Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Bad Patient

First of all, a heartfelt thanks to all my friends (from real life and from the blogosphere) for your sweet support and encouragement. I am feeling significantly less despondent today. Perhaps I will make it through an entire post without swearing.

We transferred three embryos. One was of average quality, and the other two were quite pitiful.


Okay, so, I'm not always the model patient. Sometimes, when I feel I am not being understood or treated with respect, or given complete and full information about my treatment I tend to react emotionally. I cry, I raise my voice, I respond sarcastically. I have, at times I am sure, at best annoyed and at worst angered, various members of the reproductive medicine staff. For example, there was the time I yelled at the RE (you know, the one who flaunts pictures of his children) and, well, all but accused him of betrayal. And the time I hinted to the lab director that he was knowingly and maliciously withholding information about our embryos. And various other snide remarks that despite my husbands protests (shhh, they can HEAR you!), I'm sure are just out of earshot.

As I sit in the waiting room, I picture them all huddled together playing rock paper scissors to see who gets stuck with me. You take her. No you take her, I had her last time. If you take her, I'll remove and wash all the stained bedsheets for a week...

My husband plays the "good patient" to my "bad patient". As much as they dislike me, they adore him. And he loves playing this part. I catch him looking over my shoulder at the nurses and doctors, smiling apologetically with a look on his face that says, "Oh, I'm so sorry. You know the hormones and all. You should see what I get at home."

Well, today for our transfer, I decided to try a little role- reversal. I was going to be the delightful sweetheart, and my husband would be the demanding hardass. I was hoping the Valium I had to take would help mold me into my role. To help my husband play his part, I gave him a script. Basically, it had a list of very specific questions to ask as well as a list of unacceptable answers. For example, any response that began with "We've seen pregnancies occur..." was unacceptable. So was the sentence "There is reason to be optimistic." I wanted cold hard facts, numbers, science. I am sick of being placated.

So, to recap. Me= endearing angel, Husband= obnoxious heel. This was the plan.

So tell me how I ended up threatening to hit the lab tech.

Well, obviously neither my husband nor the Valium were doing their jobs.

I couldn't help it. She crossed the line. She told me to think positively, that unfeeling bitch. (So much for not swearing.) I told her that if one more person told me to think positively I was going to hit them. She promised not to say it ever again, and advised my husband to do the same (believe me, he has already learned that lesson the hard way). She tried to tell me that emotion has a lot to do with whether or not a pregnancy is achieved. Bullshit! (Gosh, I'm really failing at the no swearing thing.) What I wish I had said... "So if we get a negative the incapacitating grief will come with a heaping side of self-loathing and guilt because maybe I killed my embryos because I didn't nourish them with happy thoughts. " What I really said-- "Yeah, whatEVER."

So, once again, before we left, I got a look of disapproval. My husband got a hug.


LT said...

okay....tiff and i have both managed to comment and lose our comments somewhere in blog/cyber one more try.

we just wanted you to know we've been following along and that we're here.

also wanted you to know that if you ever need back-up TKD/kick-ass support we're RE office staff.

we love you.

LT and TS

Bumble said...

Sorry the transfer was stressful and you got the usual shit comments from imbeciles. I hope that this transfer gives you great news in 2 weeks...

Anonymous said...

*thud* How did this woman get this job? Did she really say this bullshit to you? Nevermind, let's not revisit. Anytime you need some local asswhippin' done, you've got a whole team behind you here.

Godspeed the next two weeks. We are here for you.

RevaLou said...

You just threaten to hit. I wouldn't be surprised if punches have been thrown from time to time. We all got your back girlie. Seriously, we are all in your corner, praying and sending good thoughts your way.
Much love.

Anonymous said...

Oh NO she did not!!!!! I got your back! I LOVE a good fight!! I'm SURE that we can take her! Love ya, Robyn

Carol said...

I'm glad you got some embies to transfer, even if they weren't perfect.

But I wouldn't feel too bad about your behaviour at the clinic - I'm sure they've seen and heard it all, and then some. I think if anyone is going to choose to be in the medical profession - particularly such an emotion-laden field as fertility - then they have to be prepared to deal with patients with strong emotions. That's just life. They need to deal with it.

Good luck!

Hopeful Mother said...

It is so hard to be positive throughout this process... my last cycle I had only 3 eggs, 2 mature, and one resulting 3-day embryo, which looked good but it was ONLY ONE. No selection process to speak of.

I was feeling terribly negative, and I remember my Dr. trying to reassure me with "we've seen pregnancies with single embryos before."

I smiled and nodded, but inside I thought "but not me."

Been there. I hope tomorrow brings a bit more hope for you. Hang in there!

Sara said...

First, I'm glad to hear that you were able to transfer three. It's always better to have a chance than no chance. I hope that you don't mind if I secretly hold out hope that some of the other short-bus-riding embryos will get it together and grow into fantastic blasts for the freezer too.

Second-I think that slapping that nurse upside the head would not be an unreasonable response to her comment. What on earth is the matter with people? Of course she was just trying to find something to say, but that's no excuse. Someone in the profession of dealing with infertility should realize that it's not fair or helpful (or in fact anything but condescending) for them to tell you how you should feel.

Hope548 said...

Just found you today, your writing is very entertaining! I hope those embryos surprise you and stick and that your 2ww speeds by quickly!

The clinic people should really take a sensitivity course before they're allowed to speak to us.

serenity said...

The title of this post sounds like a catchy movie title. Sort of like "Hannibal" meets "The English Patient." (Now THAT would be a movie, no?)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving the comment - I am glad to hear I am not the only one with infertility-related exercise issues. :)

May I add you to my blogroll so I can check up on you?

Hugs and the hopes that this transfer is the one that sticks.

ellie said...

Yeah, I often wonder what it takes to get a job in some places-- the comment is right on up there with "you can always adopt"-- if I had a nickel for every time I have heard that, we'll we'd be ablt ot pay for IVF til the cows come home. I hope it works out ok for you-- I'll keep you in my thoughts.