Tuesday, December 7, 2010

some days are just bad

So I have my ultrasound monitoring appointment today, so they can see what's wrong with my ovaries. It's got all sorts of interesting potential: they can find out whether I have cysts (and what I have if not), and whether there's anything they can give me so that I'm no longer in pain CD7-10. And although the appointment was supposed to be pre-peak, when she thought she'd get a better look at my ovaries, it ended up being p+5, because I ovulated early. And so I would find out, for the first time ever, whether I actually ovulate at all.

And the brilliant TCIE told me that I should also ask them to measure the thickness of my lining. I actually got up this morning excited for a GYN appointment - even one that involved a wanding. How often does that happen? Also, of course, I entertain hopes that they will take a look around, say that I had a strong ovulation, and offer me post-peak HCG supplementation on the spot, including my first shot in the office, and I'll get a BFP before Christmas - OK, that's not hopes, that's delusions. Whatever.

Oh, the appointment is also later in my cycle than expected for another reason: because even if the appointment is ZOMG so important that it has to fall on a specific day, and Tepeyac will prioritize it at the top of the list and "fit me in" - to get a "fit in" appointment, you have to call the nurses' line, as the receptionists only do regularly scheduled appointments. So I called the nurses' line, I think, three times. First, on November 24, I called and left a message at the front desk. Front desk called me back and told me to call the nurses. I did, and left a message. No answer (ever). So I called the nurses again on November 29. No answer, so I called the receptionists to ask why the nurses were not answering. They put me on hold with the nurses for about ten minutes, but the nurse still hadn't answered and I was at work, so I left another message. Then I called the receptionists again, and they finally just scheduled me a regular appointment (i.e., gave up with out the nurses ever answering), for Tuesday (today), although I had wanted Monday. I think the nurses did actually call back a couple of days later. Very helpful, that.

Fast forward to today. My husband took my car into the shop on Sunday night (timing I would never have used, but whatever). So I was supposed to borrow his car to go to my 10:30 appointment today, but he took the key with him to work. I really should have double-checked that he left it before going to bed last night, but I didn't. This morning at 9:34 when I was about to walk out the door, I realized I didn't have the key. Eventually I verified with him that he had indeed brought it to work, and I called a cab. ($40 each way, plus, since this is my day off for the next two weeks - and I had to move it from Friday to make this appointment, because it takes five total hours to do an appointment with Tepeyac in the middle of a work day, which is why I wanted an 8AM Monday appointment, which is what I would have asked for if the nurses had called me back - I need a car to do another list of errands as long as your arm, since we're throwing a big party on Saturday AND I have to send Christmas presents to 22 people at 7 addresses, including some in Europe, before the month is out. So the cab will only help a little. I need MY CAR.)

Then I called Tepeyac to let them know I would be late. I ballparked that I would be there at 11AM for a 10:30 appointment (and I was calling 45 minutes ahead!). The receptionist said she didn't think she could do that. My next mid-cycle opportunity will come the week between Christmas and New Year's, when I can definitely make time for an appointment, but Dr. Cvetkovich - will not be in the office at all. Oh, so I'll miss two cycles, while I'm in pain from an unknown (but sure to be horrendous) cause...sure, why not? Oh, my other option was to see some doctor at Tepeyac I've never heard of - a man, of course. And the receptionist sounded highly skeptical about someone other than Dr. Cvetkovich doing it at all, since she ordered the ultrasound. My tolerance for wanding has some limits, and I'm not going to a male doctor (seriously, that's just creepy, and I don't know how anyone puts up with it).

My husband then called to say that he was leaving work, picking up my car at the shop, and bringing it home, so I should see whether there was a cancellation for the afternoon. (Sometimes there has to be a cancellation - I had just cancelled. Why couldn't it happen when it would benefit me?)

No, there are no openings this afternoon. I got off the phone and realized that being "fit in" and finding an opening are necessarily not the same thing. If I were pregnant, I am positive they would have found time. So I called Tepeyac for the third time today. I asked the receptionist to explain to me the concept of "fitting in" and how that worked, exactly. She told me that the nurses do that, and, had I mentioned that it was a cycle-dependent appointment, she would have forwarded me to the nurses' line, which she then did. But I had to call back again to ask...why is this necessary?

