I was pretty nervous. I joked to myself that my nerve felt worse than when I was going to my last job interview! haha :P I deliberately parked a couple of blocks away from the MP's (Member of Parliament) office so I would have time to walk and get rid of some of my nervous energy. It worked pretty well, and by the time I got to the offices, I was feeling calm and confident.
The MP (let's call him J) had done his homework; he knew that I was a tutor, and asked how "school" was. So I was put instantly at ease as we chatted about the field trip I was involved with this morning.
We went into a shiny new meeting room, with a round table to sit at - nice, since I was expecting a desk. There was plenty of room to spread out my documents, and since J had a notepad to take notes, I got one out of my satchel too. I felt like it was a very comfortable and respectful meeting :)
I showed him the CPAC form, which I had filled out how I believe it should have been in the first place, and he checked through it carefully. He mentioned that he had re-read my letter several times. The letter turned out to be a good idea, because I didn't have to waste time telling all my story, we could just concentrate on talking about what was wrong, why it went wrong, and how to fix it.
We discussed the maternal instinct and how you can't just switch it off. How his father remarried and had his (J's) brother when the father was 55 - so I felt he was understanding and compassionate to our case with mine and hubby's age difference (did you follow that?). We talked about health funding, and I mentioned that infertility is recognized as a disease by the WHO. I said how I felt that if it was just my husband being scored, then maybe yes, it would be fair, but for me, who has never had a child, it's not fair, thus it's not fair for us as a couple to be treated like this. He wanted to make sure that he understood that we did not have unexplained infertility, and asked it waiting 3 years would help out case. He could easily see that it wouldn't! I felt reassured to see he also could not see the logic in it all. I made sure to say how we suspected the Hamilton Clinic of Fertility Associates had artificially lowered our score, andI felt they were now giving our complaint the brush-off. I must admit to taking only minimal notes, and I was doing a lot of the talking, so I don't have a verbatim record of our conversation.
then he asked "how would you like me to help you?" How good is that? I had a copy of my letter, and I said "well, I wrote a wishlist in my letter for you!" I said that ideally, we would like to be treated fairly and that to us, that would mean having our scored changed from the 60 (fail + false) to the 68 (pass + how it should be!!), as well as having our time on the waiting list back-dated to the point of our consult with the fertility specialist, since that is when all this palava started. I also made sure to say that it felt like I might as well ask Santa, since I knew that he probably couldn't just wave a magic wand and make that happen - oh, and for us to be put on the waiting list, someone else might have to be bumped back or off it! Awful!
He thought for a minute, then said he would ring the Ministry of Health, to ask for their advice on our next steps.
I said I would contact the Hamilton Clinic again and this time, ask for a copy of my CPAC form, my ACTUAL form, which they refused to give me a copy of at the consult. As a patient, I'm legally entitled to see it. I can't wait to see where they think they took the 8 points! Honestly, even using all sorts of permutation on the form, I could not get it to spit out a 60! :S
He also said that, if I was comfortable, he would like it if I could keep him up-to-date with anything relevant to our case. So now I'm on a first-name + email basis with my MP. Cool.
I must say I left the office feeling quite light and positive. I never expected it to go so well.
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My apologies if this whole post is a bit shoddily written. I pretty tired. Apart from the nerves I had before my meeting, I had a full day at work too!
As soon as I got into work one of my colleagues (the one who called his father in Christchurch and got cut off) asked if I could help out with transporting students to a field trip later - he had booked an institute van, but then extra students had enrolled into his class that morning (that's art students for you!) but it wasn't enough students worth renting a bus for. So I drove 3 students in my personal car, which was nice, as it meant I was able to go with one of the new students, who I'd just transferred into the class when she turned up at the office nearly in tears because she was afraid the level of course she had chosen was too hard. I got her fixed up and finished all the change of programme paperwork, then introduced her to her new classmates and travelled with them to the field trip. We visited 3 galleries in quick succession. I found a simply gorgeous bird bath by a local ceramics artist that will be fantastic in our back garden. Oh! I'm so naughty, it was a bit expensive. I pick it up tomorrow and will post pictures for you to see :)
The stress of the day made me go quite high, but I was super-worried about over-bolusing, especially when I was driving students around the place.
After lunch, and the meeting with the MP, I went back to work and did a couple of hours research into eBooks (I'm helping out the e-learning department here at work) and had a couple of intense discussions with the colleague on the other side of my desk... whew!
I picked up hubby on the way home from work (his kidney stones are better, for now, he passed a MASSIVE one! Blood tests were pretty good but showed slightly raised blood pressure so we are modifying our diet a bit and hubby is increasing his exercise by walking to work which is cool. He also had a CT scan, but hasn't yet got the results back) and then we went to see my Mum and have a cuppa tea. Little sister turned up too, which is cool as sometimes I don't get to see her as often as I'd like.
I am sooooooooo glad it's the weekend!