Saturday, March 21, 2015

Will Someone Please Take Responsibility for My Uterus?

I feel like it's slightly unfair that I had to do so much finagling around my uterus and its care this week, considering I am done with fertility treatment. Things I have decided to be true: My uterus still hates me, Medical bureaucracy sucks, and I am still sad and angry that my body is so freaking dysfunctional.

So, last post I talked about how I need, need, NEED to get back on the Pill so that I can have peace of mind and not own stock in pantiliners. It is beyond frustrating to be spotting, just enough to not be able to forgo the pantiliners (by the way, I love these sheer liners from Always, they come in little packets you can stash in your bathrooms and your purse so you always have them and they are surprisingly effective for being paper thin. I am not being paid by Always to say that, just in love with them, since I have to use the damn things daily now). But not enough to be called a period. When I do have my OB/GYN appointment next month, how the hell do I respond to "What was the first day of your last period?" Hmmm? What is the effing answer to that one? Probably technically sometime in January, since I don't think I can count any of this half-assed spotting nonsense.

This week I'd had enough. I was spotting again a little heavier, but not period heavier, and I called the fertility clinic in Buffalo. And got an IVF nurse that I am not especially fond of, who is not exactly warm and fuzzy, or sensitive. Why couldn't it have been my favorite nurse, who has a bit of a filthy mouth and is super sensitive and responsive???

I called from the stairwell at school, to see when I could start my Pill. Because my pharmacy had managed to get a refill called in, so I had the goods but had no idea of the protocol for starting and didn't want to screw myself up. I just wanted to know if I needed to wait for a period, or if I could just start up anytime.

She asked what our plans were, were we on a break or were we not coming back again. I explained (AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN), that we were pursuing adoption but were planning to come back if we considered a sibling, later, to finish out our frozen embryos.

Then, she said, "Well, I can't really tell you what to do then because you're no longer our patient."


Okay, fine, we're not planning to drive out to Buffalo anymore and do any kind of appointments, but I kind of consider this closing out the cycle from JANUARY. I never truly got a period to end that cycle, and in my eyes I feel like they need to close that shit out.

Then the nurse said, "You need to call your OB/GYN, and then they can order a pregnancy test and then get you started on the pill, but it's out of our hands."

At that point I was trying not to cry, cursing myself for thinking I could take care of this during the school day (thank goodness I was done with students for the day), and feeling all the feels that bad clinic calls bring up in a lady who has had more than her share of frustrating and upsetting calls. I didn't feel like explaining that I was also going to a new doctor, and that I REALLY REALLY didn't want to call my current OB/GYN. Plus, I laughed out loud at "pregnancy test."

"I understand why, but a pregnancy test seems patently ridiculous at this point. That would be insane."
To which she replied, "That would be nice, though, right?"

UM, NO. No, it is not at all sensitive to tell me that there is a possibility of a "nice" pregnancy test and that a whoopsie pregnancy after all this would be nice. I have been enjoying my wine like a champ, and I have not exactly been taking prenatal vitamins, and if I was pregnant, without progesterone support I would be sunk. I wanted to scream, "HAVE YOU READ MY EFFING CHART???" But instead I said, "well, no, because I've been drinking over the past few months." AND SPOTTING. And the thought of a FAS/no folic acid baby or a miracle miscarriage is not "nice." As much as we are not friends, I know my body. And it sucks in this department. I just haven't gotten my period yet because my uterus is dysfunctional and doesn't know what to do with itself without all the drugs. It is not smart. It doesn't learn from its mistakes. It just fucks me over.

I mumbled a goodbye and she said a final, "You understand why we can't help you, right?" which didn't make me feel better, and I got off the phone and tried not to cry.

The next day I called my new OB/GYN office and spoke to the front desk nurse. I explained the problem. She was MUCH nicer, but also annoyed with the clinic, because as she said, "We can't help you, because a) we haven't seen you since 2011 and b) we didn't prescribe the Pill. THEY prescribed the Pill, THEY need to counsel you on it." She felt really bad. She was sensitive and thoughtful. I am really happy I am making this switch.

