The First RE Appointment

 It was kind of a cluster fuck. Just to be honest. This post is going to seem jumbley because a lot happened this morning/early afternoon (I was there for a while). Bear with me.

So I woke up at 8:00 am to begin getting ready. Our appointment was at 9:45 am. Plenty of time. I get ready pretty fast, without a hitch other than the five or six women on the Today Show revealing to their moms on national television that they’re pregnant. That made me want to crawl under the bed and never come out. Seriously? Fuck you Today Show. I didn’t need that, this morning of all mornings.

But anyway, we get there around 9:20 am and the receptionist is frosty at best. She clearly doesn’t like her job. This instantly makes me feel less than fuzzy about this clinic. But I kept telling myself that doctors and nurses are what matters, and it’s the truth. She runs through all my information, seems confused about my insurance coverage (since we’re a military family that DOESN’T have tricare. In her defense, it confuses me too) and finally sends my chart back to the nurse. It’s probably 9:50-9:55 by this point.

A little after 10:00 am the technician comes and gets us. She takes my height and weight and blood pressure, and then sits us down in the “learning room” to go over my basic stuff. Confirming all the stuff I sent them just a few weeks (“Oh no-sorry about that, I HAVE taken up chain smoking and binge drinking since I sent in those questionnaires). She was nice, but serious. This is fine with me, this is serious. Then she says the nurse will be in to see me, and then the doctor.

And this is where I get pissed. off. We probably waited an hour to see the nurse. I was MAD by the time she walked in. Like ready to walk out of there and get someone and make sure they remembered we were there mad. I was short, but polite. I answered all her questions. She went over past treatments and surgeries, and then told me that my OBGYN had NOT sent over my files. Goddamnit. I was pissed. Lucky for her, my anger at his office sort of took over my anger at her, but I did ask her “Are these waiting times typical or are you having a bad day today? Because I can’t take this much time from work everytime I come for an appointment”. I was polite, but I felt okay letting them know that I don’t appreciate being made to sit in a room interminably. Especially when I’M paying THEM. She said that they were rolling out their new EMR system and the day had been hectic at best. She did say to always plan around two hours per visit, but that it would be better than today.

So maybe fifteen minutes later the doctor comes in. She’s very short (height wise) and very no nonsense. I’m okay with that. I do miss the friendly congeniality of my male OBGYN, but friendly congeniality isn’t getting me pregnant. We talked about what I’ve done in the past. She was bothered about not having my medical records to look at (as was I) but was able to get a basic idea of what I’ve been through and what we expect. She did look at Chief’s SA results and said that she didn’t like how low the rapid motility number was (24.6%). She wanted it around 40%, so that bothered me. She even said she considers this to be mild male factor. But she said the 8% morphology number was totally fine. She recommended some supplements he could take to help with motility, but between that problem and my lack of cervical mucus, she agrees that we are excellent candidates for IUI. Here’s where I got excited, she said: “Do you guys want to try and do a cycle this month?” and I was like “Heck yeah!”.

Here’s where I got sad.

She looked at our insurance coverage and said “Oh, I see you have diagnostics covered-that’s good. But I think we should wait on the IUI until I get all your tests back. Otherwise your insurance might consider you to be diagnosed since we’re doing treatment, and refuse to pay for your labs.” And she ordered a lot of labs, including a Cystic Fibrosis screen, so I definitely want my insurance to pay. I’m glad that she’s conscientious of these things, but I was bummed. I thought “Oh well, next month isn’t too far.” She did say that since I’m responding well to letrozole (although she wanted to verify this with my OBGYN reports) she would leave me on that protocol for a few cycles before we moved onto injectables. Score one in the financial column. So all of that seemed good.

Except this.

They couldn’t schedule my baseline ultrasound until JUNE FUCKING 19TH. It was the mean receptionist doing it and when I asked her if we could do something different she said “It’s at the main hospital and all the clinics and departments use it, so no, that’s the earliest. Everyone has to wait.” Then I said “But that’s going to be in a whole different cycle from all my other labs, can’t I do my ultrasound here?” And she just said “We do some ultrasounds here, but no you have to go to the main hospital.” She wouldn’t budge or even ask for me. So I took the freaking appointment, scheduled my lab follow up for JUNE FUCKING 23RD and left to get my labs done.

