Thursday, July 10, 2008


Yesterday, I became really angry––perhaps “incensed” is a better term––at the nurses at my RE’s office. Today I’m wondering if I overreacted.

I went in for my sono and bloodwork on Tuesday morning. The way it is supposed to work, the way it always works, is that the nurses call that same afternoon with instructions. So on Tuesday afternoon, the new nurse (the one who, BTW, told me in May that maybe my infertility was God’s way of giving me a chance to rest before having a child) called me and told me that the nurses would be talking to my RE the next day (yesterday) about my plan for this cycle, and they would call me then. Fine, no biggie. I think, though I’m not sure, that in my last cycle I didn’t start the pill until cycle day 5. As yesterday was cycle day 4, I wasn’t worried.

The phones at my RE’s office get shut off at 4:00, which is a constant source of frustration for me. So at 3:30 I called in to let them know I still hadn’t heard from anyone about what I was supposed to be doing, and that I still needed a BCP prescription. The receptionist said the nurses were doing call-backs and would call me back later. They’re usually really good about this, so I was fine with that. At the time, I even though it would be fine if I talked to them today, because I’m pretty sure my first pill would be tonight.

But when 7:00 rolled around last night, and I still hadn’t gotten a call, I suddenly freaked out. Not so much about my cycle, because I think it’s still okay, but because I need to be able to trust that they WILL call me when they say they will. I was so goddamn mad, and so freaked out. If I can’t know that they’ll make their calls after 4:00, I’m going to feel like I always have to call them before that time. Even though usually my calls with instructions usually come after 4:00. (This is because, as I’ve surmised over the years, they prioritize their call-backs. Beta tests rightfully come first, around 2:00 when the tests come in. Then they start doing the IVF calls, which can take from 2:00 to 5:00. Then they do the other calls, which are a bit less time-sensitive.)

So I got home and e-mailed my RE. I didn’t bitch her out or anything, but I was really upset and said so, and mentioned that if I can’t trust the nurses to call, I’m going to need an after-hours phone number where I can actually get through. I’m telling you, I was totally freaking out. My heart was racing, and I was filled with bitter rage. J leaned over my shoulder as I was re-reading my e-mail and said softly, “Remember, don’t e-mail mad.” Hitting “send,” I said, “too late.”

Then I got all stressed out about the e-mail that I sent, but you can’t call those back. I finally ended up taking a xanax last night to settle down.

Today I’m feeling sheepish about the whole thing. Part of me thinks that it’s just that they know I’m a veteran, so they assume that I can be told what’s going on at the last minute and not freak out. They’re wrong. I do know what’s going on—I’d lay money on me starting the BCP tonight. But that doesn’t mean I don’t freak out. I’m kind of the Freak Out Queen. (Not as fun as being Kick-Ass Lawyer Chick, I assure you.)

So now I wait. I’ll call after 10:00, when they’re done with morning monitoring, and see what the hell happened.

Epilogue: Everything is fine. I called and was transferred to New Nurse, who said she hadn't called becuase they still hadn't figure out what we were doing this cycle (which is odd, because I don't think very much is going to change). I told her she really had to return calls, even if just to tell me that they would work it out the next day and not to worry, and I told her how freaked out that had made me. She then put me on hold and my favorite nurse came on the line a few minutes later and apologized over and over again for New Nurse not calling me back, and assured me that I wasn't overreacting. (Which I still might have been, but as Io pointed out in the comments, I'm a crazy hormonal cycling freakazoid who just wrote a check for an insane amount of money, so soothing me is still a good idea.)
I start the BCP tonight, and Favorite Nurse will make sure CVS has it in stock when she calls it in, so I don't end up screwed this evening when I go to get it.
Have I mentioned how much I love my RE's office? (Note major mood swing--and these are just my normal late-period hormones!) I'm not a big fan of New Nurse, and hate the Billing Bitch, but my doctor and the other two nurses are awesome. THIS is why I fought so hard to stay with this office for shared risk, rather than face the Big Bad Factory Fertility Clinic in our area.


Io said...

Ah, I hate when I second guess myself after a moment of self-rightous indignation. It's so much better to hold on to the fury, instead of having both fury and sudden doubt.

I'm sure it will be fine. Here's why I know so:

1. You just wrote a check for HOW much? Right. You are OWED a freaking phone call.

2. Your doctor is used to dealing with crazy hormonal infertile wenches. If he/she can't handle a justifiably upset email, then he/she is in the wrong field of medicine.

3. Um, bitches said they would call. They didn't. The doctor shdoul know shen his/her staff is f-ing up.

Just my three cents. I'd have probably run into the office this morning, pivoting my arm at the elbow, snapping and hollering "Oh HEEEELLLLLL no!" So in the grand scheme of things an email doesn't sound so bad. And you can always apologize.

Ms Heathen said...

Infertility is God's way of giving you a chance to have a rest before having a child?!?

It doesn't matter how many times you may have been through it before, starting a cycle of IVF is always stressful. If your clinic says they will call you, then you have to have faith that that is in fact what they will do. If not, then they deserve to have kick ass lawyer chick come and kick their asses!

I hope that you manage to get hold of them this morning.

annacyclopedia said...

I totally agree with Io. You are owed the respect of a call when they say they will call. Plus I don't believe in overreacting about stuff this important - you're just reacting, having your feelings. There's no law anywhere (is there, KALC?) that says you have to be calm and rational and equanimous and accepting all the time, especially when the stakes are as high as they are with IF treatment. I'm glad you emailed your RE and that they appear to have heard you. Even if New Nurse is a bit of a twat.

seriously? said...

They said they would call and they didn't. You have the right to expect they will do what they say. I don't think I like new nurse either. How can someone say that? My RE's nurses all have personal experience with various aspects of IF, I think that makes the a bit more understanding.

Here's to your new cycle.

kate said...

Dude. I would lose my everlovin' SHIT if that happened to me. You are a picture of kindness and patience for simply emailing your RE. I seriously would have driven my ass up there and banged on the door until someone answered. That would have gotten me nowhere, I'm sure, but the thing is, you are absolutely right that THEY OWE YOU THE COURTESY OF A PHONE CALL.

I hatehatehatehatehate when I call or email someone for business reasons and they take their sweet fucking time calling me back. It really, REALLY makes me angry. Which is why I ALWAYS set expectations about how long something will take, and if I can't meet those expectations, I let someone know right away. At the very least, I attempt to give people the courtesy of a "I'll-catch-you-tomorrow-no-time-for-today", you know?

And yeah, Io is right. You just laid 20-some-odd THOUSAND DOLLARS on the line. You bought as many damn phone calls as you'd like.

And I want to punch that "God's Way" nurse in the fucking gut. What an ass.

By the way, if one wanted to mail you a card or something, is there a place where you would feel comfortable receiveing said card? And if so, is there a way that you would communicate the address to one, even if that "one" is a sketchy asshole such as myself? I mean, if you were willing, you could email it to me at

Io said...

Glad it all turned out ok!

Malloryn said...

I agree with the other ladies here. You're under enough stress as it is. If they said they would call, they owe you a call. It sounds like you have some good doctors and nurses there on your side, and I hope you get to deal with them more than the non-calling asshats. I wish you the very best for your cycle!

peesticksandstones said...

Wow, that "God's rest" nurse was sooooo out of line -- I'm pretty sure anyone who said something like that am my clinic would be fired immediately.

So glad you got this settled. The whole waiting-on-calls business is so humiliating at times (besides just being maddening). It makes my dating days ("will he call? will he call?") seem like such a picnic in comparison.