Thursday, July 01, 2004

doctor, doctor

I'm not on vacation yet, so I'm claiming my right to obsess a little while longer. Tomorrow at 3:15, I will relax. Right now, I need to vent.

I still haven't heard back from the patient-care coordinator at the clinic in DC. I spoke to her on the phone on Friday and she assured me she'd e-mail this week to let me know just how long we'll need to be in the states for our first visit(s) with Dr. Hope. When I spoke to her on Friday, she said we were an "unusual case" since we were traveling from so far to her beloved clinic and she wasn't sure what the protocol would be. I told her everything we know so far and tried to make it clear that we didn't want to travel 3000 miles only to give our medical histories and be told to come back in another month.

Okay, well, it just so happens that this clinic does have a protocol for out-of-state patients. It's written out in detail on their website. And despite Ms. Patient Care's protests, they typically will do an initial consultation by phone. And then they have the patient do lab tests with their local doctor. And then they make an appointment for that patient with the RE at the DC clinic. A full day visit. Where you meet with the nurses and the doctors and take the IVF class and talk to a financial counselor.

And of course, that's what I want. The full day visit. Not a mere ten minutes with Dr. Hope who will surely ask us questions we've already provided Ms. Patient Care with the answers to.

So I called Ms. PC yesterday to ask her about the out-of-state protocol that I saw online. And she wasn't there, so I left her a detailed message and asked her to call me back. Told her to e-mail me if she couldn't get through. I reiterated that we were coming from verrrry far away and that we already knew that my husband is without sperm. And I haven't heard from her yet. Okay, I realize its only been a day since my call. But its been almost a WEEK since I spoke to her last Friday.

Yesterday, I was further enlightened to the ins and outs of male factor infertility. The kind women on the resolve message board told me that we should see a urologist who specializes in fertility. That an RE can only do so much and usually works with a uro anyway in cases like ours. So this morning, I called up a highly recommended urologist who specializes in fertility and works in the DC area and made an appointment for my husband. For the day after our appointment with Dr. Hope.

When I called my husband to tell him about his new appointment, he asked why he had to see a urologist too. And what was going to happen at that appointment that was different than at the DC clinic. And I told him I have no idea since Ms. PC hasn't called me back yet. Last night I wanted him to call and make the appointment himself, but he said I should do it since I knew more about all this stuff. And okay, I do. But only because I take the time to read about it. If he visited the resolve website even once, the DC clinic website even once, he'd have a pretty good idea of what was going on himself! And how hard is it to call up a doctor and make an appointment? What do you really need to know about infertility to give your name, address and say "Yes. That date works just fine for me."?

The truth is, I'm not 100% sure why we have to see a urologist AND an RE. But I hope that between the two of them, we'll get some answers and maybe even start our way down the road to solving the problem. And since Ms. PC seems determined to keep me in the dark about what to expect, and my husband is in wait-and-see mode, I feel the need to take the bull by the horns and schedule appointments with whoever is willing to see us. If we end up having to cancel, we'll cancel. But seeing as we're pretty clueless right now, I'll take what I can get.


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