May 06, 2004
Excuse me sir can you tell me where I can find the complaint department?
Me: Yeah hi umm I am hear to make a complaint about a local reproductive endocrinologist....
Better Baby-makiing Bureau secretary (this is a branch of the local better business bureau that was created because there were so many complaints that they had to create a seperate department): You will have to fill this out and wait six months for a response.
Me: SIX MONTHS!!!!!! Uhh well my biological clock is ticking and it has been very offended by this man (who we shall call Dr. Protein..I shall expalin later). Listen Lady you may not hear my uterus but I can and she is spewing negativity...and this does not behoove the baby-making progress.
BBB Sec: Well you people just need to relax...everytime one of you comes in here all I get is rudeness...this is probably why you people do not have children...
Me: Well you are right I do need to relax that must have been my problem all along...thank you so much for bringing that to my attention....This is also why I probably have messed up cylcles since I was eleven...I have been stressed all of these years.....who would have thought it....nevertheless I do have a complaint to make about Dr Protein.
BBB Secretary/doctor: Oh Doctor Protein was your doctor? Oh I just love him...he has been in here many times to handle particular situations..you know how crazy these infertiles get and then start blaming innocent people. What could you possibly have to say about him?
So this did not really happen however I could see it becoming a reality rather easily. When I finished the last round of Clomid my regular OB would prescribe for me he said that I was too difficult to deal with and I would need someone with bigger guns..... so he sent me off with some baby dust to sear ch for Doctor RE. I started this post some time ago but never finished it. I was inspired to finish because of a post over at Scrambled Eggs ( I am sorry I do not know your name) that delved into the very issue I am about to complain about.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I trekked through piles of papers, CDC website, googled so much I recieved a reduce your use letter or we will ban you from the site, dug up archaic documents, and dusted off the attitude do everything in life natural. I was ready to plunge into the pool of IVF and I studied hard and learned about every RE in two states. I made my first appointment with Dr Protein. Unbeknownst (is this spelled correctly? critique welcome) to me I had actually gone to see this doctor about seven years ago. Not for fertility issues but to try to straighten out my topsy-turvey world of mooning.
I armed myself with a set of questions...this man was about to get the third degree.
In my life I have developed a strong sense of natural lifestyle so for me to even consider this crazy feat one could see my desperation. I thought that my infertility might be teaching me that one way is not always the best way and that opening the door to all possibilities was humbling. Only thing I had to loose was an even more messed up cycle from the artificial hormones but I really did not think that it could be any worse. This was a major turning point in my life to walk into an RE's office. What I am wanting you to understand is that this was an epiphany, a rogue notion, a living on the edge moment.
Three months ago I found myself walking into the wonderful world of air conditioning, quiet halls, and sterile waiting rooms with too many Martha Stewart and LIFE mags. A new leaf I thought as I stepped onto the elevator to ride up to Dr Protein's office. I felt smart armed with my research, dressed sharply, and for once in a long time felt positive because this could be the beginning of my chance for my elusive child.
Waiting patiently I was finally ushered in to this mans office...vaguely it seemed familiar but, it still did not hit me where I was. I strode into his office and shook his hand in my most business sense and almost got my butt in the chair before he doomed the whole meeting....
"I know what your problem is"
Without taking one bit of information from me, without probing my parts, without a bit of history this man already had me in a corner. I knew what was coming next.
"Your weight keeps you from ovulating"
Yep the old weight card. Now a note on my weight ..I have almost always been big except in high school when I was a size seven...I also weighed 185 at this time..I am very muscular. I had very little body fat at this time despite weighing 185. I have gained weight since...I am probably a size 20 or 22. Recently I gained 10 or so pounds with the clomid...it really messed me up so you can see my reluctance of trying on the heavy-duty fertility meds.
I know that my weight does not help my fertility but it is not the most important thing to me right now. I make it a point to almost never bitch about it or make comments about my body size as it does not feel like it matters when my soul floats up and takes center-stage. Besides it is so cliche for women to complain about their bodies and I jsut do not want to do that. Note to women who do....I am not picking on you, saying you should not say those things about yourself, thinking negative about you...on the contrary I know we all have our own stuggles, issues, and priorities. One day my weight will be a priority but now I just focus on eating organic, yoga, walking, and of course making babies.
The nurse then walked in and handed him a chart with my name in it. I had a flash of Elaine on Seinfeld when she gets blacklisted from all doctors because the AMA has her name on file thus no doctor in the city would even make an appointment with her. Confused I asked him how he had information on me?
Apparently I had been to see him seven years ago when I tried addressing the issues with my cycle that I have had since I was 11. At that time he told me because of my weight I was not regular. I said at that time look at me where do you see that I can lose some weight? I may weigh 185 but I was teaching up to five aerobic classes a day...I was in fabulous shape! He said well it is not so much fat but your weight. Huh? Ok Mr doctor.
He then told me that I should be eating low-fat, high carb diet, stop taking herbs because they did not do any good, and vitamins were worthless. He then regaled me with his sympathies because he knew how hard it was to lose weight and he had fat daughters. Sir um yeah I am not fat...I almost wanted to strip down to prove I was not fat and show him my muscles...but I did not of course. Instead I told him that I tried waing higher protein and lots of vegetables while avoiding sugar. He said that was not a smart diet. Leaving his office he said one more thing..."Here take these, they are prenatal vitamins". He had just said 10 minutes earlier that vitamins did not have any purpose so now he is giving me some because he thought they were superior than the ones that I had. Superior with their black artificial dye and petroleum based coating.....whatever.....so on to the appointment that I had in spring with the good doctor and how he got the name protein.
