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)


  1. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. It sucks... I am sorry that I do not have advice for you. In our country things work very differently in terms of healthcare. I really hope that there is something you can do.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear how much pain you're in! This whole thing seems so rediculous, it doesn't even make sense. I'm sure you've thought of this, but could DH get the vasectomy reversed? I am not sure if that is possible, but I thought it was. That may be just as expensive, but maybe not? I don't know, just trying to think of something...

    If not, what are your thoughts on adoption? You may not be ready to go down that path yet, but there are lots of ways to bring children into your lives.

    I hope you can find some peace soon, but I know hard that is going to be. Thinking of you!

  3. We have been in exactly the same situation but we chose to have the vasectomy reversal anyway - at a cost of 7,500. It wasnt overly successful but the good news was there was some sperm there with some motility and some morphology! Better than nothing. Anyway we have just completed out first privately funded IVF cycle (I am 37 and my partner 41 - we couldnt wait any longer) and are now in the two week wait.. that was 3 years after the reversal, 12 rounds of clomid and one IUI later.. and countless amounts of tears and money. The bad news is that because your partner has had a vasectomy and has opted to not have the reversal your points for public funding will be lower. However it will happen eventually. We have been trying for 3 years and are still on the waiting list with another 6 or so months to go, so we are praying that this one works! Good Luck. If you have any queries on how the wait list works for public funding try ringing Fertility Associates in Auckland - they are really good and also have a payment plan option that may be worth looking into if you cant wait!

  4. oh love. you have done the right thing by telling the truth. lying about it would have eventually just bit you in the butt at some later point and then there goes your integrity too. you did the right thing.

    I am praying for you and your hubby. this is all happening for a reason. i can hear that you are frustrated and you feel like the world is crashing all around you. i'm sorry it feels like that.

    here is one idea: if you guys have been trying for a while but haven't shared it with your doctor do you have any emails that you sent out from a couple years back or even a blog entry or any other proof that you could print that has a date that would show that you have been trying. "trying" is a very private thing, and no one will jump up and start telling everyone the moment they "start". So try and see you if can find anything at all that would be proof for you... it won't be as hard evidence as a doctor's entry or whatever but it would still show. And then maybe based on that your GP would be able to write a letter saying that s/he has seen some proof of it. even an email to your mom or a blog post where you are venting or announcing it or anything...

    I am praying for some peace in your heart.

  5. Oh hon, no wonder you're so frustrated and angry - you have every right to be. That just SUCKS. Sending you lots and lots of hugs >:D<