Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Return to the scene

As I pawed behind the pre-washed salad greens and aging Belgian endive, I came across the last of my unopened meds: 75 IU vials of Gonal-F and Repronex, two each. Since the expiration dates were coming up fast, I figured I should do something quickly, so I called the IVF coordinator at Dr. FYC's office and asked if she had any patients in the next couple of weeks whose insurance didn't cover meds and could use them. Yes, indeedy--she could use them as soon as I could get them to her.

Instead of mailing them across the bay on ice, I figured I might as well just drive them over. So I loaded up the coolpack, remembered to haul along my used sharps container for disposal and headed to San Francisco this morning, the errand feeling much like any other errand on a busy workday.

I found a parking spot just outside, chucked an obscene change-to-minutes ratio into the meter and started striding up the hill to the entrance. After a few of these purposeful strides, I remembered that neither my lungs nor my limbs are still capable of striding. I slowed to an amble. And that gave me a few moments to think before the elevator deposited me on the fifth floor and I opened the office door.

Here's what I was thinking: Holy shit, I'm walking into an RE's office with a giant, boastful belly, fully displayed in a fitted tie-back blouse. I didn't even think to wear a bulky, camouflaging coat. I'm an asshole.

But, of course, I had promised her the meds. And maybe, just maybe, whoever was in the lobby would be the recipient of big-belly's free drugs. So that's how I talked myself into surreptitiously opening the door and peeking my head around the corner.

Whew. The lobby was totally and completely empty: just me, the furniture and a shiny new espresso machine exuding a beautiful, beautiful smell. The two receptionists were behind the counter, chatting happily, and the IVF coordinator walked up just as I arrived. They oohed and ahhhed and said they couldn't believe how far along I was, and was she kicking much, and had we picked out a name. The receptionist who had an IVF baby while I was in the midst of my first failed cycle asked "if it felt real yet." They thanked me for the meds, said they'd love to see her when she gets here and would I mind waiting a minute while they fetched Dr. FYC so he could say hello?

So I waited in this emotionally-charged setting, forgetting my discomfort for a moment in a wave of some surreal nostalgia, till I heard the outside door open behind me. I froze. Felt like I'd been caught peeing in the men's bathroom or sneaking money from my father's wallet. I flushed, panic-stricken and mortified, and stared helplessly at the receptionists as two well-dressed thirty-something women walked up.

The receptionist with the IVF baby looked me in the eye and started laughing quietly. "Don't worry. They're just sales reps. But trust me, I know just how you feel--I felt that way every day I worked here when I was pregnant. I would have hated to see me and my belly if I were a patient."


Anonymous akeeyu said...

You are such a sweetie.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous thalia said...

You were doing the right thing, but thank you for being so considerate. I wish all those people with their babies and big stomachs would be as sensitive at my doctor's place!

11:53 PM  
Blogger MC said...

That was such a kind thing to do. I also wish that people would be more considerate at my Drs. office.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

You really are a sweetheart. My RE & Gyn want me to bring Dylan in but I told them that I would only do it after patient hours are over. I hated it when people brought their kids in when I was there for treatment.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Suz said...

It's so wonderful that you gave up your meds. You are also so caring in your approach to the clinic.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's really sweet. :)

8:15 AM  
Blogger Lindy said...

I'm glad you were able to enjoy a walk down memory lane with noone but nurses and sales reps to witnesss it.

And how nice that you find the meds and that they can be used before expiration. I need to do that with a leftover vial of PIO that I have in the fridge.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Both my RE and one of the assistants had gone through IVF. It helped knowing that they got it. They asked me to come back and see them when I was big, but I won't unless there is no one in the waiting room.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Dream Mommy said...

That was very nice. I wouldn't mind seeing a pg woman if it meant free meds. I wish the fertile world were that considerate.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I'm glad you got through the gauntlet okay. I still need to take my Heparin to my doctor's office, and I kept meaning to do it before I got big. Unfortunately, now even my coat doesn't button over the belly, so I'm trying to figure out what times might be less busy.

I'm glad your trip went well, and how nice that the staff was so gracious. And an espresso machine? Well, la-ti-dah!

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Kath said...

What a great story, Bugs. I think it's great that you shared your meds, and even greater that you were so considerate. I loved the fact that the receptionist knew exactly where you were coming from...

7:40 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

You're amazingly considerate in every way. Glad to hear that things are going well.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Ornery said...

What everyone else said!

You are such a sweet, wonderful individual, and it sounds like the receptionist is as well. I often look at the very young and perky women working in my RE's office, and wonder if any of them have ever experienced IF and really understand what we are going through emotionally.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Beagle said...

I just posted a bitching about the RE's waiting room kind of post and I think you're sweet too . . . even today, my bitchiest of all bitchy days!

And, you were there for a GOOD CAUSE . . . out of GENEROSITY . . . and all the while being conscious of others. How can you feel bad about that!

You can bring your belly to my RE's waiting room any day, just wear a sign so I know it's you! (I'm clear across the country anyway.)

4:54 PM  
Blogger SG said...

Thanks for being considerate. I was in my RE's office just this morning and a couple were in there with their 2 year old child running around. He was very cute, but I couldn't help but feel like they were being boastful or at the very least inconsiderate. I hope you have a happy healthy baby...

9:33 AM  

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