Relentless: Earning My Infertility Theme Music
As I was pulling off from my doctor’s office last week, I couldn’t help but search through my Spotify playlists until I had the right music blasting. I was so invigorated and proud of myself, that I couldn’t move until there was an appropriate soundtrack accompanying my exit. I mean, if you really look at this thing, and some of the moves we have to make, infertility fighters deserve our own theme music.
Some of us are doing more with our day before we even get to work, than others will do all week. Go ahead, toot your own horn. You deserve it.
On the day in question, I’d just had a marathon medical week in terms of getting my ducks in a row.
Where else to start but at the beginning.
So first of all, when you start the fertility center process, one of the first things they’ll have you do as a woman is have preliminary blood work done. Because this testing includes monitoring your hormone levels, it is required that you have them done during the first few days of your menstrual cycle. Now, my once insane cycles have gotten themselves under control in the year after my d&c surgery last fall, so it was a nice change to be able to tell my doctor exactly when I expected my period to arrive. So we smiled and talked, and I was all confident when I told her when it should be there, and planned my next week around getting the ball rolling.
And do you know that heffa period had the nerve to not show up?! All this time we been riding together, and improving our relationship with one another, and now when I need her to be on her game, this broad takes the month off! Like, actually did not even hint at arriving any time soon.
Lost the entire month of September waiting for a period that gave no cares about me and my timeline. Moved into October, and just as my calendar was getting hectic again with work conferences and family obligations, etc., the prodigal period returned. Great, right?! Now we can move forward right?!
In between conference sessions, I call the fertility center to schedule the blood tests within the window of days, and they tell me that all of a sudden my insurance company is requesting a referral from a primary care physician. So, I call my primary care office, and before we even get to the nitty gritty, the nurse decides to go back and forth with me for twenty minutes about how I shouldn’t need a referral at all, and I have to tell her repeatedly that I’m only telling her what the fertility center told me that the insurance company told them! Finally, she transfers me to some voicemail system to leave the referral request.
I say on the message that this is a time sensitive request, and that if they can get back to me soon, I’d appreciate it. I put infertility-me into a little compartment and go back to my conference and wait for a reply from the nurse. At the end of the day, I get a message from her saying that even-though all my doctors at this point know that I have blocked tubes and have to jump to IVF, I can’t just get the referral, but that I have to come in for yet another appointment (can somebody say “copay hustle”).
And that appointment date? Yeah, nine days away. As though I didn’t already say that things were time-sensitive. I was discouraged to say the least. After the vacation my period took in September, it would be devastating to now have to skip October also.
So I started making last-ditch efforts. I called my patient coordinator at the fertility center to see if she had any advice on how to proceed. She was awesome, and double-checked every loophole she could find, but in the end, we were back at square one.
I hung up with her and headed back to my job. I’d just have to wait, I supposed. As upset as I was, I felt like maybe it was time to just chalk it up as a loss, but then something in me was just like, “We’ve come too far.” So on a whim, I decided to call my primary care office and see if there had been any cancellations. Someone had just cancelled for the very next day. I’d have to fit it in during a lunch hour, but I did not hesitate to tell her I’d be there.
I make it to the appointment, get all the way to the part where she’d get me the referral done, and the computer wouldn’t let her input it.
Sigh. So she prints me out the referral order anyway and tells me to call back the next day to make sure that it went through. Great. Because during yet another day at my work conference, I’d like to spend my lunch break on the phone with nurses and insurance companies. Nothing better to do.
I call back tomorrow and I’m on hold most of the day. I can’t get through to the referral nurse, and when I talk to the fertility center, they won’t budge until I have that confirmation. Finally, I’m able to get them to at least agree to let me come in the morning, if I have the referral in hand, BUT, just to gut punch me, the nurse explains that if I can’t make it then, I may have missed the testing window and may have to postpone my IVF cycle until NEXT YEAR.
Now, I’m aware that we are only a couple of months from next year. I know that we are running full steam ahead towards the holiday season, and the resolution gateway. However, after the year I’ve had, and having already postponed my life for the first half of the year, to tell me now that I’m so close I can feel the menopur, that I may have to wait until NEXT YEAR….
I’d been strong for a few days. I’d held on to my dignity and control. But when she said that, I just let the tears fall. All my power had once again been taken from the situation. This whole journey has been a list of “next year’s”. I cannot wait yet another year.
So as I sat there in the parking lot, prepared to go back to work, I was deflated, but I couldn’t let it go. So I called the primary care office just one more time. I don’t know if she could hear the desperation in my voice or not, but she sat on the phone with me until she found that damn referral slip and I didn’t care that I’d already driven all the way to work, I pulled out of the parking lot and hightailed it up the street to that office so fast that when I got there, she hadn’t even finished putting my name on the envelope.
I called the fertility center and told them I had it, and they said I may have to sit and wait when I got there the next morning for the approval code or whatever they needed to come through. I told her I didn’t care. I’d sit there and wait.
And I did. I waited close to an hour or so, and had a nice conversation with the billing office rep as well, (who was VERY nice and supportive), had all the blood drawn, then drove downtown to the last day of my conference and then back to work again to finish Teen Read Week.
And nobody knew. Nobody knew that in my personal life, I’d just moved a mountain. I’d just swam the English channel. I’d just knocked down a wall that had taunted me.
I’d just kicked infertility’s ass. All before I even got to work that day.
I hadn’t been concerned with “bugging the nurses”, or getting on their nerves. I didn’t care about sitting in their offices with checklists and requirements. I didn’t even care that they knew me by name by the time I left them. I felt powerful. I felt like a warrior. I felt,…relentless.
So when I pulled out of the parking lot that evening, with two doctor’s appointments handled and a third one already scheduled, I blasted that theme music without hesitation, and I dared anyone try and get in my way.
Are you kicking infertility’s ass? What’s your theme song?
Here’s one of mine:
Featured image courtesy of stockimages, / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.