Monday, July 26, 2010

Are you sure?

Why won't blogger allow me to use italics in my title?
If it would, it would read: are you sure?

And that word 'sure' would be triple italicized, if that were possible, and quadruply bolded if that were possible.

I know I have sucked as a commenter and as a poster lately. I'm still working on coming up with a new blog but that, alas, has taken a back seat to, well, life, lately. But I have so many posts swirling in my head and I know they'll all have to come tumbling out eventually, in some space, somewhere. But for now, I just wanted to share this little gem of an interaction with you.

We all know that to be politically correct in the IF journey there can be no pain olympics. And I've said and read this before that being a true IF veteran might be more of a state of mind than anything. However.

There are most definitely subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle differences between those who have gone through multiple cycles and those who have not. Those who have flawless cycles and those whose cycles fall apart piece by piece, bit by bit. Those who have one single diagnosis that is mostly 'fixable' with IVF and those who have multiple diagnoses that might be sorta kinda amenable to IVF but really who the heck knows. I say all of that because of the interaction I had with a woman last week that has still left me laughing (mostly) and shaking my head.

I was in my work lunch room talking with a pharmaceutical rep. Something was said about fertility or infertility, the lead-in to the conversation isn't important to the meat of the story. She said "Well we did IVF to have our first child and then after that, bam! we were pregnant on the first try with our daughter without any intervention. And we had 19 frozen blasts left from that first cycle."

Wow.

She went on to say that they had male-factor only and so they had done IVF, and it worked. She gave me a look like "You have no idea how hard IVF is." (True, I have no idea if this is really what she was thinking. I am only guessing based on her expression.)

I casually said "We did IVF five times so I know what you mean."

She looked at me with her mouth agape.

And then she said it.

"Are you sure? Are you sure you did IVF five times and not five IUIs?"

Oh. My. God.

Am I sure?

Am I sure?

Let me count the ways I am sure.
I am quite sure that was me who underwent 40+ vaginal ultrasounds.
I am quite sure that was me who took countless injections.
I am quite sure that was me who went under anesthesia five times and had my ovaries punctured with a long needle through my lady-parts.
I am quite sure that was me who took those nail-biting phone calls with fertilization reports and embryo growth reports.
I am quite sure that was me who laid down on my couch countless nights while the mister stuck a two inch needle into my keister to shoot me up with progesterone.
I am quite sure that was me who submitted to 40+ checks of my estradiol levels.
I am quite sure that was me on an airplane flying to Colorado four separate times.
I am quite sure that was me who signed checks to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars to pay for those cycles.
I am quite sure that was me who sat through five WTF conversations with two different REs.

Hmmmm, am I sure?

Lady are you crazy?

Or am I?

Am I so crazy to have done so much--so much--that someone else would question whether I could possibly have done that much? (and really--while it's a lot, yes, I know several people who have done many more than five fresh IVF cycles).

Here's something else I'm pretty sure of (but again, I'm just guessing): that this woman coasted through her IVF cycle where everything went swimmingly and it worked (ok I know that for sure) and she had 19 leftover chances (I know that for sure, too) in case it didn't and then look! she didn't even need them (I know that for sure, too).

Did I really do five IVF cycles?

Yeah, I'm sure.

45 comments:

  1. OMFG! How did the rest of that conversation go? 19 blasts? UGH. I'd have told her to STFU and walked away--okay I would have told her to STFU in my head ('in my head' would have been in italics too if I could figure out how to do that in comments) and then walked away with an eye roll.

    Bring on the pain olympics!

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  2. Oh jeez. I LOLed with the "Are you sure you did IVF not IUI?" OMG! Are you f-ing kidding me?? It is like she said "Are you sure you did IVF because it is a magic fix-all for all of your problems!"

    Grrrrr.

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  3. I am shocked that she said that. She is so ignorant. Clearly her train ride through infertility was an express with no stops. She was probably complaining the whole time about how she wouldn't have had to do the cycle at all if it were for her broken husband and how they are a team so she has to do, "all this hard, painful work" for 14 days until the perfect egg retrieval. Barf. I mean, I know that each person has the personally worst experience and we shouldn't compare our worsts but still. When faced with the fact that she was with a more seasoned IFer, you'd think she'd be a bit slower before making sure her IVF crown stayed on her head rather than went to yours. I want to barf. What a martyr. PUKEY VON PUKERSON.

    But seriously, did you calmly reassure her that yes, you did have 5 cycles?

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  4. What an asshat.

    19 blasts....is she SURE?

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  5. Oh My Goodness!!! Are you sure? What kind of question is that?! I don't know how you kept your cool. I think I would have lost it for sure.

