Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another blow

So we went to see my GP this morning, to see if he could help us with our stupid paper work issue: the fertility clinic won't give us access to publicly funded IVF treatment without a note saying that we have been trying to conceive for at least 3 years. IVF costs $11k

Long story short, my GP has morals, and is also unwilling to bear the burden of writing a forged document. And is also a wanker. And who already has kids so has not one scrap of compassion it seems for us in our plight. I could not believe he was willing to ruin our lives over a piece of paper.

Literally, I feel we are being killed by paperwork and bureaucracy. Hell, the GP even suggested writing to our local member of parliament. As if that will help at all. No, it seems we are just too difficult a case for anyone to want to take care of us properly.

But then, I realise that I have been thinking like a patient. Saying things honestly, getting all my blood work done on time, Hubby got lots of tests, there have been plenty of stressful doctor's visits, heck, I even had an elective operation and an invasive ultrasound in the run up to this. We had been told all along the way that we would be able to access public funding for treatment, because we had been together and trying for over 6 years. We were told we were infertile. We were given the options. All along this process I have asked if we are eligible for funding, and the response has always been positive.

Not so now, it seems. I should have been thinking like a business. All these doctors have gotten a lot of money out of us. And we have not even started treatment! If any one of them had taken the care to actually CHECK if we were eligible for funding, we would have had an answer a year ago. And that would have given us much more time to make decisions. But no, instead they found a delicious cash cow, which they could share around. All these tests, procedures, consults, and operations have cost the taxpayer a lot of money already, and a lot of money out of our pockets.

It makes me sick. In fact, I felt like throwing up in the GP's surgery this morning, as soon as he started saying things like "well if those are the rules..." and "I can't do that, as the liability would come onto me..." and "you have to start thinking of this as a moral and ethical issue..." I HAVE BEEN! I HAVE BEEN TOTALLY HONEST ALL THE TIME!

It's only this stupid process which discriminates against us, and where the rules keep changing, and no body cares and no one will tell us the rules. And no support is offered. HUGE things like "infertility", "IVF", "no funding", and just plain old "No" are spoken to us, but there is never any emotional help offered.

I am so upset. I had to stay home from work because I can't think of anything else. I can't think what to do. We have meagre savings, and not enough to pursue IVF by ourselves. I am totally at a loss. I can't believe it. We know the solution, but we are not even allowed to try it becauese we are not rich enough. We are not allowed to try because some doctors consider a vasectomy to be infertility, but others just call it contraception. We are not allowed to try because the "rules" say you have to be trying to conceive for 3+ years - well, we have been having unprotected s.e.x for 7 years now. But with a vasectomy, does the amount of years you are trying really matter? No, it won't make any difference. And when you do decide you want a child, is the first person you tell your health professional, to make a nice tidy, auditable paper trial exactly 3 years long? No. You tell your partner. You only go to your doctor when you want to kick things off. You don't realise that if you had only lied to the fertility specialist none of this crap would have happened. She would have accepted any year you said. And now I can't think of a single way to fix it.

Of course, I could complain. We have been treated pretty badly I think. Here in New Zealand we have a body called the Health and Disability Commissioner. They deal with complaints across our entire health industry. But that would mean writing a complaint against my GP, by ob/gyn, and the fertility clinic. A) that is a lot of people to fight, and B) it would probably still not get us funding, and C) it would leave me with no doctors.

I don't know what to do. This is so unfair. I keep having to wipe the keyboard because I'm crying so much. I feel sick. I don't know how I will get to work and teach the class this afternoon. I don't know how I will face moving out of this chair. It's not fair. We don't deserve this. But there is no one who will listen, who will help, who will make it better. At least, I can't think of anyone.A storm has come in. Good. I feel stormy inside.

(Apologies for bringing you down. I hope I didn't spoil your day)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Devastating News

We had our appointment with the fertility clinic today. It was supposed to be an initial consultation. It ended in tears.

Our gentle Indian doctor carefully explained to us the reasons why we should choose IVF rather than a vasectomy reversal. So far so good. A little awkward, but we knew all this stuff. She drew little pictures to explain what each procedure was. She asked me a heap of questions and filled out a New Patient form for me.

And then she asked when we had first started to seek treatment. I replied honestly: almost 1 year ago, last September is when I went to my GP, who referred me to my ob/gyn, who referred me on to the fertility clinic.

We told her that we considered we had been trying for 7 years. She told us that we would no be eligible for public funding at this time, since we had only officially been trying for less than a year. What utter crap. I felt sick the moment the words came out her mouth. No funding. And no funding for us = NO. Big. Fat. No. All because of bloody bureaucratic paperwork bullshit.