However, I felt a distinct frustration of, "WHY WON'T ANYONE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY UTERUS?" Where is my closure? I felt dropped like a hot potato. We didn't have a final consult because we weren't planning on returning anytime soon, but it would have been nice to have been given instructions on how to reset myself.

Luckily, the nurse at my new doctor's office said that if I haven't done the records release yet for my old clinic, yes indeedy I AM still their patient. And they should be able to counsel me on starting the goddamn Pill.

I felt encouraged, but still frustrated that it was taking so long and so many calls to figure this business out. I didn't cry this time, but the stress of school and IEP season and the stress of trying to get my body to behave had me sitting at my table, head in my hands, until I took the next step.

I called in my cheater card. I texted Dr. Fabulous. I was done speaking with the clinic, because I couldn't guarantee I wouldn't run up against the people who are shaking me off like a layer of dust. And I knew that he would take care of the situation. Honestly, I should have done this first, but I didn't want to bug him.

He took care of it immediately. He texted me from the freaking OR (obviously not while operating, which would be disturbing). He was horrified that I was told I wasn't their patient anymore. He said something that sounded very Spock-ish, "You have been and remain our patient." (Not quite what's said in the radioactive chamber, but it was close enough it made me giggle.) He said he'd call me later that evening, and he followed through, discussing the end of the last cycle and where I was now and genuinely wanting to know how the adoption process was going. Most importantly, he counseled me on what to do next to wrangle my body into compliance.

And so, I didn't even need a needle stick, just to pee on one of the stockpiled pee-sticks I have that really don't have much of a future in our home, and then start the Pill. I may have breakthrough bleeding, but I should be good to go until I see my OB/GYN in April.

WOW. It should not have taken all that rigamarole to get me to being on those little pinky-brown pills. I felt kind of passed around (until I went straight to the source and felt taken care of and closed out...why I didn't do that first is beyond me). It was amazing to me that the IVF nurse could be so callous in dismissing me when really, was it that hard to tell me to pee on a stick and start that day? Was it even that hard just to have my doctor call me back through proper channels, instead of me feeling like I had no choice but to totally backdoor that nonsense?

In the end, it's all good. I am on the Pill, again. I am hopeful that the spotting will stop soon. I am hopeful that I can figure out a birth control situation with my new lady doctor so that I can have minimal side effects and maximum peace of mind. And put my body into a normal state, even if it's controlled medically. It just doesn't know how to do things any other way. A takeaway from this--if you can get in direct contact with your doctor, just do that first. Avoid that annoying medical bureaucracy if you can. It will save you days of putting your head in your hands and possibly some sheer pantiliners to just go straight to the source instead of "proper channels" that can't (or won't) help you.


  1. Why does every RE clinic have that ONE nurse? I'm glad you went right to the source and found someone to take care of your uterus.

    1. Seriously. I have been blessed with overall really wonderful nurses, but from the beginning I just didn't click with this one. But that doctor! He's a keeper.

  2. Your RE sounds amazing. I'm so glad that you contacted him and he was so caring and so gracious. And honestly, that nurse? Don't they realize just how hard all this is, why do they have to make it harder?

    1. Yes, so amazing! I don't know why I didn't go to him sooner. And yeah, less than compassionate, that nurse. This is not the first time I've gone around her and I kind of feel bad, but again not really. :) You're right, they should totally be more sensitive if they're going to work with fertility patients.

  3. Reading what that nurse said to, that is beyond rage inducing. Totally, horrifyingly insensitive of her. Follow-up care is so important, and it's definitely their responsibility to help ensure continuity while you're getting established with the new office.

    Glad, though, that your RE is so good. He sounds like he is exactly what one would want in a doctor. Glad also that things got straightened out.