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The Power of Control

6 Jun

First, an update: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Eggs in a Row got it right in the betting pool.  Spotting started today at noon. So she gets chocolate! Yay! Also – stop by her blog and leave her some love – she had a lap a couple of days ago.

Now on to the down and dirty business of my complete emotional breakdown yesterday. Yep. It was a hoot and a half.

I’ve been on edge for days and days. The fact that AF wasn’t showing up was stressing me out beyond belief, which made me even more stressed because I realized at one point that stressing myself out would make the bitch take her sweet time even more.

Then yesterday – the day I was SUPPOSED to get my HSG, I woke up to some devastating news. A dear friend had miscarried for the 4th time. She had gotten pregnant right after my last loss so she hadn’t told me about it to spare my feelings. She lost the baby a few days ago at 9 weeks. I felt terrible. My heart ached for her, and I couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt because if it wasn’t for my own crap, I may have been able to be there for her more. I love this woman so much and all I could do was stare helplessly at a screen and try to find some words of comfort, which felt like too little, too late.

At 4:30 I was supposed to have an appointment with a geneticist to get the ball rolling on a chromosomal work-up for Shmerson and I.

At the same time, I was cramping like crazy, AF wasn’t showing herself, and to make matters worse, I hadn’t been able to get a hold of Dr. Twofer for days. I had emailed, called, and nothing.

He needed to get me a consent form for the HSG (at that point scheduled for this Thursday) and he was MIA. I was freaking out. By 2:30 I had tried and failed miserably to get some work done, I had broken a glass, and I was going out of my skin. I decided to get the heck out of the house so as not to subject Shmerson to my wrath, and to walk around a nearby mall until my appointment.

Window shopping did nothing to ease my feeling of being on the verge (neither did the large fries). I don’t know why, but I was hoping the geneticist would at least let me feel like I was doing SOMETHING to control this whole frakked up situation.

The appointment went something like this:

Doc: So – why are you here?

Me: Three miscarriages. All in the first trimester.

Doc: Any live births?

Me: Nope.

Doc: Ok – my lab at the hospital will be sending you Form X in about a month, and then you take it to your health care provider, and they will convert it to Form Y, and then you and your husband will come in for blood tests, and about two months later, you’ll get an answer.

Me: Um.. Ok.

Doc: Just so you know – there’s about a 90% chance that these tests will not give you any answers at all, so you may as well keep trying to get pregnant. If you do get pregnant, give me a call and I’ll try to speed things up. Any questions?

Really – what could I ask? I thanked him and left the room. I walked down to my car, and started having a breakdown in the parking lot. I called Squish bawling my eyes out, telling her about my friend’s loss, about my own stupid body not cooperating, about Dr. Twofer disappearing. Then I lost it completely. I had my first panic attack in months while on the phone with her (thank FSM that I had a xanax handy). And I just kept saying “I’m done. I’m done. I’m done with this shit.”

She managed to calm me down enough for me to realize I needed a mommy pep talk, and after talking to my mom, I was finally in a together enough state to make the drive home, puffy-eyed and emotionally drained.

When I got home, I finally saw an email from Twofer. Turns out he was out of the country last week. But, since he’s not officially a doctor that works with my health care provider (remember, I went to him for a second opinion), he couldn’t get me the consent form I needed for the HSG.

So – an hour of being on hold, three conversations with random receptionists, and a couple of bouts of me suppressing throwing the phone at someone later, I finally realized that I had no choice but to bite the bullet and go to Dr. Blunt to get the frakking form. So I made an emergency appointment at his clinic and sped over there.

I disliked Dr. Blunt before. Now – I hate his guts.

I’ll spare you the details of the appointment. I caught him up on the third miscarriage. Told him I had gone to Twofer for a second opinion. Told him about my ovulation date, my last beta, and how I was concerned about AF not showing. Basically, he said that since AF hadn’t yet reared her ugly head, he wanted me to go get my betas checked to make sure I wasn’t preggo, and if I wasn’t, he told  me to go ahead and get the HSG as planned on Thursday.

Oh. Then he said: “You know what your problem is? You over-manage yourself.”

Or in other words – “I don’t get why you bother to do your research, keep detailed records, or educate yourself on your body and your options. You should just let us big male doctors run the show. And did I mention I’m hung like a horse?”

Ok – that last part was in subtext only. But I was livid.

I clenched my teeth (I still needed that frakking form after all) and said: “Well, I tried to just let things go and then I miscarried for a third time. So I’ll just continue to do things my way, thanks.”

(You freaking egomaniacal prick).

So I left his office, consent form in hand, vowing to never go there again unless I have absolutely no choice.

Because tomorrow and Wed. are a holiday here, I knew I had to get those betas this morning.

And guess what? I overslept today (thanks iPhone alarm clock and insomnia!) and missed the lab hours. I was hysterical. Knowing the clinic would never give me an HSG without recent negative betas, I called and pushed my HSG – again – to this coming Sunday.

20 minutes later, I go to the bathroom and see that I’ve finally started spotting.

I sat there and laughed. I mean, seriously- what else could I do?

