Thursday, May 24, 2012

Girl, look at that body

Wednesday in Nashville was just about what you'd think: alternately mediocre and awful.  Even going to Starbucks before driving home was exhausting.  I'm not kidding when I say the best part of the trip was watching "United Stats of America" while falling asleep Tuesday.  They talked about potatoes.

Wednesday morning, I believe I kept my anxiety to a very reasonable level-- Heather would dispute that-- and enjoyed scanning the fertility center's waiting room to speculate which other couples were going to be experiencing the miracle of PowerPoint with us.  One couple looked pretty worn out and a little older, so they were easy; then there was another where the guy looked a good fifteen years older than the lady, so that was pretty simple, too.  The whole group of us were gently herded to a conference room with wonderfully comfortable chairs and a big-ass TV.  Everyone got goodie bags full of syringes as they walked in, and I made Heather sit near the front because I'm nerdy like that.

The nurse leading the session was a nice lady with a nice presentation, so we followed her through the PowerPoint.  There were a lot of pictures of embryos, for sure, although the parts I remember mostly concerned drugs.  We talked about syringe and needle sizes-- one jackass, who turned out to have prior employment with a fertility pharmacy, felt he needed to pipe up with advice on the exact variety of syringe-- and about how you couldn't kill your partner by injecting small air bubbles along with the medication.  Another jackass-- the older guy with the younger wife-- made a crack about how that interfered with his plans.  This was the same jackass who said that he hoped all these appointments wouldn't coincide with deer season.  I'm inclined to say that someone with a large arsenal of weapons, who's resistant to the idea of joining his wife as they create life, might not be the ideal candidate for a parent, but I imagine he feels the same way about lesbians.  Douche.

At the end of the meeting, most of the couples were split off to see separate IVF nurses.  We stayed in the conference room with the worn-out couple; when the financial supervisor came in, she explained that everyone else had at least a little insurance coverage, but we didn't.  I suggested that perhaps Heather offer her new insurance information, which would have made more sense three hours earlier...  Anyway, it turns out to be about three jillion dollars more than we thought, leaving us calculating and re-calculating for the rest of the day how we were going to swing it.  Next, we met with an IVF nurse-- not the one assigned to us, who was busy, but some other lady we'd never seen-- and, after ten minutes, met with the nurse who was assigned to us.  And it turns out, on that front, our doctor hasn't yet created an official timeline for us-- what?-- but that we can say for certain it'll take somewhere between six and twelve visits to the office to complete the process.

The financial thing had us pretty subdued, but the business about all the office visits got Heather fired up.  Each stage of medication requires detailed monitoring, and the Nashville folk need the results of those tests just about immediately.  Based on our experience with Dr. King's clinic, whether they could do the monitoring procedures or not is kind of a moot point: we don't want to cancel a cycle because some lady's daughter is sick.  The big game in town obviously won't see us, but apparently won't do the monitoring for anyone else either because they compete with the Nashville Fertility Clinic.  (I think we should be an exception, since they're obviously not competing for us.)  So the nurse suggested we call around to see if anyone could do that and, if she could talk to them and get a clear commitment that they would send results promptly, we could do it that way.  Otherwise, we're going to make a lot of trips to Nashville.

Following that festive news, we stopped at the check-out desk to give them the new insurance information and pay $216 for the morning's meeting.  Thereafter, Heather and I butted heads over the office visits and how stressed to be about the prospect.  I just figured, if we've got to do it, we've got to do it.  She wasn't interested in my it-is-what-it-is philosophizing.  Fortunately, we had a lunch break before going to the fertility counselor, and we were in pretty good spirits by the time we got there.  Michele was terrific.  She asked if her student could sit in, and we said that was fine, because, as Heather noted later, I'm pretty comfortable in a therapist's office.  I volunteered, she said, a lot more information than what was necessary.  Even Heather admitted, though, that it was a good experience.  We talked about the money and the office-visit situation and-- again, people should not discount the value of therapy-- Michele suggested that she have the intern do the heavy lifting of calling around to Memphis doctors and hospitals to find if anyone could do the monitoring here in town.  The intern, having not spent the past two years calling doctors' offices, was enthusiastic about the task.  But the drive home was still a back-and-forth between us about what funds to tap, how soon those funds could be restocked, and whether it was worse that Heather's co-workers might fuck up her stuff or that my boss would be mad if we had to go to Nashville all the time.

At lunch, Heather got a call from NFC, so she duly passed the phone to me and I talked to Summer, who set up a phone conference for us with Amy, the coordinator of their genetic-testing program.  Amy's first available appointment-again, for a phone call-is June 12th.  Okay.  I guess we chat with her briefly, then give her $4200 to check if we have screwed-up embryos.
A couple hours later, I got a call from Michele, who said that the sweet intern had found a place in Memphis who could help with the monitoring.  I was so fucking relieved.  It was nice to give Heather good news for once.

Now, we're waiting till Heather's period starts in three weeks.  In the meanwhile, I have to talk to my stockbroker and ask him to drain my accounts.  He's supposed to question me thoroughly before giving me money, and he's a Republican, so I don't know how that's going to play out.  Why can't everything be done online?

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