The Time My Big Mouth Got Me into Trouble: Volume 9

Like a good mechanic, a good doctor is hard to find. But fertility doctors seems to be a little bit different. The vast majority I’ve dealt with have been amazing: Very caring. Very dedicated. A few were arrogant asses. They still seemed to be excellent doctors. Just arrogant asses. Unfortunately, I’m not good with arrogant asses… and neither is my big mouth. You’d think by now we’d both be mature enough to just ignore them, but no.

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If I KNEW I Would be Pregnant Tomorrow…

I mean if you absolutely KNEW with 100% certainty that you were going to be pregnant tomorrow and you were going to have a beautiful, glorious, carefree nine months, and a pain-free joyful delivery, you were going to give one little push and out would float a laughing baby on a bed of bubbles and all of your infertility woes would be over forever, what would you do?

(It’s my hybrid version of: “What would you do if you knew you only had a week to live?” and: “What would you do for a Klondike bar?”)

I know a lot of women would probably thank GD first and then their doctors. Continue reading

Sisterhood of the Traveling Hormones (Wednesday/Thurday)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Sisterhoods that life has thrust us violently into aka infertility.

When I was doing stand-up comedy, I was part of a great sisterhood. Female comics always banded together for one very good reason: We never saw each other. 

In the clubs in NYC, yes. But on the road…never. 

We were considered a novelty act. Ventriloquists, Magicians, Women. Nobody would book more than one novelty act in a show. 

“We can’t have her on that night, we already have a juggler.”

So every time you’d run into a fellow female comic it was like a grand reunion.  

I don’t see the infertility sisterhood like that at all. To me the infertility sisterhood begins with:

“Hey, we all have this sucky hell-hole of a disease, condition, major fricken annoyance, in common.”

and ends with:

“Hey, we all have this sucky hell-hole of a disease, condition, major fricken annoyance, in common.”

We all involuntarily joined this infertility sisterhood. What you do with your membership card is totally up to you. Continue reading

Bedside Manner: All Reproductive Endocrinologists are the Same

All Reproductive Endocrinologists Are the Same

Well, in some ways that’s absolutely true.

Let’s be honest. When you’re lying flat on the examination table tanning the bottoms of your feet under the ceiling fluorescents, and the examination begins, I defy any woman to tell one Reproductive Endocrinologist from another…. or for that matter, the fertility doc from the receptionist or the guy who turned the wrong way off the elevator en route to the podiatrist down the hall.

I mean, I think I’m pretty in tune with my body and yet even I know that there’s no way mid-poke I could say:  “Oh, Dr. Bernstein. I didn’t know you were back from vacation… Hey, is that a new ring?” Hand puppets aren’t that clever.

The doctors within my clinic really were very different from each other. Especially in the “Bedside Manner” department. 

Two of them physically were interchangeable. They were both tall, white, graying middle-aged men. In fact, for the longest time I thought they were the same doctor. I thought it weird that one day he was so nice and the next an abrupt jerk. I just figured there was no law to stop the bi-polar from practicing medicine.  

Dr. R. was a sweetheart. I could take my time and ask him all of my questions. And all of my questions were vital:

“Can I comb my hair during treatments?” “Can I do my injections after ‘Jeopardy’?”

But Dr. W. was rude and talked over me. Being the shy, retiring New Yorker I am, I once said:

“Could I get a word in edgewise here?”

I called him “Dr. Cyclone”. He’d blow into the room and then blow back out. I used to hold onto the cuff of his lab coat until I was done talking so he wouldn’t blow away/blow me off… Whichever you prefer.  

So I’m sure he was a total professional and wouldn’t take out our mutual dislike on my children-to-be, but nonetheless, I was determined to manipulate my cycle so my egg retrieval would take place at the exact moment when Dr. Cyclone would be on stage speaking at an infertility symposium in Brazil. 

Modern medicine ha! Let him try to yank out my ova from Sao Paolo.