(at least I know that pushing the HSG to Sunday now was completely warranted, since I’ll be on CD 6 and probably only a day or two after AF goes away again).

I have to tell you that the minute I had that consent form in my hand, and a solid plan and timeline in place, I already felt better.

Earlier in that parking lot I felt like I had no control over anything. It’s amazing what a wonderful illusion of control a tiny piece of paper in the shape of a consent form will give you.

This is what sucks about our situation. If I controlled the world, my lovely and amazing friend would not have had her loss. She wouldn’t have had her first one – let alone her fourth. If I controlled the world, pricks like Dr. Blunt would get humiliated (ohh! let’s play a game in the comments – fantasy ways to humiliate Dr. Blunt! I’ll start with having him march naked down a street full of infertile women, and have them pelt eggs at him while disparaging the size of his Schlong – now it’s your turn!).

Ehem.

Sorry – were was I?

Right. If I controlled the world, I would have a baby by now. None of the people I love would be in pain, or I could do something magical to make that pain go away. I would also do what I could for world peace and non-fat bacon that tasted exactly the same as regular bacon. But you know, I’d start with the pain of the people I loved first. (That and Dr. Blunt’s De-Schlonging).

But I don’t control the world, and all I have is a freaking consent form, a panty liner eagerly awaiting to be swapped away for a heavy pad and some tylenol, 6 days of waiting for my HSG, and a feeling of helplessness because I can’t make my friend’s pain go away.**

**Honey – if you’re reading this – and I don’t know if you are – I love you. I wish I could do something to make this better. For both of us. For every woman in this crappy situation. But especially for you. Remember that no matter what, I’m always here for you.

PS – just in case my friend is reading this – let’s also use the comments to send her some love, shall we? I’m not naming names out of respect for her privacy. Just call her Mrs. Awesome, cause she is. So: de-schlonging fantasies about Dr. Blunt and massive love for Mrs. Awesome in the comments… Ready… Go!

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20 Responses to “The Power of Control”

  1. me0me June 6, 2011 at 22:04 #

    How about a fantasy land in which Dr. Blunt and Mrs. Awesome just change positions, like Freaky Friday or the stupid movie coming out with Ryan Reynolds and… is it Jason Bateman? That way he gets to process the unimaginable fourth time loss and she gets to help people from a much much better perspective and let go of her pain for a while (must be easier when you’re in someone else’s body, right?)

    • Mo June 7, 2011 at 16:32 #

      Ohhh! Brilliant!

  2. missohkay June 6, 2011 at 22:04 #

    Let’s throw our “products of conception” on Dr Blunt’s naked march too. (‘Cause we wouldn’t want to save them for testing – that would be over-managing!) Ooh, too gross?… nah! And I’m so, so sorry for Mrs. Awesome. I will say what is still the only phrase that I think really helps. “I’m sorry. This sucks.”

    • Mo June 7, 2011 at 16:32 #

      Not too gross. Completely on point. I laughed my ass off. 🙂

  3. Jjiraffe June 6, 2011 at 22:31 #

    Shut up, Dr. Blunt. He’s an asshole.

    Sending all my positive thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Awesome. I’m so sorry for her losses…words are not really sufficient here.

  4. Esperanza June 6, 2011 at 22:53 #

    Oh Mo. I’m so sorry. I’ve been there, grasping desperately for some semblance of control and coming up empty handing. I get the most upset when I’m frustrated and I get the most frustrated when I feel like I can’t do what I need to do. That is when I have the biggest break downs. I’m so sorry you went through all of that.

    And wasn’t B’s news so devastating? I just cried that whole day. I wish I knew how to make things better but the sad truth is there is NOTHING I can do. I just feel so empty inside when I think of all the pain that people go through. It’s so unfair.

    I hope all of these doctor appointments give you some answers and some peace.

    Good luck.

  5. Marie June 6, 2011 at 23:33 #

    Let’s just give Dr. Blunt a raging case of herpes. And then follow him around with signs saying, “Herpes: it’s not that big a deal.” (Like how I turned that one around?)

    Mrs. Awesome, if you are reading this, please let me know how I can help/what I can send. I know there’s no way to actually help. But um, if you want to meet me at Disneyland sometime, I’ll buy us one of those giant ice cream sundaes from the Golden Horseshoe and we can eat the whole thing. Actually, maybe I’ll buy us one EACH.

    • me0me June 7, 2011 at 17:32 #

      I’m sorry, I have to say this. There’s no choice.
      MMM. Ice cream.

    • Kelly June 7, 2011 at 19:04 #

      Anal warts – not going to kill anyone, but would be uncomfortable to have and treat!

  6. Chon June 6, 2011 at 23:42 #

    Dr blunt rhymes with…….what an arse wipe. I get the same thing from my soon to be ex dr. My apologies for trying to have a better understanding about my body!! Glad the bitch finally showed up so at least you can move on. I am so over hearing we can’t explain, then why the he’ll are we paying so much money for you expertise then???

  7. eggsinarow June 7, 2011 at 06:08 #

    What in the hell is wrong with people? Doctor’s go to school for years, but obviously the whole bed-side manner is not taught well enough. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that! And to get AF right after? Oy vey. (Even though I won the pool…I can’t be too excited because you don’t deserve that!)

