I'm going to set the scene: last week, The Dude phoned up GLCP regarding our next course of action now that Project IUI concluded unsuccessfully. At this time, GLCP indicated that it might be a long while until we got an appointment with the consultant (for non-UK readers, consultant = doctor), but as soon as there was a cancellation, we would be the first ones on the list to be substituted. Last Friday, we miraculously received a letter indicating that we had an appointment with the consultant for today. We both thought that perhaps the NHS is not as lost a cause as people think, and envisioned our appointment being the time when we solidified our IVF plans. IVF by June? Eggs to count? Sticks to pee on?
As it is with so many things in this bastard trial that is infertility, our logic could not have been more faulty. The Dude took the afternoon off work, and I sacrificed my Cup of Soup to take a late lunch to attend this appointment. When we were called into the room, GLCP informed us that the consultant would not be there, but instead there was some registrar guy. Uh, I don't even know what that is.
We sat down in this tiny room with four chairs situated quite close to one another, and the registrar introduced himself. He produced my file, and sat there for about 30 seconds nodding and saying, "Umm hmmm" to himself while peering at the complexities of my ultrasounds. He looked up at me and said, "Given your three failed IUIs, I suggest that we waste no time and proceed with IVF." This statement of "Gee buddy, no shit!"-tedness was followed by a lengthy stare at me on his part, as if he was waiting for a congratulatory thank you, or else for me to burst into tears and scream "Why God, why?!?!" while pounding my fists on The Dude's chest. When he realised that his gaze was only met with my indifference, he started mumbling about follicles and sperm in the hopes that I would latch on to at least one of his words and say something.
Apparently, this was all the appointment was to be. After he passed down his well-thought out decision to allow me to move on to IVF, he asked if there were any questions, then we were done. There was no mention of what the next step is, aside from writing to the consultant to tell him we want to proceed to IVF. How long will it take to be allocated a time? Don't know. How much is this all going to cost? Don't know. What the fuck was the point of sitting in this room in silence and being told something we're already aware of? Don't know.
GLCP hardly said a word, aside from to pipe in at the end, "Well...at least you're young!", which, as I'm sure you're all aware, cushions the infertility blow so much more. That too was met with indifference, but she should really know better after the textbook polycystic ovaries debacle of a couple of months ago. Here I am, beaten down by this whole experience, when I could have just remembered that I'm young and have a good 15 years of infertility ahead of me. Yeah, thanks for that GLCP. It's just the boost I needed. It's a wonder you've gone into a profession such as wand wielding when psychotherapy would have suited you so much more.
This so-called appointment to confirm the bloody obvious reminded me of one of my first doctor's appointments after I moved over here. I had to have some tests in order to be officially diagnosed as infertile UK-style (you get a lovely badge and certificate once you get in the club) so we could proceed with treatment. I had to make a separate appointment to hear the results, whereupon the doctor sat down quite purposefully, inhaled deeply, put her glasses on slowly and peered at me over the rims and said, "Well, I'm afraid you have PCOS". Fantastic and true diagnosis, except...I'd been diagnosed 4 years earlier with PCOS, and started seeing the doctor here BECAUSE I had PCOS. The medical profession does love a bit of drama, and who am I really to take that away from them?
Hopefully the next blatantly obvious statement I hear from a doctor (or registrar now I suppose) will be, "Congratulations Pru, after a battery of tests, we have concluded that you are in fact 7 months pregnant. Hold the applause please...we are professionals."