Lovely Indian Doctor said she would be happy to work with us, either with public or private funding. It costs $11K New Zealand Dollars. I said that pretty much means we can't do it. She said we would be eligible for public funding in 3 years. I will be 30 in 3 years, and Hubby will be 49. We can not wait that long. I asked her if the form she worked through which scored our eligibility for funding took into account the man's age? No. It did not. It only considered the woman's age.

All my questions went out the window. I felt (and still do feel) absolutely dumbstruck. Overwhelmed. Defeated. Cheated. Poor. Sad. Depressed. And somehow, in amongst all the surprise and the shock, I am not surprised at all. Of course something shitty like this would happen to me. Of course, silly me. I should have been expecting a knock back like this all along.

I tried to gather my thoughts enough not to waste the entire rest of the consult. I asked what impact the IVF drugs would likely take on my diabetes, apparently not much was the answer (although I'm not sure I believe that). I asked if they had treated diabetic women before? Yes. My head was just spinning. Hubby looked ashen. We both knew it was a loss. I asked if I could send more questions via email, since we really REALLY did not expect to get this thrown at us. We said how all the feedback from all me doctors so far had been really positive, and that even the ob/gyn said that with 6 years of trying we would do fine on the eligibility scoring.

I had tried so hard to find that scoring form. But it's really complex. Not something they want the public to get hold of. But hell, if we had known the "rules" we would not have anticipated a Yes straight away. Seems like a waste of time. Could have done it over email and saved the doc a 3 hour trip.

There is one small sliver of hope remaining, and I am going to nourish that hope with every skill and tactic I can muster. If you take what the fertility doc said at face value, it's a straight NO. However, she did mention several times that if some paperwork or a computer file from my GP or ob/gyn's office could be found that even alluded to the fact we were considering or trying to conceive at or before 3 years ago turned up, she would be more than happy to re-score our case.

Now, you know and I know that this piece of paper probably does not actually exist. But my GP is very nice, and I am going on Tuesday to try and sweet-talk him into "finding" the appropriate documentation for us. Oh, and apparently if we lived in Australia, it wouldn't be a problem as none of this nonsense happens.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! I just can't believe it. It's not fair! I've had my one big medical drama, and that's diabetes. I've paid my dues. The rest of life is supposed to be plain sailing. Not this stupid crap. It's not fair. I plan to fight.

There have been episodes this afternoon of crying in carparks, crying in offices, crying as walking out of doctor's surgeries past surprised couples waiting their turn to see the fertility specialist, crying while driving, and bottling it up. I got a fair bit of work done (yes, I had to go back to work after receiving this horrid news) just to try and keep my mind occupied.

Hubby was wonderful. He got me out of the office quickly, and gave me great big hugs in the car park. He told me silly jokes and made me smile again. He told me it's not the end, and that we will still have a chance with the GP. He said he was pissed off. For some reason, that made me feel bad and good all at the same time :P I told him that if it all fails in the end, for whatever reason, it won't be the end of the world. I believe that. We are incredibly lucky to have found each other, and I love him deeply. Having a kid would just be the icing on the cake. I must remember we already have a very fine cake.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I've godda coad, and I need your advice.

Translation: I've got a cold. Sniff. Achoo! Cof cof COF cofffffff cof!

I think the general stress and change of starting a new job has caught up with me a bit. I've had the worst cold all week, with a simply alarming cough.

Went shopping in the local mall today with my sister which was lovely, but I got so tired walking around, that my head started to spin. We were trying on clothes in a funky loud-music-playing, tight-jeans-selling shop, and the changing rooms were soooo hot! I swear they turn the air-con off to sub-consciously persuade customers to buy their skimpy, cheap, thin clothing! (meanwhile, it's like mid-winter outside). Anyway, the heat gave me a terrific coughing fit, and I couldn't talk, and lost my voice, and all that would come out was a squeak. Eep! Sister got me out of there quick smart and into a cafe - cup of tea later - which made it much better. A quick test showed that I was 17.6 mmol/L! WHAT!?

Turns out that I'd missed my morning Lantus dose, and the one from the night before (I'm on am and pm shots) had just worn off. So I was pretty useless. Tired, sick, diabetic-tired, and diabetic-sick. And loaded up with heavy shopping bags :P

This week has been full-on. I'm really enjoying my new job and how supportive and friendly the people are. It makes a nice change! I've been writing my courses and assignment briefs for my students. It was tonnes of work and really challenging (teaching is basically a whole new profession for me, after all), but my boss and the other tutors have been really encouraging and helpful. I think I will be ok at this! :D

But man is it nice to just have a sleep-in this morning and a relax!