By this point it is 12:50 pm.

So I go downstairs to do labs (CD 3’s, Cystic Fibrosis, Prolactin-five giant test tubes, not the little ones) and they’re having trouble with the new EMR system too. Nevertheless, the phlebotomists get me back pretty quickly and they are so nice. I warned them about my difficult to stick veins and I think I psyched them out. Y’all, it took FOUR STICKS in four different locations to get my blood. Left elbow pit, left wrist (hurt like a bitch), left top of hand and then FINALLY right elbow crease did the job. The guy who did the first three finally gave in and let one of the others try. The lady who finally got it was rough, but she got it on the first try, so I appreciate that. Then, at 1:20, we finally left the building.

I was never so happy to see the sun, guys. I missed it. I thought I was going to die in that place.

And then, when we got in the car I called the nurse’s direct line (she gave me her number for “questions or concerns” because we’re besties now.) And I basically told her that I know I’m impatient, but we’ve been through the ringer, so could they PLEASE do something different about this baseline ultrasound business? I mean, at that rate we won’t do our first IUI until July. I know two months is nothing in the grand scheme of this journey, but I’m so tired of waiting. And waiting. AND WAITING. I’m hoping she’ll call me back with good news. If she doesn’t it’s not the end of the world, but it sort of feels like it.

Oh, and I go back on May 22 for CD 21 progesterone.

Here’s how I’m feeling:

Receptionist/General System-Not loving it. Hoping it’s better as they get used to the new system.

Technician-Pretty great. Nothing like, super impressive, but she got her job done, was friendly, and didn’t keep me waiting

Nurse: Jury is out a little. She was REALLY nice, but she was slow. She seemed knowledgeable, and I probably can’t blame her for the clinic being too busy today. In general I think I like her. I’ll like her more of she works something out for my ultrasound.

Doctor: Seems to know what she’s talking about and seemed cautiously positive about our outlook. She even said “You’re young enough, we should be able to get you pregnant.” Whatever that means. I wish she was a little warmer, but if she gets me pregnant she can be the White Witch from Narnia for all I care. I didn’t really walk away with any information I didn’t have already, but we got the first step done and I’m hoping for more once all my labs come back. And I’m hoping I don’t have to wait for June 23rd to know the final game plan.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. But that’s what I’ve got for now.



18 thoughts on “The First RE Appointment

  1. Its INSANE that they can’t do your baseline U/S until June! Is this an RE/fertility clinic specifically? I have to say the best part about switching from an OB to an RE was the swift booking of appointments and responsiveness. They make sh*t happen at my clinic, and that is what I need. It seems bizarre to me that AN ULTRASOUND (of all things!) couldn’t be booked at another time! I hope they fix it for you. Are you still thinking of visiting the other doc?

    • I hadn’t planned on visiting the other doc, but I am now. I know they do EVERYTHING in house. So bad reviews aside, that may be a deciding factor. At this point they could just transfer my CD 3’s and run everything else at their clinic. I’ll see what the nurse says. I kept saying to my husband “They could have done the ultrasound TODAY.” When the nurse calls back if she says they can’t do anything I may just say “Okay, then can you send my tests results to this place? Because I’m not waiting that long because you guys refuse to do baseline ultrasounds in house”. And it is a Fertility Clinic, but it’s attached to a humongous hopsital/med school, which is sort of why I expected better of them.

  2. So, a mix. Good and bad. I am with you on waiting. Both in the office and out. I would have flipped me shit out at waiting an hour AND that the other office didn’t send records. I hope you don’t to wait for the baseline, but if you do, I will give you the same advice you give me. Sometimes a break is a good thing. You’ve set a plan in motion. You’ll get there.

