Sunday, January 22, 2012

atheists in foxholes

So I wanted to say this, and this post better be short because it is late and I am mildly unhinged (once I stay up a certain amount of late there cease to be any limits imposed by right reason, and I don't have to work tomorrow as I took the day off, thank God, but that only leaves a one-day buffer between this present insanity and reality, and I suspect that Tuesday will therefore be a mean day at work).

I complain a lot about the attitudes of Catholics (see interspersed through my last post); I think I am well justified in this. Catholic "former infertiles" seem to be some of the profoundest hypocrites; Catholic "homeschooling mother" types (excuse me, moms. It's not a vocation, it's a cultural trend) are the most profoundly vapid and obnoxious; Catholic institutions started recently and still run by the overtly pious are the most inept and corrupt. That is to say, not all Catholic former infertiles are hypocrites and insufferable; not all Catholic homeschooling mothers are insufferable either (there I think it's a majority, but then I suspect that I am such a rare species in their worlds that they can't even imagine what to say to me and in the absence of rational thought, the brain somehow switches into the "talk about junior's giftedness" gear); but I think pretty much all Catholic variants of worldly institutions are ineptly and corruptly run.

So while I have a mountain of evidence for all of this and believe that, if anything, I should complain more loudly and more often until or unless these messes are cleaned up, the contrapositive is also true.

Specifically: I know from my citizenship in blogdom that lots of IVF/typical fertility clinics are unhelpful, annoying, unprofessional, uncivil, and otherwise unpleasant. But it has been my experience that the most pleasant interactions I've had in the fertility-treatment-seeking nightmare that is still (but not for long!) a part of my life have been with decidedly secular institutions. Even when they're just about to tell me that they've never heard of treating someone without considering IUI or IVF and can't really imagine what that would be like, the phone-answering gals at IVF clinics are polite. They answer the phone when I call. They call me back promptly if for some reason they missed me. They give the overall impression that they want my business and my good opinion - rather than that they will be judged only by God Almighty, and they can consequently step on whomever happens to be in the way of their achieving what they perceive to be their divinely anointed purpose.

And I specifically want to give credit to one institution. Prosperity Specialty Pharmacy in Fairfax, VA is one outstanding institution. When they say "specialty," they apparently mean "fertility," and unlike just about every other institution I've encountered that deals with infertiles qua infertiles, they apparently don't see infertile women as a waste of good oxygen that could be used by expectant mothers. They answer the phone when you call; if you are on hold while you wait to talk to a pharmacist (yes! A real pharmacist!), you hear their marketing message, which is that specialty pharmacy requires specialized patient care. We all know that this is true; if you have to take your drugs on p+3, 5, 7, and 9, you need them today, or at latest tomorrow. Everyone understands this with cancer patients (of course) and pregnant women, but we are the black sheep in that fold and nobody cares if we ever get pregnant, or while our lives away wishing - just as long as we're not pregnant now. But Prosperity means this. (And BTW, they're not a Catholic pharmacy - the first gal I spoke to assumed I was using HCG as part of an IVF cycle, and was confused by why else I would be taking it. This assumption does me no harm, of course.)

I called them because my regular compounding pharmacy (which is also awesome, but less stunningly awesome) had no Novarel in stock and it was on back order, and I needed it in just a few days. I panicked. My regular pharmacy (which, again, is pretty darn good) told me what other pharmacies in the area carry the stuff. One had none in stock, but Prosperity had some. (Already a point ahead.) They weren't open late enough for me to pick it up, but they told me that they ship it. To my house. It arrives the next day. At no charge. Then of course my doctor (who wrote the scrip) had to tell the insurance company that she really means it and I should really have the drug before it could be paid by insurance. They suggested that I bill it to my credit card up-front, and then as soon as the insurance company had things straightened out, the pharmacy would refund the insurance company's payment to my credit card. So logical and helpful it's astounding.

I was really worried about trusting all of this to shipping, because what if they sent the wrong needles? What would I do? But they sent the right needles. I thought it hadn't shown up when I needed it, but it turned out to be tucked inside the door where I hadn't seen it. They were patient with this panicked phone call, too. I usually get Novarel, but they recommended I use Pregnyl (different brand, still HCG), because it costs less after insurance pays. I didn't even ask them to check. Then they sent me the 10mL bacteriostatic water instead of the 30mL I've been getting. Since I get 3mL syringes, and I take 2000 units per dose (10,000 total units of powder in an order), the most water I can use is 15mL, and I usually have to spend twenty minutes slowly draining exactly 15mL from the water before I mix it. This time, no such problem. Also in the bag of syringes they sent: a set of little alcohol wipes (one each for the top of the bottle and the injection site, for each day). For free. So I don't have to fetch out a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a tissue.

After all this, I was sure they would forget the insurance credit, so I figured I would call back in a few days to check, after checking my credit card charges. Not only did they remember and refund me the money, they called before I did - just to make sure I knew.

