Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An early Christmas present

...or My Cat is a Reindeer!

Chomsky the Cat, fond of cornflakes and sparrows.
Well work has finished for me this year, and I've been stuck into late spring-cleaning the house and Christmas shopping. Oh my! Town is hectic! But I have finally finished, just the groceries to go.

And now for something wonderful. Yes, even more wonderful than my cat doing his reindeer impression. My endo did as promised, and wrote a letter:

A letter from my Endo, cc'd to the fertility clinic!
Typed version:

Dear Colleagues [Fertility Clinic, GP, Diabetes Nurse Educator, Patient],

I saw [Kaitake] for her brittle Type I diabetes. Since the last time I saw her she has changed jobs and initially work has been a little more unpredictable. She is trying to get very good control because she is wanting a pregnancy. Today her A1c is 6.6% which is the lowest she has ever had and is actually lower than it needs to be. She is having still unexplainable variation but no blood sugars below 3 which is a vast improvement for her. She is still going quite high after lunch but seems to be doing much better with carbohydrate counting partly because she has got a calculator to calculate the exact dose of insulin.

There is just an incredible story that she has been turned down for IVF - for which the IVF provider acknowledges they would otherwise be the ideal candidates. However, they haven't "waited long enough" - they have had unprotected intercourse for six years but the mandatory waiting rules only start when you have your first medical appointment with IVF provider. We are going to search her diabetes records to see if it was ever written down. There is also a delay because her husband had a vasectomy in his previous relationship. A vasectomy has got to be considered a good thing for society and yet now the couple is being punished for having done that. All of this is just frighteningly unacceptable and ignores the biology, sociology, psychology of IVF. I suggested that she go see her Member of Parliament. The other thing that is illogical and dangerous about this apparently official rule of having to wait longer for IVF treatment is that there will be an increased risk of morbidity and mortality for [Kaitake] and it will increase [the risk of] Down's syndrome in her child. Both of which are just idiotic for society and the patient.

The patient is going to call me if she needs some help reviewing the arguments when she goes to see her member of Parliament and I will call [the Fertility Clinic] myself to see who has written these stupid rules.

Yours sincerely,
[Consultant Endocrinologist]

So that is pretty amazing to have some help, and to know that we're not alone in thinking this whole situation is rather insane.

I am in the process of composing a letter to my Member of Parliament. This is rather a hard thing to do, I'm finding, as I have to explain our situation carefully and fully - yet it is very uncomfortable to have to tell a non-medical person all this stuff. It's rather a curious and embarrassing thing to have to plead with your MP so you can reproduce! But hey, if it works out, it might get us treatment, and save some other couple from going through the wringer. I just hope he can help, I'm just not sure how??

In other good news, I no longer have 2 and a half months unemployment facing me. Yay! I was only on a fixed term teaching contract, and my permanent contract doesn't start until next year (Feb!). My boss wheedled another week out of the HR department, and then the good folks in the staff advisory department have taken me on for 3 weeks as an e-learning consultant and video editor. Cool! I will be the only one in the art department taking only 3 weeks holiday (most of them are taking more like 10 - 12 weeks!!) but I'm fine with that.

What I'm not fine with is the weather. It's only 3 days until Christmas, and the drought we were having has turned into a torrential downpour of the highest order! Seriously, the humidity is sticky and horrid, and everything seems wet. The biscuits (cookies to you folks in the US) are soft, the Christmas gift wrap is damp, my hair has gone mental, and the garden needs weeding - desperately!

Here is a tour of my back garden, taken between rain showers:

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