the hysteroscopy. (Are you keeping up?)

The husband, who was clearly petrified at the idea of being given a bag of drugs today and a few different scenarios to remember, pointed out that it was just a few more weeks, and in the scheme of things that wasn’t so much of a delay.

Ok, I conceded, as long as it is just until September.

And that, you'd think, is where the story ends.

Fools.

I took my slip requesting the next earliest appointment (in September) to the dude at reception. And I use the word dude advisedly for it was him, innit-man. He took my slip, rolled his eyes, “Oh For Fucks Sake” he mouthed at the universe and, “I’ll be right back “ he yelled at me as he scooted off to the Doctors office.

The Doc and the dude came back to reception. Turns out the next earliest appointment is now in October.

The doctor wringed his hands and lowered his voice, with a cautious glance at the other people in the waiting room he growled through the side of his mouth. “Look I can’t give you a proper appointment but call up a week after your hysteroscopy, when we’ll have the results, and I’ll slot you in during my clinic. It won’t be a full appointment. I can’t spend long with you. But hopefully we can start you off on the IVF then.”

Reader, it took all my self-control not to fall to the floor and kiss his feet.

He left me with the dude. “It’s cool, I’ll put a note in the diary and look ... It is a secret. But...” and he spelled out the doctors email address! This is the first time I have ever been given such precious information. I see deliverance from the endless phoning.

The dude rocks.

And the doctor rocks.

And the NHS, well, its still an administrative nightmare but at least the people it employs try to work round the system not jobs-worthily within it.



21 comments:

  1. Well, as a government employee, I can say that the prevailing philosophy is "Why solve the problem, when you can just work around it?" I'm glad to hear that this is working in your favor...

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  2. wow... I was so discouraged at the begining of your post, but what an amazing doctor... who is great at making secrets!! And an e-mail address- I'm jealous!

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  3. I was on a bit of a roller coaster ride when I read your post, but I'm glad it ended on a high. The NHS God is still with you.

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  4. Wow what a ray of light in the swamp that is usually the NHS. So glad the appointment was semi-productive.

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  5. Finally, finally, finally! Thank goodness for the small things in life that end up being a very big deal. Will follow you closely as you get ready for the next big step.

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  6. Was reading this thinking how wearily familiar it all sounded, but then I got to the last bit! My faith in the NHS is momentarily restored...

    So glad to hear that both the doctor and the dude came through for you.

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  7. Wow - that's great service from the doctor. A bit of kindness goes a long way...as does an email address! And I'm glad all your results came back A-OK and that ovary-and-eggie-wise you are shipshape (there's naught worse than no eggs).

    Good luck!

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  8. Just saw the post about the phonecall malarkey. So ridiculous, isn't it. I had to call the NHS to get my card replaced after my purse was nicked and had to go through a web of extensions before finally giving up and leaving a message. How f*cking hard is it to answer phones? I'm sure they're all sitting there, er, blogging or something.

    I did actually get a call back after an hour though, from the actual person I left the msg for, so that was good. And she 'overrode the system' for me apparently. Wow, thanks. Ridic.

    ANYWAY great news about this. I'm glad there is a party dude out there sorting it all out for you. My fingers, as ever, are tightly crossed. xx

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  9. Glad to hear that there's something moving! And your doctor and dude sound great.

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  10. That sounds like progress - I think! So just to recap:
    - HSG results mid-July;
    - cheeky rendez-vous with Dr shortly after;
    - all being well, start a month of suppression (to end August) (though did he say why this was necessary, not all protocols include this);
    - then start the 2-week stimulation, with the collection and transfer happening mid September?

    Just working out what this means for holiday plans ;-)

    BTW, on the holding back the tears, I have found that actually a well-timed tear/voice breaking can be just the thing to make them act like humans trying to find a solution, rather than 'computer says no' NHS-bots. And if there ever was a question guaranteed to bring out the tears of an infertile, it's the question "have you been trying / waiting long?"... Next time, let rip!

    G x

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  11. A win! A win! Finally, a win!
    About bloody time.
    We LIKE doc!

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  12. big fat yea!!! Finally some decent news.

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  13. Thank goodness for that, what a great doctor.

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  14. areyoukiddingme, often it is easier to side-step the establishment than fight it.

    Jenn, Yup, I feel like I have found the holy grail with that address!

    Maybe the sacrifices of bodily fluids to the NHS God are starting to reap some benefits, Cat Lady

    Ta Serendipity, s=lowly but surely ...

    Thanks Lu

    Ms Heathen, every so often the NHS surprises all of us.

    YOu're right, Pundelina, I've got the basic tools - i just need to get them workign properly.

    Ta, Cazzy No, that sums up the whole thing about the NHS the systems and administration is rubbish but as soon as you speak to a human you realise that they are nice folk and they do try to help.

    Thanks, Conceptionally Challenged

    That is a pretty good summary, It's us!, I should have got you to write this post. And yes it looks like the holiday is on.

    Your's is about the only IVF I've heard of that didn't include suppression so I don't know the rational other than it is what they do.

    And don't worry I added enough voice quavering and heavy blinking to push the Doctor to my side.

    A win indeed HFF, small but important victory (unlike the England team).

    And can I get a yee-ha Nixy? Or is that just inappropriate?

    deardarl, Christ, buddah, thor, zeus ... they're all getting some gratitude.

    Yup, Bernardeena, I got a gem.

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  15. awesome! i think your lucky stars are coming in to line...praise the lord!! roll on injection-time : ) great to read a good-news-post today. x

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  16. I think this feels like good omen! You are one lucky girl to get that email address!

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  17. Yes!! Though, what a day of ups and downs. I'd have wept at the word October. But I'm glad this doctor is stepping in here, seeing what he can do for you.

    It's also really good news about your test results. Things just need a little extra push, and you are about to get it...and I am crossing everything that it happens long before October.

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  18. Oh, awesome! It's so rare and nice to find a healthcare professional who GETS it. The timelines, the waiting... all of that shit.

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  19. ok without trying to re read as I don't have time (haha bad me) does that mean you are inline to start your pills in July? We might be on the same path again. Im due then too but prob start at end and have maybe 2wks-1month of injections then ivf which means transfer (hopefully) late sep/oct. Hope we line up together cause as you know womby 2ww misery loves company.

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  20. YAY for getting in sooner :) Fingers crossed for you!

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