The last straw

I’m so incredibly angry today.

Last week when the doctor told me I needed to get a second blood test, the nurse arranged for a copy of the pathology request to be faxed through to my local pathology clinic.

I arrived at 7am this morning, almost sick from nerves, and waited for 45 minutes until it was my turn. But guess what? No form. The pathologist triple checked and no form had ever been faxed through. So we tried to phone the fertility clinic, but they don’t start answering their phone until 8.30am. Makes perfect sense!

I was furious. How could they do this to someone in such a vulnerable mental state? I stormed off to work determined that for once I was actually going to stand up for myself and give them a piece of my mind. I called again at about 10am, and this time got through. The nurse was very apologetic when I explained what had happened but I asked for the manager to be informed that I was making a formal complaint. They also assured me the fax would be sent through immediately so I could go and get the blood test done either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

Straight away, I phoned my cousin Phoebe. She is very supportive and my only non-immediate family member who knows we’re going through IVF. She works as a medical receptionist at a clinic that specializes in women’s health. I told her how angry I am and how the thought of stepping foot in that fertility clinic again makes my blood boil.There had just been too many mistakes. The doctor had ignored the warning signs and I’d gone on to get OHSS, I had way too many eggs picked up in a cycle that should have been cancelled, this meant only one of my embryos survived to freeze, a nurse had yelled at me on the phone when I told her I’d taken a home pregnancy test and now they’d forgotten to fax through my pathology request. Was all this happening because I’m only 26 years old? Am I somehow less important to them because I’m young? Do I not deserve the same level of care?

I told Phoebe I needed to find a new fertility clinic, and definitely a new doctor. Even though it was Phoebe’s day off work, she was very caring and understanding. She called in and got me a priority appointment to see the best doctor in her clinic at 12pm. I called Doug and asked if he would be able to meet me there at midday. He explained he had a meeting that didn’t finish until 12pm, then he would have to drive across town to reach me. But he insisted he would try to get out of the meeting early because this was so important and there was nothing he wanted more than to find a better doctor that would take us seriously and get us results.

The doctor at Phoebe’s clinic was lovely. I’d met her previously at Phoebe’s last birthday party so she already knew we were going through IVF. She was shocked by all of the fertility problems we’re facing.

“That’s a lot for someone your age!” she gasped. “I’ve never seen someone so young with so many problems.”

Yeah, no kidding!

She suggested we would be best off seeing a doctor who specialized in both fertility and endocrinology because of the problems with my pituitary gland. She promised to write the referral this afternoon and fax it through first thing tomorrow. She said the clinic she has chosen for us is perfect and often deals with the fertility cases other doctors have thrown in the “too hard” basket. It’s a smaller, boutique fertility clinic that doesn’t put patients on a production line. The doctor I’m being referred to is the director of the practice and one of the most knowledgeable fertility and endocrinologist specialists in the country. I’ll call the clinic later in the week and make an appointment.

At 6pm this evening as I’d just arrived home from work I got a call from the practice manager of our current clinic. She apologized profusely for the error at the pathology clinic this morning, but insisted the form had been faxed. She said something to me which I found really interesting.

She said “your case has been so unique and we’ve all learned so much from you.”

By that I assume she meant that they’ve all learned not to dismiss and disregard patients based on age alone. That I need as much care and assistance as every other person who comes to the clinic seeking help starting a family. How nice for them. Unfortunately, I’m the one who has had to suffer physically, mentally and emotionally for them to learn that lesson.

I’m glad we won’t be going back to that clinic, but I do hope they don’t treat the next 25 year old who walks through their door the same way they treated me.

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