    Yep, I know the difference between IVF and IUI too! I think the media makes out IVF as the miracle "cure" to infertility. Many people can't comprehend that IVF doesn't always work... and often there is no reason why it didn't work. I wish there was a discovery channel program titled "When IVF doesn't work"

    Sorry to ramble... your post sure hit a nerve with me because we are in the same boat!

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  6. Hmm, am I sure I have dogs and not cats?? Wow, she's a treat! You would think someone who has been through it would be more intelligent.

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  7. Oh. I know. I was teaching a yoga class at a fertility center after my 5th failure. A woman came in to take the class and said that she is pregnant after IVF. I said, "Oh, Congrats! I am infertile too...how many did you do?" She goes "how many? I did one! I never would have done more it was so AWFUL...why did you do more than one?" I said that I was going onto number 6...she said "wow...that's CRAZY, I never would have done more than one (again)...it was terrible, and if one didn't work, I just wasn't going to have kids!". All I could say (cringing inside from pain) was "well then its great it worked for you the first time. Apparently, I didn't think the process was that bad since I keep doing it". She then just became a part of the class and I moved on. People are stupid, selfish idiots sometimes.

    Are you sure you did IVF and not IUI...because she obviously thought she did the most outrageous thing to get pregnant that noone could have done more. It is not crazy to do it repeatedly. It just means that you want something and you are willing to take risks and put yourself out there to get it. I wish you had a different story to tell, but it will still have an alternate happy ending. I have a very good friend going on cycle 10 (yes, TEN) in a few weeks. She has (like some of us) no real diagnosis, just hunches (egg quality maybe? implantation issues maybe?). It is awful, painful and I am praying every single day for her.

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  8. Stupid things stupid people say!

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  9. Ugh! I hope you told her everything you wrote here.

    Hugs,
    Jo

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  10. My head just exploded (trust me, there are disgusting chunks of blown mind all over my computer screen).

    I don't even know what else to say. That woman is just.......no.

    On a side note, we could probably make some money creating one of those day-by-day calendars. The theme: Stupid Shit that Stupid People Say to Infertiles.

    I'm sorry. =(

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  11. I suppose all things are relative! I've got friends who've told me they know what I've been through because they've taken Clomid, or they had a very early loss after having had two healthy children (that one even had the gall to tell me it really wasn't a big deal - just a bundle of cells - and implied that I just made a big fuss about my 6 losses with no successes!). They really DO seem to think they get it. But I don't think that ANYONE gets it apart from those poor souls who have really been there in the trenches through years of trying, multiple attempts and/or multiple losses and all the attendant cr*p that goes with that (and those of us that have know how far-reaching the effects can be). The dilemma is: to take deep breaths, count to ten and smile sweetly at these people or to tear them a new one.

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  12. Ouch! Maybe she's not sure what she did.

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  13. Oh my gosh! I am laughing, but at the same time I am dumbfounded by some people and the crazy things they say! She just SOOO doesn't get it, does she????

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  14. Hee haw - Hee haw - What a donkey of a thing to say! Wonder if she knows how amazing it is to have 19 blasts. I'm glad that it does work that way for some people - I just wish I was one of them.

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  15. OMG, just shaking my head right along with you!

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  16. I can't even believe the woman had the nerve to say that to you. I don't even know what I would have done. Lately, I have moments where I wish I could say the things I am thinking, but then I chicken out. So sorry that happened to you, but glad you are able to laugh at it.

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  17. Am reeling. If I think therefore I am, she definitely isn't :)

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  18. Oh my. What a complete and utter douche. Who says something like that? ARE YOU SURE? Holy crap I can't not make my shock giant or yelly enough. Seriously, what a douche.

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  19. Oh my god. That's...unbelievable. I'm so sorry you had to sit through a conversation like that!

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  20. I laughed out loud at the critical part...what a freak.

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  21. Wow. Just, wow...

    People are idiots. I am sorry you had to waste time talking to her!

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  22. Um.... From my experience with drug reps (in my cardiology clinic) they're all just boobs & teeth and dumb ideas all combined in a fake tan and bleached hair. But, that would be an ASSumption on my part too!
    Are you sure?
    That is the silliest and most hurtful question at the same time...

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  23. OMG, seriously? Really? Without a doubt?

    I wonder if she didn't do IUIs first anyway? And that's great it falls into place for people like that. But shit....19 blasts? Seriously? Really? (I repeat myself a lot when I am upset).

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  24. Un-freaking-believable. I'd love to know how you responded to this woman. I'm hoping you put her in her place. She needs to know she is not the lone expert on IVF. And, I would concur that her one cycle was probably flawless.