It goes without saying that the nurses did not answer their line and I had to leave a voicemail. In that message, I pointed out that it was urgent, as in, today, and that I had previously had my appointment bumped back by 25 minutes when another patient cancelled in the morning and came in later, so I think my number should be up. CALL ME BEFORE NOON. I called again, twenty minutes later. My plan is to call every twenty minutes, all day. Hey...maybe I should call the practice administrator, and ask him to go and find one of the nurses in person and make her call me back? I don't even really care if they don't have an opening for me. I want them to RETURN MY F*&KING PHONE CALLS. The day I make them. Like I do for all of my clients, none of whom is sick!

I don't want anyone there to bless my day ever again. If I want a blessing, I'll talk to a priest (oh, with whom I had to cancel my spiritual direction appointment this week because they cannot "fit me in" in a way that will allow me to use sick leave rather than an entire day off). I don't care if they say a nightly Rosary for the intention that my soul be consigned to eternal fire. I don't care if they sacrifice to idols. JUST DO YOUR DAMN JOB.

So, the other thing I did, of course, was call the OB/GYN my colleague recommended, at a local university. (Why didn't I do this two months ago when she gave me the number?) This doctor sees only pregnant women and infertility patients. (Hmm.) Her office is walking distance from my work, and accessible by metro. She doesn't have another new-patient appointment before March, and I want to find out things about what she does, first. An assistant verifies that she answers emails from patients. Hmm. I ask about options other than IUI or IVF, and I tell her I've talked to other clinics that go straight from clomid to IUI and will consider nothing else. The assistant tells me the doctor's initial IF appointment is a whole hour and she tailors her approach to the patient, so the assistant can't predict what she will do. That's not a bad thing, so I get on the waiting list. The assistant tells me she will send me the giant packet of information I have to fill out (wait, she wants to know things about me? Even before I show up?). And that I am to bring my "partner" to the first appointment. OK, now she wins. Regardless of what else happens (OK, unless I get pregnant - hahahahaha), I am seeing this woman in March.

Maybe God has to yell this loudly to get through to me - not that I think He even troubles Himself with little details like where I get fertility treatment while I slowly realize that it's never going to make a difference.

I've now called a third time. Message number three calls attention to the fact that I am making the time to call them every twenty minutes - this should be an indication that it's urgent enough that they need to make the time to call me once.



  1. So sorry about the continuing Tepayac drama. I think you should just go there and bug them until someone sees you and does your appointment. I hope your new dr helps; I'm glad that is looking promising.

  2. What a crap day. You know how I feel about phone calls, so I'm loving the calling every 20 minutes. Great job on finding another dr. Wish it was sooner.

  3. You have the patience of a saint!!!

    I really hope that Tepeyac starts treating you better, or you find a new doc! Argh!!!

  4. Honestly, I am surprised you still even attempt to go there. I think I'd just bag them until you can see the new doc!

  5. UPDATE..did the nurse ever call back???? I am hoping you took advice of Mrs. Blondies...Amen to that! Let us know

  6. SO frustrating!! I agree with Mrs. Blondies...just show up and refuse to leave! :)

  7. Geez...that sounded like a total ordeal and a big waste of time...I can't stand waiting for msg's and making continous phone calls. Good luck with the new dr and getting the answers you so need. Praying for you!!!

  8. What frustration. I cannot believe this situation occurs repeatedly in a supposedly professional organization!!!

    I hope you really like the new doc and have a much better experience there, or that Tep.ayac shapes up but quickly.

  9. Sometimes I don't understand patient scheduling. I mean, they don't think anything about calling me up when my doctor suddenly decides to take a vacation and rescheduling my appointment, but they can't fit me in any other time. Sheesh. Good luck.

  10. Ooooh, that place just makes my blood boil... seriously.
    At the risk of getting my head bitten off, why aren't you giving Dr S up at Center for Women's Health another shot? (Aside from distance as the main factor, of course?) He's brilliant. Really. I wouldn't lie.

    Damn. I almost want to tell you to drive up to NJ and I'll wand you myself. Actually... yes. I am telling you that. Take it or leave it.

  11. I can't believe they are able to keep patients at all with that kind of service! Don't they know they are working for you, the customer, and that it's their JOB to communicate with you. They're not doing a favor by seeing you and calling you. That's their JOB. Ugh.
    Good luck with the new doc. At this point, I'd have to say that anyone else sounds better...

  12. Your experience(s) there are so awful I really don't know what to say - other than no matter what you wrote in your next post, make and keep that March appointment. (So what if you get pregnant. She wouldn't be sorry for the extra hour to do paperwork, and it might even let her fit somebody else in - so, yes, make the appointment even if there is a chance you'll be pregnant by then, goshdarnit!!) There has got to be professional medical care somewhere in your area - I concede you might actually have to work with someone sacraficing to idols, but this office is seriously insane.