  3. OMG that’s even worse than my shitty clinic. You were already dreading this appt and now you know you actually had something to dread. That’s so wrong. I’m sorry and pray this is the worst you’ll go through with them. Just repeat that all of this is worth it in the end over and over lol. Big BIG hugs to you!

    • Yeah, i really can’t decide how I feel about it. If it were just the long waits and not the rude staff person i would probably feel better, but that receptionist put a bad taste in my mouth. At whatever point I’m done with them (either from deciding to switch or getting pregnant), I’ll probably complain about her unwillingness to work with me on anything. Or be nice.

  4. Ok, glad you got the “initial RE” appointment over with. That said, I’m not sure they’ve earned your business. I would be pissed at the waiting and you should’ve be able to do the US there. 2nd opinion? XO

    • That’s what I’m thinking too. We only have one other clinic in town and I’ve heard terrible things and great things as well. All the same, unless the nurse calls me back and says she so sorry, of course they’ll do the ultrasound in the office for me, I think I’ll make an appointment at the other place. I’m PISSED I took a whole day off for this to only have to make another appointment. And I wont make the other appointment if the other clinic doesn’t agree to use the CD 3 labs that are being run currently. I’m not paying to have that done again.

    • The thing that upsets me the most is that this RE is nationally recognized and published. She’s supposed to have amazing results. I just have to decide if the suckiness of everything else is worth it. I would like to think that the base line US is the only one they would make me do offsite like this, but I can’t even find a REASON for doing it that way.

      • Ah, I see. That’s a toughie–she’s ranked. But that still may not make her your ideal candidate–“Several IUI cycles with Letrozole” does not take finesse–any RE clinic can do that (my OBGYN does that). For IVF, I would suffer a lot of indignities to be at a BADASS clinic. But for IUI, I would go someplace convenient and caring–because it may well take several attempts and you don’t need a top-notch embryologist. You deserve the best my friend–I leave it to your discretion. XOXO

      • And here’s the other thing-aren’t you supposed to do a baseline ultrasound around CD 3? Not just any other day? Because I just talked to the nurse and she said they wouldn’t do it in the office and I had to have it on that day, which obviously won’t be on CD 3. I think I’m already done with this clinic. I know I heard bad things about the other one, but I already feel like they don’t know what they’re doing, and I can’t handle that.

      • It sounds like they’re not even doing a baseline ultrasound yet–this sounds like a “lets see if your uterus is anatomically correct and do you have ovaries?” ultrasound–THEN they would have you come back for a CD3 for your NEXT cycle and begin treatment.

  5. I’m sorry they stuck you 4 times! Ouch! I hope that they will reschedule your ultrasound for a time that’s not so far away. That’s insane!

  6. Ugh. This does not bode well. Unfortunately, I doubt you’ll get better service at the Big Clinic either. I did get a baseline same-day, though. Six of one, half a dozen of another? I will say I’ve always had to wait for labs and a two-month wait seems interminable now, but looking back it was just a blip. Thinking of you.

  7. Blerg, I tried to respond to this yesterday- TWICE- but I was on my phone and deleted it both times! Whoops.

    I wanted to sympathize with you for not only how frustrating it all must have been, but also for wanting to lose it on the staff. Lemme start by saying that my husband is a nurse, and I really, really try hard to be kind and respectful to nurses in general. But on our 2nd ever RE appointment, we found out that one of the nurses had failed to tell us that to get our CD3 bloodwork done before 8am. So we showed up to our previously-scheduled 9am appointment on CD3 only to find out that we’d have to wait a cycle to start anything because we’d missed the bloodwork pick-up by one freaking hour. Looong story short, we bumped into that nurse in the hall and I totally and uncharachteristically absolutely lost my $#!+ on her. There were tears (from me), swearing, yelling… it wasn’t pretty.

    I’ve never, ever done anything like that before or since. I must’ve been a total hormonal mess or something. She was so freaking scared of us and nice to us every single time we saw her for the next 3 years, and I legit would turn bright red from embarrassment every time as well. So… yeah. I feel ya. And at least you didn’t actually lose it on her!

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