    To your friend: I know that there are no words that can ease your pain, but I will simply give you this…May the love and support that is so evident from MO and everyone in the community lift you up and help you through this.

  8. Cattiz J June 7, 2011 at 10:54 #

    My god what a day and what a doctor! What school did he go to? I really hope you don’t have to see him ever again.

    I have no words for your friend because I don’t think there are no words that can take her pain away right now. But it’s so unfair how much someone have to go through in this life. Love and support to you both.

  9. A. June 7, 2011 at 13:54 #

    ((((hugs))) I am so sorry, Mo. Everything in that post – the anxiety, the inability to control anything, the paternalistic asshole doctor who thinks you would be better off (and definitely less of a pain in his ass) if you were totally in the dark and trusted in him unconditionally despite the fact that he’s probably NOT terribly proficient in infertility/repeat loss nor THAT invested in your case/outcome, the running around to get another form which allows you another form which allows you another month-long wait which ultimately allows you one more box checked off but no actual plan at all, the private doctors who are at least initially comforting to speak to but have little practical ability to help you in a concrete way and become mysteriously unreachable when your anxiety and inability to actually get anything done reaches a peak – this has pretty much been the story of my life. I am convinced that a lot of this stuff is like 10x more unnecessarily complicated and frustrating for us in Israel than for North Americans because of the design and culture of the system. And it’s enough to make you want to put your head through a plate of glass when not only your body betrays you and is totally unpredictable but then on top of it, your doctors and the system refute and derail any effort you make to achieve some semblance of control or even gasp, a plan. I am totally right there with you. Congratulations on getting the hsg scheduled and the hafnayah worked out, but I know how emotionally exhausting it is to go through all that for something that should happen with about 1/100 the amount of emotionally energy you had to put in it. Anyway, I am thinking of you and hope there are brighter days ahead for you in the very near future.

    • Mo June 7, 2011 at 16:35 #

      Thanks sweetie. But I do have to say one thing: In the face of getting all of this stuff covered, I’d much rather do some burcreautric wrangling than have to worry about how to pay for all this. Still, I’m a bit disillusioned with the bitterness and general lack of bedside manner that practically every OB/GYN I’ve met with has in this country. Ahh well.

      • eggsinarow June 7, 2011 at 20:40 #

        OMG. Going to the bank in E’Y is difficult enough! But the lack fo bedside manner…I can see it.

  10. AK June 7, 2011 at 16:47 #

    Don’t you have any female OB/GYNs who wouldn’t be such jerks in Israel? Mine’s a tiny Jewish lady not much older than me who I LOVE. I actually freaked out when I thought I’d have to switch doctors mid-possible pre-cancer testing crap (I’m fine – yay!) because of insurance changes. I didn’t, but still – stupid American healthcare system at least has empathetic female doctors.

    • Mo June 7, 2011 at 16:55 #

      Most female OB’s, from my experience at least, are either fully booked (which I’m seriously starting to understand why), or IVF specialists. I’ll take Dr. Twofer over the latter. Let’s hope it continues to be that way. So glad you’re good though! I feel like crap for being so wrapped up in my own shit that I couldn’t hold your hand either. Urgh. Love you!!!

  11. Kelly June 7, 2011 at 19:12 #

    The anxiety seems to stem from wanting to be ‘proactive’ and the wealth of knowledge (and um, knowledge of non-knowledge) available on the Internet.

    We’re women, we’re programmed to ‘over think’, men, not so much, they live in the ‘now’. Also women used to being ‘over achievers’ or ‘Lisa Simpson’ (hey, we’re the same age and like most of our peers put everything in context of the Simpsons (when people drop Futurama, I swoon)) tend to want to be as informed as possible – what else can you expect from women who have defended thesis’?

    Thinking of you, and will be sending good vibes your way!

    If I controlled the world, it would also be awesome, and no animals would be mistreated, and there would be no Fox news.

  12. marriage20 June 7, 2011 at 22:16 #

    Mo, I am so sorry. This situation totally sucks, and I am sending you love and good vibes. I hope you get some answers soon!!!

    Mrs. Awesome, my heart goes out to you. Thinking of you in your time of grief. Big hugs.

  13. BleedingTulip June 7, 2011 at 23:37 #

    Dr. Blunt: I think he should be caught having sex by his mother (that’s always embarrassing, right?) and then she can march him down the street by his ear, naked, whilst we throw eggs and products of conception at him… and then some professor or someone he holds in high regards should take away his degree and tell him he has to go back to school for being such a despicable, egotistical asshat. And he should lose everything he loves so he can feel what it is like to be grasping at straws, trying to find some semblance of control in his life and maybe THEN he will realize WHY we are so involved in OUR BODIES and health and FUTURE.

    Mrs.Awesome: My heart aches for you. When I read of what you had gone through I looked at my miscarriage memorial tattoo, and remembered the pain, depression, anxiety that I felt… and still feel sometimes. You are not alone. There are women from all over the world grieving for you and loving you and wishing they could somehow make life “fair”.

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