Because next week is going to be full-on. I have my first class on Monday morning. We will be having a welcome and powhiri for all new students on campus, and then a welcome just for the arts students after that. Then I will be introduced to my new students, and I start teaching! I am getting a bit excited :)

Minus the formal welcome ceremonies, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be pretty similar, each with a new class of students to meet.

And Friday. Whoa. Friday is the 23rd of July. Yup. It's time to meet the fertility clinic folks.

So, what questions do you suggest I ask? Any ideas will be considered helpful. This will be our initial consult. What would you ask? I know you people will have some great ideas and think of things that would not occur to me. :) Thanks!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Some heavy lifting required...

New day, new job, new desk, new colleagues. What you do is this:

  • say hi to the new colleagues. Cos they're a great bunch. Then get freaked out when they tell you about some of the "interesting" students you will be teaching in a week. What?! A WEEK!!!!?! *faint*
  • go on a tiki-tour of the campus with your boss. Cos she's one tough cookie on the outside but a big sweetheart on the inside. Meet a gazillion new people, and fail to remember their names or jobs.
  • tell your office buddies that you are diabetic. Cos you want them to shower you in sugar should anything bad happen. Get told a story about another bloke who works there who regularly "has comas" and "doesn't carry sandwiches in his bag."
  • break your computer. Cos it's crappy and you really want a new one. Shame it turns out that it's not broken at all. It's just you can't log-on to the network. Start fiddling with the cables. Your boss and office buddy start helping. Find a bunch of dust and junk and rubbish behind desk. Start cleaning. Don't stop for two and a half hours.
  • mention that your desk is a funny shape. Watch with amazement as your new colleagues re-organise their entire office to give you a nice, normal, rectangular desk. Many filing cabinets were harmed in the making of this movie. :P
  • Sit down at nice clean workstation, with nice shiny new ring-binders and staplers, and try to write weekly outlines for 4 x courses. Get one partly done. Sigh. MaƱana.
I am exhausted. My mind is mush. Hubby's iPhone arrived and he is devoted to it which is sweet. He cooked me a scrummy-yummy dinner of steak, mini-roast spuds, and a carrot, zucchini, olive and garlic sautee thingy. Om nom nom nom.

And that is only Monday!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I am in looooove!

Yes, I succumbed to blatant advertising, and splashed out on this:
 It's so good, my first love (hubby) is getting one too!

In other news, the first two days of my new job have been an absolute whirlwind, but in a good way. It's a much more positive atmosphere, and everyone has been really supportive of me. So it's tiring me out (hence lack of blog activity), but that at least means I can get a good sleep without waking up all the time! :)

Posted copies of our drivers licences up to the fertility clinic, to show proof of residency so we can apply for funding. I have been emailing the coordinator at the clinic as they sent us a bunch of forms requesting blood tests and stuff, which I thought we had already done! Apparently only some of the test results have made it to the clinic. I will have to chase up my ob/gyn's office and my GP too.

My friend who had gestational diabetes delivered her baby girl on Sunday, all bonny and healthy. Very pleased for her. :) Can't wait to meet the new arrival!

It's cold as all hell here. The rain is going sideways. I hate the wind. :( Where is summer??

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Guest post at Talking Blood Glucose

Today I have the honour of guest-posting at Talking Blood Glucose for Sam.

Pop over and check it out now :)

Thanks Sam!

Friday, July 2, 2010

When everything happens at once!

Check this out:

Yes, we have FINALLY got an appointment with the fertility clinic!!
Yahoo! Only a day or so ago I was grumbling about how the nurse at my ob/gyn's office had failed to send the referral letter to them. And now, it's here. There are a bunch of forms to fill out. We have an appointment for later in this month.

Oh, and, I got the job! :) No contract yet, as it's all being processed so fast. I start work on MONDAY! OMG! I will be tutoring students at the local polytech, studying for their degree in visual arts and design. How cool is that? :D

*first thought* I need more holiday time.

*second thought* OMG! We've got an appointment with the fertility clinic! This is really happening!

*third thought* Brain freaks out. Need a sit down. Breathe. Talk things through with Hubby. Realise that yes, these are all good things. Ahh, that's better. :)

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I may be employed tomorrow...watch this space!

Got a phone call just now basically offering me the job I applied for a week back. Yay! I've gotta go in for a final meeting and stuff yet, but, Yay!

Unfortunately, when my soon-to-be-boss called on the phone, I didn't realise it but I was heading low fast! :S Of course, I did think it was odd that I didn't feel happier, but carried on phoning my hubby and parents etc... it was only when one of them asked "are you low?" that I stopped to check, and then rushed to get juice :P

Ah well, that's diabetes, not to be outdone. EVAH. :P

but, yay! Italian for tea tonite to celebrate! :D