Yesterday we had what I perceived to be our IVF go-ahead appointment. I was looking forward to it, because I've been in treatment limbo since March and I wanted to get things moving again. The consultant we see works within the private system, which will mean nothing to non-UK based people, but basically, it means that whatever I do next ceases to be free as it was on the NHS.
This doctor sees his clients at his personal practice rather than the hospital, and his practice happens to be based in his house. Attempting to find the house, The Dude and I were wandering down residential streets, clutching the directions we were sent. Looking for a gynaecologist's house amongst tree-lined streets of £500,000+ homes felt a bit shady and I told The Dude that it was like I was going for a clandestine back-room abortion. Yeah, abortion is legal here and how twisted am I that this is what comes to mind when attending an appointment about attempted conception, but hey...I am known for thinking innappropriate things at innappropriate times.
One of the first questions the doctor (who shall henceforth be known as Dr WhereHaveYouBeenAllMyLife --Dr WHYBAML for short because I'm lazy) asked me was, "Aside from infertility, how do think PCOS has affected you?". I snorted and let out out something that could be interpreted as a brief laugh and wondered how I could ever put my extreme hatred and resentment into words rather than gutteral noises and eye rolling. In the end I figured that he did not really want to hear how I have placed the blame for everything wrong in my life solely on PCOS, and said that aside from the ever-so-slight issues of weight gain and excess hair growth, me and PCOS are as close as a girl and her hormonal disorder could possibly be.
After looking at my history, Dr WHYBAML put a rather seductive and dare I say, rather rebellious idea out there. He suggested that rather than jumping into IVF ovaries-first, that perhaps I should try another IUI. Now, before you think that I leapt across the heavy wooden table which separated us to strangle the doc I would later ordain as Dr WHYBAML, worry not, as I remained calm. My eyes may have been bulging and my fists clenched, but I thought I'd let him explain to me why he thought this would be the best course of action after the miserable failures that were IUIs 1, 2 and 3.
Dr WHYBAML proceeded to suggest that he would like me to try Metformin, which I have never taken despite being diagnosed with PCOS for over 7 years. Previous doctors have been content to dismiss my claims that perhaps Metformin would be beneficial, culminating in the ultimate statement by one of them, who I shall call Dr Fuckhead, that "You probably won't have trouble getting pregnant." This statement was followed by a quick glance at my chart and ultrasounds, when Dr Fuckhead said the phrase that will keep her on my "People that need to die slow, agonising deaths whilst being consumed by rabid badgers" list for as long as I live: "Ooops...scratch that. Forget I said it. I didn't realise your case was so bad. Yeah, you will have trouble conceiving and will almost definitely require medical intervention. Sorry!" This was said to me at 20, prior to any concrete plans of conception, and alone in Dr Fuckhead's office after a standard pap smear. This witty anecdote now relayed, I think I could hardly be faulted for not trusting doctors.
In addition to Metformin, Dr WHYBAML mentioned a drug that is commonly used to treat breast cancer, Letrozole. Apparently when it is combined with Metformin, it yields quite great results for women with PCOS. I have yet to google the hell out of this drug, but rest assured I will do so at work to waste some time. I will be on some injectibles as well, but I believe that will only be right before the IUI itself.
Even I am prone to momentary lapses of optimism, and I confess this is one of these times. The lovely Lumi has recently found herself in the family way after starting Metformin just last month, so perhaps this is all it will take. Ok, I'm not really *that* optimistic, but I'm pleased that someone finally had the balls to tell it to me straight without either making me cry at their sheer stupidity, or blatantly recommending IVF so they could get their grubby hands on my hard-earned £4000. I do wonder why no one has recommended this course of treatment up to this point, but then again you encounter more Dr Fuckheads than you do Dr WHYBAMLs. I'm trying not to think that without all this wasted time I could already have a 2 year old named Walter Ulysses Adebisi Napoleon Swearengen, and I'll just try to be hopeful that this IUI will mean that I can instead spend my £4000 on an Ikea nursery and the next box set of 21 Jump Street.