Sunday, July 30, 2006

If it's a Couple Thing, Why Am Only I the Patient?

As far as wanting IF treatment to be more couple centered, I couldn't agree with the post by Jweitl5 more. Before I knew we had a problem, I had a few co-workers tell me about some of their friend's IF problems and about how centers these days really treat the WHOLE couple, not just the woman. They told me that couples were expected to come to appointments together and both people were treated as patients, even though most of the treatment focuses on the woman. Now, I had no reason to be interested in this at the time, but it stuck with me. Imagine my surprise when we started IF treatment at what's considered the premier IF center on the East Coast, and all the paper work only refers to me as the patient, not me and my husband. And we're dealing with male factor infertility! When we sign in, it has a spot for patient's name (clearly meaning the woman), and then spouse's name. I always fill in both of our names as patient. It bugs me. My husband is on board with this being a joint process, but when he has a conflict with work, I know I'll be going to things alone. Yesterday I had my blood taken for the Cystic Fibrosis test--which is just a precaution and could have been done by either one of us, since both people have to be CF carriers to pass it on to a baby. I HATE needles and giving blood, so H was going to be the one to do this until our nurse told him that it had to be me. We asked why since I had read about other couples who had the man do it. If H tested positive for CF, then logically I'd have to take the test too. But if he didn't, there was no risk and no reason for me to do it. I got a " just because" answer from the nurse, and was told that I shouldn't be so worried about giving blood. I couldn't believe it. I like our center, but they have let me down in making this about "the couple."

Sigh. My arm didn't really hurt from giving the blood sample. But still.


Crystal said...

Hi Emmie! That really sucks about the CF screen. I hate it when the Nurses and Doctor's just don't listen to reason. I hate giving blood as well, but with this IVF/ICSI territory, it's a reality. I'm also doing an Aug/Sept cycle. Best of luck to both of us!


StellaNova said...

Hey ... if you're about to start IVF, you might as well get used to the blood letting! Plenty of that to come ...

But it's a bummer about the 'single' patient mentality of your clinic. Mine is pretty inclusive, thankfully, but it's still ultimately me who has to go though it all.

Hope that period doesn't show up after all.

Meg said...

Emmie! I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who gets pissed off about this! It's the principal, isn't it?

One thing that interested me about my supposedly progressive clinic was that the folder for our file doesn't even say "spouse" or "partner", it says "husband" where they put T's name. How dodgy and presumptuous is that?

Hope548 said...

You are going to pay that place a lot of money. It's ok to let them know the type of treatment you're expecting. If you find throughout your experience that you're not happy there, look around for another doctor. You don't want the clinic contributing to the stress of it all. I did not like the first clinic I went to, so I changed to one I felt more comfortable with. Now I've given them all up!

Hope548 said...

Don't be reluctant to let the clinic know the kind of treatment you're expecting. Sometimes it gets very impersonal, but if you're not happy there, it only contributes to your stress. I switched after a couple of treatments to a new clinic where I was much happier.

Oh yeah, get used to the needles and don't worry, you will. It's not that bad, just keep your eye on the prize!

Heather said...

Isn't that the truth!

Mine NEVER goes with me - he has a horrible work schedule and the doc is 70 miles away - but you better believe I HAD to be right there in the waiting room while he went in to do his SA. He would not go alone!

Silly boys - and yes, they are ALL boys.

Motel Manager said...

I second the feeling that their approach is annoying. I also second Hope's recommendation that you should let them know what kind of treatment you want - you're paying them a whole lot, and they should be able to accommodate your very reasonable wishes.

With us, I did go to most "minor" appointments on my own because my DH works 45 minutes away and I work right near the clinic. But it is great to have him there for the big ones. I think having him see that my downstairs gets looked at by multiple people at once made him realize that doing his occasional part of the process isn't so bad. :)

NikkiNix said...

Holey kamoley, a lady after my own heart !! I'm the same, starting my first cycle (I already started teh BCP) and have retrieval planned for Sept 14 and implantation on Sept 18th at in Toronto

Maybe we (the four of us) could be first time pals ;) Keep in touch !!

NikkiNix said...

Holey kamoley, a lady after my own heart !! I'm the same, starting my first cycle (I already started teh BCP) and have retrieval planned for Sept 14 and implantation on Sept 18th at in Toronto

Maybe we (the four of us) could be first time pals ;) Keep in touch !!

Paige said...

You are so right. We also have mfi and it seems like I"m the patient. However, for IUI the proceedure is listed under his name. I was shocked! Ok, he has to..umm.. you know. And I have to get in the stirrups and have a catheter inserted into my nether regions! Whose appointment is this? LOL

Thank goodness for husbands willing to be by your side. The nurse at our clinic said some husbands stay in the waiting room during IUI. My wonderful hubby held my hand, pushed the plunger all while holding a lucky bear I bought him. :)

Good Luck to you.

Emmie said...


Your hubby sounds very sweet! I think mine is very sympathetic about me having to do all the hard stuff (he got quite an education on how much fun this is for women when he was in the room for my first ultrasound. Poor thing thought they were just going to wand my belly.)

My clinic has been super great about everything else so far, so my minor irritation at them not recognizing H's role really isn't affecting the quality of my treatment. They have called me back on time and have made it really easy for me to make appointments. After waiting 6 months just to see my regular OB/GYN, I love the fact that my RE is accommodating to my schedule. But if I couldn't complain about something then I just wouldn't be me. ;)