Then there was another Reproductive Endocrinologist. Snow White’s “Combo Dwarf”: Sleepy Doc.

One day he arrived for my 8am appointment. As he put on gloves to go where no one has gone before (actually, this was my fourth round of IUI, so virtually everyone had gone there before), I noticed that he was yawning…Just the reaction every naked woman hopes for. I may not have had any dignity left but I still had my pride.

“Sorry. I’m not a morning person.”  He said. Okay, so now am I supposed to figure out exactly how much of a morning person he’s not?

Does he just hit the snooze button a few times? Is he fine after a shower?  After coffee?  Or did he totally just sleep-drive here and he’s not even awake now?

Flat on my back, legs (well you know)–I was looking like a lawn chair that blew over when Dr. Cyclone passed by: Not a great vantage point to confirm what Sleepy Doc’s status is crouched at the other end of the table.

Maybe he dozed off on his little round stool mid-exam.

Oh geez… I hope he’s not dreaming of his computer and using my uterus as the mouse.

(Infertility-Related) Hours of My Life That I Want Back (Friday)

(Start with “Monday” if you can. As a nod to changing the clocks and losing an hour of  well-earned sleep, we’ve been talking all this week about all of the hours of our lives we’ve spent (aka wasted) with infertility that we’d like to have back. My worst fear is that you’ll read my week’s worth of blogs and say: “Damn Blog…There’s ANOTHER infertility-related hour of my life I’ll never have back!”… But if you don’t have that reaction, or even if you do, consider becoming a subscriber–I’m not proud– for updates, info and Laughing IS Conceivable deals.)

So, today’s Fertility Authority Friday. All that means is that on Fridays my weekly posts will continue over on the blogger page at Fertility And they’ll be quite humorous I think. (Doin’ my best)

Every Friday I’ll write you a bit here about what the post will be about, and if it sounds good, or you’re not sure, or if you just feel sorry for me because I have no friends and spend all my days alone in a dark damp room blogging my life away, there will be the link to take you on the express bus directly to the post over there.

What can I get over there once a week that I can’t get here? I’ll be surrounded by some excellent bloggers who have some great info and discussion on all aspects of (in)fertility… and cash. I’m just saying visit early and visit often…that’s all I’m saying. Support a sista… That’s all I’m saying… Please….I’m begging…That’s all I’m saying.   

So, this week we’re talking about hours of our infertility lives we’d like back… Yeah, well, an unfortunate run in with my Reproductive Endocrinologist comes to mind. Whenever your doctor is elbow deep into your… appointment…and there are cops…It can’t be good.

Head on over…Thanks!

Stress & Fertility Treatments: “What Could it Hurt?” (Friday)

(Start with “Monday” if you can. I’m just back from vacation this week, so if the posts are terrible I can’t really blame it on exhaustion. Let me know if I need to seek another excuse will ya?)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The new study that says that stress doesn’t hurt our chances of getting pregnant via fertility treatments. If you’ve been in the thick of treatments for a while, let me ask you this: That very first day when you set foot into a fertility clinic..think back..think way way back… If you knew at the very beginning of it all that stress couldn’t do diddly to keep you from getting pregnant…What would you have done differently? Continue reading

The Infertility Superbowl: Wanna Bet I’ll Get Pregnant? (Thursday)

(Start with “Monday” if you can. If you can’t, don’t worry about it. I’ll get over it. Just probably not anytime soon…If  you want to make it up to me and also happen to like my posts: Find them interesting or funny or anything at all… think about subscribing. I send some background on what I write and other stuff.) 

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. I was going on and on and on about my passion for football four days after the superbowl and you were wondering why I’m not in a twelve-step program. And then there’s the whole ugly infertility thing in the midst of it all. Continue reading

The Infertility Superbowl: Wanna Bet I’ll Get Pregnant? (Monday)

So sorry for the late post. I’m still recovering from my superbowl hangover. I don’t drink. In honor of Green Bay, I OD’d on cheese. Cheese dip, nachos, quesadillas, grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, Chuck E Cheese’s, ice cream….well, it’s a dairy product…you people are so nit picky.

