Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Calm Before the Storm

I've been so absent from BlogLand lately I thought I'd drop a short post just to let everyone know I was okay. Occasionally I go through these phases where I just have nothing to say. Or rather, I have lots of things to say but they all seem: (1) boring and inane or (2) too complicated to be worth the time and effort of typing them out. On top of all that, J has actually been home almost every night for the past couple of weeks, so I have no privacy. It's nice having him home, though. Much less lonely.

A short version of what's been going on:

1. The Boring: I've been sick. Got a brutal cold at the beginning of June. Gave up on healing on my own and got a doctor to give me antibiotics in mid-June. But my chest is still a mess. Don't know if I've managed to suddenly develop asthma (possible, given that I have had allergies since I was 20), or if the cold is hanging on. Now on another round of antibiotics.

2. The Complicated: I've worked out the contract for the shared risk program at my RE's office. This got complicated because I never told you that it was a problem, so explaining that I've solved it seems odd. But I solved it. Contrary to what my RE originally told me, the contract I was shown had an early-out penalty. Essentially, I thought I was going to sign up for a shared risk program that gave me the option of doing 6 fresh IVF cycles plus any FET cycles, but allowed me to drop out before that was done and get a full refund. After all, I've already done 3 IVF cycles and 1 FET. I can't imagine doing another 6 plus god-only-knows how many FETs. I figure if this hasn't worked after another 3 cycles, it just isn't going to work. But the whole point of laying out $21K is that I get that money back if the IVF doesn't work, so I have some money left to put toward adoption.

But the contract I was shown had this clause that said that, if the patient wants to pull out of the program before completing all fresh cycles and any FET cycles, she loses $5K of her refund for every cycle she's done. So this means after 2 cycles, half of my refund would be lost. And after 4 cycles, I would get next to nothing in a refund. Can you imagine having to do extra IVF cycles, not because you want to or think they would work, but because that was the only way to get your adoption money back? Insane. Medically unconscionable.

I wrote to my RE and told her that the contract didn't match what she had told me, and that if we couldn't work it out I would have to go Giant Factory Fertility Clinic in the area, which I know has the shared risk program I want. But I really don't want to go to GFFC! I love my RE, and I get individualized treatment. And the last thing I want to do is start all over again with a new clinic.

Anyway, (see why I thought this was both boring/too complicated to explain?), she talked to the other doctors in the group, and they all agreed that the early-out penalty was crap. I think the funny part is that patients have been signing this contract for years, but the early-out penalty has "never come up." Apparently, all but one couple has come out of the program with a baby, which is a good sign.

Then I had to deal with the office manager person, who manages the contracts. But the short version of this story is that they basically let me re-write the contract. How cool is that? I felt like Kick-Ass Lawyer Chick, my favorite superhero. And I felt like they were kind of foolish to not run it by a lawyer. Not that I screwed them; I was very careful to protect them. Basically, my RE trusts me and the contract was with her.

See? Not an interesting post at all. But that's what's going on. As soon as my period starts I'm jumping into another cycle. Which will be soon. So right now I'm in the calm before the storm, or the "quiet before the plunge," as Gandalf would put it (I think that's how he put it). Too bad I wasted my entire month off being sick and cranky.

And, I might add, I'm very scared of having to buy my own drugs. No idea how much that's going to cost me. I have a decent supply of Gon.al-f, because we over-ordered (deliberately) while I had insurance. I won't have to buy much more of that to get through one cycle. But the mena.pur and ganarel.ix are going to cost a lot, I think.

For those of you who think I'm spoiled (I have been) because my insurance covered my drugs until now, help me out here. How much should I expect to spend on drugs for one cycle?

All right. Back to work. That's what they pay me for, theoretically.

14 comments:

kate said...

Go, Kick-Ass Lawyer Chick! Go!

I can't wait to be a kick ass lawyer chick so I can throw around legal terms to say what I want to say for situations like now when the city is trying to fuck me over for having 10 weeds on our 1.5 acre lot that exceed their allowable 8 inch height (things like "preferential application of the law" and "misrepresentative evidence"- aren't there "real" legal terms for those things that can intimidate the jackass city code inspector?)

Anyway, I'm glad you were able to fix things for your RE. And sorry that you've been sick. Asthma and allergies both totally suck. I hate that tight feeling in my chest. Yuck.

And I can totally relate to feeling like things in my life are too boring or inane (or grossly personal, or complicated) to write about. But I just write about them anyway and let the blog world suffer.

Meghan said...

Boring - are you kidding?!?!
Keep writing....Love all your posts :-)

Ms. J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amber said...

SO not boring. I'm glad you worked out that nonsense contract thing.

Drugs. The main expense is the Gonal-F so if you have that the rest wont be THAT much. I think I paid about $50 for an amp of M*nopur. No idea about the Ganirelix.

Ms. J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shinejil said...

I am so sorry you've been sick; I sympathize, having been in somewhat the same boat.

Three cheers for KAKC and her contract rewriting ways!

No idea (yet) re: med costs. I'll know soon enough. Sigh.

Joonie said...

How wonderful that your clinic let you rewrite your contract!

Sorry about you being sick. Hope you feel better soon.

As far as the cost of Meds go. You have to do some shopping around for pharmacies. I buy mine from a mail order pharmacy in New Jersey and they have the best rates. The cycle medication cost is anywhere between 3k-5k, depending how long you stim or what meds you use.

Io said...

No clue about the meds dude.
But go you, rewriting the contract! How kick ass that you were able to do that!
I hope this round of antibiotics kicks your sicknesses ass.

Ms Heathen said...

Well done, kick ass lawyer chick for re-writing the contract! Here in the UK, there's no such thing as shared risk programmes; we're paying out in full and up front for every cycle, as well as for the cost of the drugs. Last time round, my meds came to just under £900 (around $1,800) - most of this was for the vast amounts of meno.pur I was taking.

Best of luck with this next cycle!

Ally said...

I cannot believe you think you are ever boring in your posts, Ms. Kick Ass Lawyer Chick!

That being said, I'm glad things are working out with your RE's clinic. Not only are you KALC for yourself, you are helping out future patients and your RE who you like. You are *awesome*!

As far as being sick is concerned-YUCK. I have adult-onset asthma (thanks pneumonia!) and it's yucky. It definitely makes me more susceptible to chest ickiness. Go back and ask for harder drugs.

It was good to hear from you-yay! Keep posting!

annacyclopedia said...

So great to hear from you, and no story with a kick ass lawyer chick triumphing over evil/thoughlessness is ever boring! So keep up the good work, KALC!

Hope your chest feels better. If your lungs are still congested, I recommend this trick - put on cotton socks that you've wet with cold water and then wrung out, put on thick wooly dry socks overtop, wear very warm pj's like sweats and go to bed. In the morning, you will be horrified at what comes out of your lungs. Weird, but it works for me - my naturopath told me about it. Apparently it's some TCM thing. Cheap and easy and drug free. Good luck!

La La said...

What a mess, glad you got everything worked out thoug!

Rebeccah said...

Now how the heck did I read your blog this long and not clue in that you were (gasp!) one of us kick-ass lawyer types?

Kinda makes you wonder when you have to fix your doctors' docs, eh? Guess that's why they went to med school and we went to law school. Although sometimes lately I feel like I've been to med school too...

Jen said...

Kick Ass on the contract!

My drugs were covered, but I can see the charges on my EOBs. The charge was $2,600 for the following:

5 600's of Follistim
14 day Lupron Kit
2 Pkgs of PIO
5 Medrol Pills
10ish Doxycycline Pills
2 10 packs of Vivelle Estrogen Patches