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  25. OMG OMG OMG. That question was so unbelievably ridiculous that I couldn't help but LOL. Still, what a complete and total idiot.

    And although you already know this, I will say it anyway - no, you are not crazy. Well, maybe a little bit crazy for not smacking her upside the head. Although given that you were at work (and that an assault charge would look bad on the dossier), I suppose your restraint is understandable. :-)

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  26. I think everything has been already said about that arrogant woman. What I want to know is if you let her have it?! I hope you did. What a moron.

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  27. I guess I just think that maybe it takes failures to realize the reality of ART/IVF/infertility, and that yes, indeedy-do, there's always a story worse than your own. Always.

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  28. No words, just my mouth hanging wide open on the ground...

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  29. Wow. How completely clueless of her. I am really curious to know what you said to her!

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  30. UGH!!! A few thoughts - Number one, you are NOT crazy to have done five fresh IVF cycles. Not at all. At least not in my book.

    Reading what she said, I was also shocked, and then i had a slightly different interpretation - that rather than arrogant, she might have been IN AWE of your strength because she had found her one IVF cycle to be so daunting.

    Another thought (and this is REALLY giving her the benefit of the doubt here) - perhaps she's talked to others in the past who were clueless and commingled iui and ivf (I'm thinking bitterly at this moment of my cousin who told me she totally understood our situation because she suffered from infertility just like us. SHE TOOK FEMARA!!!! to conceive the first of her three children - when she said this to me, I truly, truly did not know how to respond).

    That woman you spoke to is damn lucky. Hope she realizes it.

    p.s., like cassie, i'm dying to know the rest of the exchange.

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  31. Oh. My. God. You HAVE to tell us how you responded to her?!?

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  32. see, you are much nicer than me. i think all of that would have just come tumbling out of my mouth at lightning speed!

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  33. Like the last person who commented said, all of those thoughts would have tumbled out of my mouth. I really don't like people anymore. I don't understand them. I hope your office doesn't by any drugs from her company and I hope she went home thinking about what she said.

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  34. Wow. I hope you gave her a WTF look. I am so good at it now. Everyone should get some practice by doing it in front of the mirror. I tell you, it works.

    By the way, someone posted about Femara and I was given that once by a doc at Stanford due to fatal birth defects with my first two pregnancies. She thought that it may have been caused by Clomid. Every other doctor I saw thought that was ridiculous.

    And I have been to CCRM many times and have been told by someone that all her friends got pregnant by Dr. S. Well, I am still waiting for a good pregnancy and he doesn't know WTF is wrong with me. I am now on Heparin. What a bruiser.

    So glad you are writing again, as your blogs are to the point and interesting.

    T

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  35. I hope you told her to STFU and then walked away. Grrrr.

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  36. Hold me back! Hold me back! What a moron!!! You should have countered back to her "Are YOU sure YOU did an IVF or did YOU do an IUI?" Then maybe she would have realized how stupid her question was. You sure get more than your fair share of dummies walking across your path - that stinks!

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  37. Oh my gosh. Ya just can't help but laugh at the stupidity of some people. Are you sure? REALLY!?!?!?!?! LOL!

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  38. I let out a *snort* of disgust at the "Are you sure?" question. ugh.

    If I had more space here I would count the ways she was clueless and tactless!

    Engage brain. Theeeen, open mouth.

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  39. This is my second comment because the whole thing is so maddening.

    I always assume the people with the most ignorant questions/comments are those blessed with hyper-fertility. But then you get someone who, even though she had enormous success with her first IVF, does have an infertility issue ask a question that shouldn't be worthy of her.

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  40. I just died a little for you. This ho should hang out with the one from my RE's office who likes to wave around her ultrasound pictures and yak about how awesome it is to be pregnant while sitting in a crowded waiting room full of hormonally charged desperate women. There's a special room in hell for people this stupid. I believe it's made of rubber.

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  41. I would've bitch-slapped that ignorant @#%! so effing hard that the two brain cells rolling around in her fat head would've popped out of her piehole, leaving behind the reality--a shell of a human being that has no brain to go along with no heart.

    Dorothy: If you have no brain, how can you talk?
    Scarecrow: Didn't you notice that people with no brains do an awful lot of talking?

    No brain, no heart...but plenty of nerve.

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  42. HOW ON EARTH DID I MISS THIS POST??????

    What a f-ing IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think I just vomited in my mouth... people like that REALLY make me want to throw up!

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  43. Brilliant Post. Thanks for the laugh - and I fell you. I am stunned again and again at all the different flavors of people.

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  44. Are you sure you didn't kill her?

    Because if you did, I'd asisst in helping you bury the body...

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