Thursday, February 10, 2011

You know that I wasn't feeling too flash on Monday, but yesterday was far, far worse.

I knew that the clinic manager from the Hamilton branch of Fertility Associates (FA) was going to email me after she had reviewed our case, so I decided not to check my email until lunchtime. This meant that I could go home and have lunch and read the email in peace and privacy.

Trouble was, it hadn't arrived by lunchtime. The suspense was killing me - oh the nerves!

But what had arrived in my inbox instead was a hope-inducing email from my diabetes endocrinologist.

To give you a synopsis, he offered to: edit the letter I sent to the MP and make it more powerful, write a second letter of support for our case, perhaps phone FA directly, and you gotta love this:

"If the are misusing the CPAC for then I have an ethical obligation to challenge them, and they have to explain. Doctor's rules."

He also suggested putting a complaint to the DHB (District Health Board), the Minister of Health, the Human Rights Commission, the Women's Rights Commission, and the Health and Disability Commissioner (The HDC, which I've already contacted).

"...raise as big a stink as you possibly can. The only thing that influences politicians and government bureaucrats is fear of public exposure."

And lastly he mentioned going to the women's magazines and current affairs mags, which I have thought of, in fact, if I did go public with my story to somewhere like women's day, perhaps the money I get could pay for fertility treatment. ha! (not sure if I'm ready to go uber-public like that yet - it doesn't just affect me and hubby then, it's all our family, the kids, coworkers, employers etc).

"It seems to me that FA (with a near total monopoly for the entire country) are not using the CPAC form honestly - probably to make more private profit. THis is what private medicine does - all the time, [it] doesn't even need to be investigated. It does need to be pointed out to the responsible officials disgusts me to see [people using illness to make money], instead of using money to treat illness."

So that was pretty darn awesome to find this email yesterday. It changed my whole mood and stopped the insatiable anxiety from totally consuming me.

Unfortunately, the afternoon got pretty crappy.

At work (at the local college where I lecture) we are busy preparing for the start of the teaching year. We had a big meeting with our newly formed faculty and new Head of Faculty. Very formal. At about an hour into the meeting, my lips started feeling weird. It took a few minutes to click that I was going low :( but I was too low to get myself up, out from between the hundred-odd tightly packed chairs, and out the door with any grace, let alone up the four flights of outdoor stairs and along the 3 corridors to my office, through the security door, and to the juice in my purse. No. I know it's stupid, but when I go low, I never want to cause a scene, especially not in front of my new coworkers, boss, HoF, and Faculty members!

I waited until the end of the meeting, and then just got up and surged out the door and up the stairs in the flow of people. I don't remember most of the meeting - people were talking about it today and it was like remembering a dream - and as I walked zombie-like back to my office another tutor was talking to me but I couldn't hear him. Loss of hearing is an advanced symptom of mine, even worse than tingly numb lips. So I knew this was a bad one.

Luckily, by divine intervention, I got back to my office ok, and unnoticed I hope. Into 2x packs of juice with a meusil bar chaser, and a test reveals that I've come back UP to 2.2mmol/L

I was stunned and useless for the next 30 mins. Luckily everyone was packing up to go home, so I pretended to work/surf the web, and it just looked like I was being virtuous and working late. Not waiting for "normal" vision to return so I could drive home.

I check the email before leaving work. The email from Fertility Associates was there. I didn't read it...

...until I got home.

Dear [Kaitake]
Thank you for your phone call yesterday, and for conveying your concerns regarding CPAC scoring for publicly funded treatment.
 From reviewing your records I understand that [hubby] had a vasectomy 7 years ago.   As you know, the duration of infertility is one of the eligibility criteria for publicly funded scoring.  After sterilisation (vasectomy), duration is measured from the time that the couple approached a health professional asking for help to become pregnant.  You reported to Dr R that you first approached your GP in 2009 to enquire about conception options.  Accordingly, Dr R advised that in September 2012 you will count 3 years of duration (from 2009), which will give you the minimum required score on this criteria to be eligible to enrol for publicly funded treatment.
If our records do not accurately reflect the date you first consulted a Doctor on fertility options, please send us the record / evidence of consultation and we will amend your scoring accordingly.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information or assistance.

Kind regards,

Clinic Manager

Bah. This sucks big time :(

And so the fight continues... wish me luck! Any ideas you have too :)


  1. FA confuses me. They were founded because of the lack of access to IF treatments, and are (my doctor especially) fairly vocal about the lack of funding. But, they do seem money hungry (like they need it, ha) and they have a complete monopoly. I wonder if they don't get back the same amount when they have to use sperm aspiration? Seems only possible reason for inventing the rules.

    You know what is also amazing? I have private health insurance, and they won't cover anything fertility related. How is that right??

    Our doctor applied for public funding for us even though we don't qualify- just in case we do or things can be tweaked- for 2012. The time frame was not debatable though, even though we both have severe fertility issues. I have thought about begging husband (who works for a certain nation wide newspaper) to write a story begging for donations; apparently this isn't ethical :P

    I'm so sorry that you are having these problems. I cannot believe how far behind NZ seems in this area. Though, I am noticing those in UK are having similar issues. I love the enthusiasm of your doctor though! I really am wishing you can find a way to get treatment!

  2. that is just. so. stupid.

    stupider than passing out at a faculty meeting, even ;) glad you made it out alive.

    i hope your endo can knock some heads together somewhere.

  3. I have fainted a few times as an adult but this sounds really awful. I'm glad you got better soon enough.

    Email.. one good and one real bad. So I guess this means you have support for taking this further.
    All good luck coming your way!