So I did watch the Superbowl last night. My number one team wasn’t in it. My number two team wasn’t in it either. The best I could do was root against the team that beat my number two team. Sometimes frankly, it’s easier to watch when my teams aren’t in it.  

I’ve mentioned often that I’m a huge sports fan and particularly a huge football fan. Every Monday night during the season when the TV asks me: “Are you ready for some football?!” The answer is always a resounding: “Yeeeeees!!!” Of course next to me is usually my husband rolling his eyes and saying: “Are you going to do that every week?”

But I rarely get involved in football pools. (Coming to the infertility connection…at least I think I am) If my teams are nowhere to be found when it’s Superbowl time, I might get involved in a friendly pool. Otherwise… no. Because Superbowl pools sometimes make you root against your own team. In order for you to win big money, your team might have to be the big loser. And that’s one deal I can’t make with the devil. 

Last week we talked about insurance here. Insurance is like that too it seems. The coverage at work for example. I could save money by taking the basic package. I’m in decent shape now and by taking the bare bones, no frills, store brand insurance, I’m betting I’ll stay healthy or at least not fall apart any further at least until re-enrollment time rolls around again. If I stay well, I’ve saved a lot of money. If I get seriously ill or injured I’m screwed beyond belief.  

Or I can opt for the Premium package. If I somehow get malaria on my trip to South Florida or get shot in the ankle in a hunting accident, it’s my lucky day. (Even though the only hunting I ever do is for my car in the Target parking lot.)

Of course if I don’t contract a tropical disease in Fort Lauderdale or get shot in the foot by a sniper at Target, I’ve spent way more money on my coverage than I spent for doctors that year. You can say I did the right thing, because… well you never know… or that I was betting against me staying healthy.

In fact, if you haven’t noticed yet, this whole infertility thing is a crap shoot. Like the Superbowl, we have to decide what to bet on with infertility. Should I go to this doctor? Should I go for treatments? Should I try this herb? Should I do this new medicine? Should I start IVF? Should I take my sister-in-law’s advice? Should I switch treatment centers? Should I give up and buy a summer home in the mountains instead? What will you put your money down on?

We’ll chat about it this week.

Listen, I gotta go. I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. No, it’s just lunch time. I get grumpy when I’m hungry. The cheese must be starting to wear off.

I’ll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Which Will Come First: Their Breakthrough or Our Breakdown? (Friday)

(Start with “Monday” if you can. If you’re in the U.S., you probably have a three day weekend  so you have all the time in the world to read and re-read and re-re-read and re-re-re-read (I can’t get my engine to turn over) my blog.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right.  Infertility breakthroughs so fantastic that I wrote an entire post yesterday dedicated to something I still have no idea what the hell I was talking about. How very rare for me.

Another new development in the wonderful world of infertility is a calculator that predicts how successful you’re going to be with in-vitro (IVF) before actually going for treatments.  

A calculator. Great. I have a hard enough time trying to figure out all of the medical mumbo jumbo thrown at us, why not let’s toss some math into the mix and put me into a deep mental fog from which I’ll likely never emerge? I’ll be living inside a perpetual head cold. But this calculator does sound intriguing…. Continue reading

Part II: In 2011, I’ll Quit Cursing, Watching Football, etc etc, yeah, yeah we know (Wednesday)

(Start with “Tuesday” if you can. After a holiday weekend, everybody knows nobody does any real work until at least Thursday anyway.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How to make a successful New Year’s Resolution. Well, last week I went on and on about the ills of fast-food, most of which I probably wrote while waiting in line at a drive-thru. (You know the old saying: “Do as I say, not as I stuff my esophagus.”) 

What it’s all about for me with those who have infertility is controlling what we can control in the totally out of control world of infertility. And exercise to me is a big part of that. (Hey, where’d everybody go?) Wait! Come back! New Year’s resolutions to exercise are among the funniest… I promise.

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