I left The Fancy Clinic and went across the street to the pharmacy. I tried to put the whole cast of crazy characters (Linda, Abby, Barbara, Dr. X, Rolf, Henry, Stephanie…) out of my mind as I entered a new place. My heart was pounding.
At the pharmacy, I gave my name to the woman behind the counter. It was a miracle; Linda had actually called in my order!
I sat waiting nervously for my items. How much would it cost? Would I see anyone I knew here? Was IVF going to work? I was teary eyed with excitement that I could really have a baby in about 9 months!
It took about 20 minutes for her to finish packing up a huge blue bag for me. The total came to $2993.
Less than I thought.
I went home and started sorting my meds using the calendar I had received from Stephanie.
Follistim on the calendar. 2 shots a day. Yes. Put it in the fridge.
Menopur. Yes. 2 shots a day. Put it on the counter.
Lots of needles and alcohol swabs.
There were all sorts of things I’d need afterwards like progesterone to thicken the uterus lining after I was pregnant and $50 a month pre natal vitamins! Then there was vicoden for the IVF recovery, valium for nerves I guess and some aspirin.
Next, I was looking for something on the list called Saizen. I remembered Stephanie saying it was a growth hormone.
Hello? Saizen, are you here in this huge blue bag, because you are on my calendar.
Maybe it was called something else. I went through everything. I had taken everything out of that big blue bag and I was for sure missing Saizen. Yikes! According to my calendar not only did I need it right away but I had missed a dose yesterday.
I called the pharmacy. I spoke to the woman who filled my bag. She said they didn’t get an order for it.
Ugh. Of course… Linda! Why was I not surprised?
I called Linda – she picked up – maybe one of the ONLY times she’d ever picked up.
“I’m missing Saizen,” I told her, “I’ve already called the pharmacy and they said they didn’t get an order for it.”
“Oh, yes. I didn’t order it,” Linda said, “ You don’t need it.”
I didn’t even have the energy to get upset. I was so used to Linda’s screw ups. “I do need it,” I said, “It’s on my calendar.”
“No, you don’t need it,” Linda objected.
Wow. She was rarely so assertive. I almost believed her.
“Linda, it’s on my calendar, are you saying that it shouldn’t be on my calendar?” I asked slowly and clearly.
“You don’t need it,” Linda insisted with more authority then I’d ever heard. Even more than when she told me I did need to pee in that cup.
I paused. Should I take her word? Should I trust her? No, of course not.
“Could you double check, Linda? Make sure the doctor didn’t order it for me.”
How many times have I asked the people at TFC to double check?
Linda reluctantly went to double check and came back in a minute. “Oh yes, we didn’t put it on the order form. Sorry.” She said all casual like.
I didn’t quite know what she was saying. “So I do need it?”
“Yes,” she said.
She was wrong again and acting like it was no big deal. Seriously, how did anything get done here? How did anyone get pregnant here?
“I’ll call it in right now.” Linda said, “You can just pick it up Friday, when you come here for your ultra sound.”
“Wait… Friday?” She’d clearly misspoken.
“Yes. You can pick it up Friday.”
“But… my calendar says I’m supposed to take it every day. I’ve already missed one. Won’t Friday be too late? That’s missing 4 days.”
“Let me go check,” Linda said, apparently having to go find my file again or something.
I was exhausted by her. Why didn’t she just know this? What was going on with Linda? Was her mother ill? Was there something terrible that is going on in her life that is affecting her work? This was ridiculous.
Linda came back, “Yes, you need it today.”
I knew it. I such anger. Why did I have to be my own fucking doctor?
“I can call the pharmacy and have them deliver it to you,” she said.
I looked at the clock. I had to go teach creative writing to children. I had to quell my anger.
I told Linda when I’ll be home and to have the pharmacy come at that time. I had to try not think about it while I went to teach.
After teaching, I went home and Dan called. “I had a HUGE fight with Rolf,” Dan said.
“You aren’t supposed to talk to Rolf!!” I said “I thought Henry was going to make the sperm analysis appointment.” (that no one could agree whether we needed or not.)
“Henry said I had to make the appointment myself.” Dan said that he and Rolf fought and yelled until Rolf finally broke down in an angry way and Dan got an early Saturday morning appointment.
Just as I hung up with Dan, the delivery guy from the pharmacy showed up. He handed me a white bag and said, “$1200, please.”
Everything began to swirl. I felt faint, hot and… livid. I saw red, for the first time I really saw he color red because all the blood must have rushed to my face. This must have been a pretty important medication for $1200 and Linda almost let me go without it. I just flipped out. I was screaming and crying…
I called Linda and got her voicemail. “Call me back!” I screamed into the phone as I sobbed. “I’m furious!”
Poor delivery guy.
“Do you want it or not?” he kept asking as I was leaving the message for Linda and he was just standing there at the doorway.
I couldn’t think. Did I want it? Did I not? What was I doing? What was happening? Where was I? (not really that bad)
“I’m gonna leave now,” the delivery guy said, as I dialed Linda again. Voicemail. I hung up.
“No, wait,” I said in a panic, “I’ll take it.”
I charged another $1200 to my credit card. I took the bag and stared at it as the delivery guy left.
My phone rang and I picked it up thinking it would be Linda. It was my best friend Julie. I needed some support. I needed help. I told her everything.
Julie listened and smartly told me to call our high school friend who was also my OB. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Maybe because I had been in an emotional, frustrated spin for the last 4 months!
When I spoke with my OB/high school friend, I not only told her about Linda’s fuck up, but I rattled on and on about this place had been a cold, dysfunctional nightmare from day one. “I hate Dr. X,” I added for the tenth time and my rant was done.
“You should have come to me before,” my OB said, “You don’t have to stay in a place you hate.”
“I know,” I said, “But I thought they were the best. I wanted to be at the best place and I‘ve already done shots,” I burst out crying. I do know that maybe the few shots I had done had affected my emotions… but still…
“It’s fine,” my OB said. “There are so many great places. I can refer you to some wonderful doctors.” The relief that came over me was instant. I’d been carrying around such utter misery for months. Why hadn’t I told my OB? Why hadn’t I left this place?
“Being so stressed and upset is not going to help you get pregnant,” my OB said. “If you want, you could take this month off, interview a few other doctors and then start again. Do you need to do IVF for a reason?” she asked.
“No. I really don’t think so, though they’ve never really told me,” I answered, “Dr. X just said I should do it because I’m 41.”
“If you still want to do IVF, you can use the medication you have.”
She gave me two doctors’ names to interview.
I was really going to do this! I was going to leave The Fancy Clinic – and I was not going to do it quietly!
And now, for the best part. The part that I hope you are all waiting for:
I dialed Linda’s number – Linda who hasn’t called me back in two hours since I’d screamed and cried on her voice mail. I got the voice mail again.
I took a breath so that my voice wouldn’t crack. I wanted to sound as unemotional as possible so that they’d take me seriously.
“Hi Linda, it’s Evie. I haven’t heard back from you, but I’m sure you got my messages and know that I’m really really upset. I’m so upset that you know what, I’m quitting The Fancy Clinic. I’m done here. I’m leaving this awful place. I hate this place. I hate it here! No one ever gets anything right, no one ever knows what’s happening with me, everything always get screwed up and then no one cares when I tell them that it got screwed up. This place is a nightmare. I hate it so much and I’m DONE!!!!!!”
I hung up. Then I took a valium from my big blue bag.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/akzo/6914043563/”>AKZOphoto</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>