God bless the secular culture - sometimes the clearest reflection of divine love and respect for human dignity out there.


  1. That is awesome customer service and I really like your last sentence, so true! I am glad you found a pharmacy that values you and goes the extra mile!

  2. Having some insight into how a pharmacy SHOULD work, because of DH's job, I want to say KUDOS to this pharmacy! That really is terrific service.

  3. How wonderful that you found a pharmacy that is so helpful! We're blessed with a pharmacist and his team that are so caring that we go out of our way to see him. His staff always go above and beyond to help us.

    Every little bit helps, doesn't it?

  4. I'm so glad you have such an awesome pharmacy! Its so rare (as you eloquently pointed out) to have such amazing service these days.
    We recognize this at our workplace (going above and beyond, and being accurate & delivering as promised) and although there are 4 other competitors selling the same product, we've seen our business grow and grow.

  5. I go to the OB-GYN practice in town that practices "abortion medicine." Why? Because the clean one kicked me out for asking too many questions.

    These were the only OB's in town who would have me...

    Don't even get me started on how kind my Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor is to me--and yes, I am sure she is responsible--along with all or most other MFM doctors for the 95% genocide rate of babies diagnosed with a "poor prenatal diagnosis..."

    Her kindness towards me has been nothing short of saintly.

    Am I able to witness to them? I hope so.

    But, in the meantime, I am grateful that the secularist, abortion performing OB-GYNS for helping me.

    Yes, I plan on writing them all hand-written notes on beautiful custom stationary asking them to stop.

    But, first we are developing a relationship....

  6. Did I tell you about the IVF doctor who looked me in the eye and said, "YOU WILL HAVE A BABY IN A YEAR." Who called me at 11:45 PM because he had just looked at my chart? Who wrote me 14 page letters describing the causes of my recurrent miscarriages who told me, "YOU DON'T NEED IVF ANYWAYS..." when I told him I don't believe in it (after I was told I had to use donor eggs to have a baby by two other BIG TIME IVF Clinics?)

    Did I tell you I didn't believe his nurses when they would call me to say, "Dr. Check says he wants you to do x,y,z instead..."after they had already called me two times that day or "Hold on, I'll go ask Dr. Check..." like they were REALLY going into his office to ask my question on my behalf.

    It all seemed like a big smokescreen of hope.

    Except when I returned to see him he recited word for word my case to me shocking me to my core.

    Secular doctor indeed.

    Was it all just a trick to make me believe?

    Don't get me started on how kind Dr. Kwak-Kim has been to me.

    Oh, has humbled me beyond belief.

    And, you don't want to hear what I said to the nurses at the Pope Paul VI Institute....

  7. I'm really glad you've found some health care businesses that are acting professionally and treating you well! I see some of that in my secular RE practice. They are not perfect but pretty great in calling back quickly and answering my questions fully.

    I'd love to hear more about the hypocrisy. All I'm seeing is rampant judgment, which is very amusing for me since Jesus's instruction against judging is far from confusing.

    1. Airing, where are you seeing the judgment?

    2. On the contrary, Airing, you seem to be very confused... Jesus actually never said anything "against judging." In fact, St. Paul said we are supposed to judge. What Jesus, St. Paul, and the Church warned against was judging *unjustly.* That's a key distinction.

    3. Sorry for the slew of comments, but I forgot to add... my OB is not Catholic - I'm not even sure if he's a Christian (I know that his NP is, and I think he might be as well, I've just never asked) but he's TERRIFIC. The office does have contraception advertisements all over the place, but he personally has never batted an eye when I tell him we use NFP. He just says something like, "It's great you know your body so well." So I'm grateful to have found him.

  8. finding a good pharmacy is hard, glad you found one! :)

  9. wow, that's great service! I'm glad you found such a great place!

  10. Ooh, look, a debate. Except it seems to be sort of a confusing one. I agree that we're required to "hate good and love evil" (implying we should use discernment to separate the objectively good and evil), but to "judge not lest ye be judged," which strikes me as a directive not to usurp God's privilege to judge (the quality of a soul, for example, rather than the objective quality of an outward act). I think "justly" would also be a good touchstone here.

    I think Airing and I are actually talking about the same thing, though. I can't speak for her, for certain, but under the category of hypocrisy (and arguably also unjust judgment) I would file "fertile women are so insufferable bragging about their blessings"/"isn't my blessing wonderful"; "I don't know why fertiles are always giving me useless medical advice"/"if you REALLY wanted to be a mother you would see my doctor instead of yours"; and "it's so hard to be infertile and the world really rubs it in your face"/"how dare you be less than ecstatic when formerly infertile women (including me) have babies."

    Basically, every time an infertile gal with a baby feels inclined to scold a childless infertile, she should just google until she finds a post in which she said the exact same thing she now finds intolerable. How fast she'll find one is purely a function of how good she is at googling.

  11. I am not sure I get the different points here? Which is typical of me...I get confused with there are posts going in different directions. Are folks seeing things differently?

    What is your take, Misfit?