You know that totally put together, strength of a million mighty women post I published last week. Yea, I’m a liar.
Well, sort of. I do think the foundation of that post holds true. In my heart of hearts I did feel a switch flip and bring a sudden awareness, a silent peace that if I’m never a mother, I’ll make it work. I’ll find new dreams, live in ways I’d never planned, learn to live on. That part was true (or as true as any untested predictions we apply to our lives can be).
The lie? It’s not bravery or strength or courage that’s propelling me, it’s exhaustion. Granted, it was more lie of omission rather than outright “fooled you!”, but still a lie.
I’m just so tired. The past four years of my life have been a haze of doctor’s appointments, surgeries, arguments with insurance companies, strained conversations with friends and family, shots, pills, sleepless worry-filled nights, physical therapy, counseling sessions, support groups, MRIs, X-rays, blood draws, IV infusions, driving to appointments, keeping family, friends, and strangers abreast of those appointments, fundraising, waiting to get pregnant, waiting for a new diagnosis, fighting for a new diagnosis, waiting to miscarry, waiting to pick up the pieces and try again. And, as if that wasn’t exhausting enough I had to watch my husband and my IF friends in the computer live the same struggles and walk the same paths. Again, and again, and again. I’m just so very tired.
I would guess that for every minute I spend with a doctor, I spend another 20 minutes on the phone with the doctor’s office, on the phone with my insurance company, on the phone with the mail-order pharmacy, standing in line at the traditional pharmacy, going through outpatient intake to get my blood drawn again, writing out checks for co-pays and co-insurance, and filling out the same medical history form over and over and over again (number of pregnancies: 3, number of live births: 0). I’m running out of steam. Actually, I ran out of steam a long time ago.
Last Friday I went back to the lab for yet another blood draw. We needed to decide whether it was time to give up on my body doing what it’s supposed to do and start a course of Provera to bring on menstruation, or whether we should let it do it’s thing and hope (har har har) for a miraculous naturally conceived pregnancy. Tuesday’s tests were inconclusive, so I was ordered a repeat course on Friday to see whether levels were going up, down, or staying stagnant. I hauled my bottom out of bed bright and early, went to the lab, sat through another round of “dumb things fertile phlebotomists say,” and waited. My clinic never called with the results. When I called back Saturday, I got an answering service. On Monday I called at 7AM and started screaming bloody murder.
“Oh, the hospital never sent them. You’ll have to figure this out with the hospital.”
Two hours, 5 phone calls, 2 times being hung up on, and a whole lot of lost work for my employer later, I got the (now 3-day old) results. Body as stubborn as ever. No change whatsoever. Start Provera. What’s another 3 day delay, right?
Last night I started spotting. I started planning out our cycle, mentally scheduling the appointments, checking that I’d be in town and available around the potential retrieval and transfer dates. I was excited. This morning the spotting is gone and there are no signs that my period has any intention of starting any time soon. What’s another two weeks of waiting, right?
I’ve been getting bills from my rheumatologist for a while now because they refused to collect my co-pay on the day of my appointment. The invoice provides no way to pay by credit card (something I always do because of our flexible savings accounts through work) so I have to call. Well, I’ve tried to call. Apparently they are closed on Thursdays and Fridays, leave early on Tuesday, and take lunch every day from noon to 2pm. After calling today and receiving a brusque, “This is the answering service, the office is on lunch break until 2 <you idiot!>” I lost it. What’s another hour of waiting to pay a bill for a useless office visit that delayed my chances at trying to conceive for 4 months for no good reason, right?
I’m tired of this being the best that is out there. I’m tired for my friends (first and foremost among them dear C) who have had to fight tooth and nail for quality of care that makes mine look like the gold standard. I’m tired of being treated like I don’t matter by “professionals” that don’t know what they are doing, don’t respect the weight of their influence on our lives, and don’t do any more than the bare minimum (at best).
So, that peace and zen? It’s just a scam. In reality, I’m just ready for this journey to end. I’m ready for nap time.