He carelessly whips out the BMI chart (body mass index) and begins to describe to me ,in a voice that would suffice for a four year old, how there is a chart that because of statistics everyone now must be effected just the way the chart says. The chart says that if one is too skinny or too fat the fertility strength is reduced like a good broth. Boiled down to infertility. Listen up ladies...only you moderately shaped and weighted will get pregnant because the chart said so.
First,I have quite a few friends who are festively plump and have very regualar cycles. They also are very fertile and have lacked the oppurtunity to be infertile. Poor chaps they do not even know what they are missing. You know the type of women who smell a man and find a pregnancy stick walking around in their bathroom singing a broadway musical "Not me again....You used me once and now you must have me again....Just throw me away, dash me away into the trash AGAINNNNNNN!" They are on a first name basis with their OB also. So where do they fit onto the chart? I half thought of kidnapping my friends at test point with pee dripping from it, storming the mans office and shoving them forward, and saying look buddy see SEE these women do not fit your chart !!!!! I would say this part really slow like I was talking to a four year old.
Second my thought is that maybe there are many more hidden possibilites as to why his charts do not give everybody a fair shot. I am healthy, vegetarian, and careful of the toxins I am exposed to. Maybe, just maybe some of the women who are really fat are lazy, work around toxins, adn maybe eat mcdonalds everyday. Note if this is your lifestyle fine with me. I am not saying that you cannot get pregnant, or should not, or will not. Nor am I saying that your lifestyle is bad I am simply saying that everyone is different and we should be judged on that not some statistic.
Third if my problem were just my weight then why did my periods not improve when I was thin. Nothing changed. Something else is wrong with me. I do not have cysts, endometriosis, fibroids, dermoids, unusual hormonal levels, ...nothing....my disease is not obvious to anyone that I have ever seen. I have been to many doctors since I was 14 and none have had an answer. The only one who came close was a japanese acupuncturist that said I was born into the world under to much wood. Wood aparently is bad for fertility when you have too much. I always thought wood actually was a pre-requisite for the act that creates babies...ok I know I am not that funny lately and that was a cheap shot......the wood thing is true though.
Back to the office and the doctor...After the chart lecture I got a lecture on what he does to lose weight....he eats high protein, low-carb diet AKA Atkins or one similar. The very diet he said was not worthy seven years ago. He talked for another ten minutes about what to eat. I repeatedly had to remind him that I do not eat meat. Who does he think he is ...some kind of dietician. To top it off he took this oppurtunity to spoof his wifes new product...they could not find any decent tasting low carb bread so they went and made it themselves and are presently marketing in my city. One would think working in this business one would develop a sense of what a challenge it is to be infertile and not use an appointment to sell your product. Hence the name Dr Protein.
Aa he spoke my prepared questions began to yellow with age and shrivel in rebellion of not being used. At the end of the lecture he said "go home and lose some weight...take about a year to do it and then come back and we will help you out. Be happy that you have time on your side ( I am 27). If you were to do IVF now you would only have a 10 to 15 percent chance of it working and I do not want to take your money with chances like that. Your see when your weight is what it is the eggs never mature and they are bad eggs. Even if you were to get pregnant you would probably miscarry because of the bad egg quality. (When he saw tears he added this for good measure) oh sweety I know how hard it is but do not worry when you lose weight IVF should work."
Well that is funny if I lose weight by your standards I should not need IVF because my problem is caused by the weight right? Thus if I lose weight I should get pregnant on my own. Then I thought what on earth would be his motivation for turning down money ...if I do not get pregnant he can make lots of money off of me. My guess is that he does not want the likes of my fat ass fucking up his statistics on the CDC website. would help him with bad advertising for his clinic.
At this point my whole positive attitude was drying up and all moisture ran into my eyes and I started crying. I had not asked one question that I wanted to, he dashed my hopes by saying there was such a small chance, and I realized that I was being blamed for my infertility.
To date I have not had any more appointments with any REs. Not that I am not going to try but I just felt burned because it took every ounce of me to get to the first one and get the ball rolling.
Petty paragraph to follow: Disclaimer if you avoid gossip and brattiness avoid this paragraph and quite possibly my whole blog. I told you that I did a ton of research. This doctor has a website that I must have read every page a few times. There is a journal on the site that is supposedly done by one of his patients but I am quite sure that his staff or himslef wrote. It portrays a woman, in my opinion, that follows her doctor to the letter and puts him in the G-d role. Constantly referring to his "gold standard" of medicines he dotes on himself as the trusting fatherly type who will do anyhting for his clients. Like one big fucking happy fucking family. I thought about whether or not to link to it and decided to do so since I am not giving out his name just a link to the journal.. I do feel a bit bad about this but I think he has not been fair or professional. If any of you think I should not link this please yell at me in the comments and I will remove it. Am I being ethical?
I have not decided what my next route is yet but David and I have been talking about adoption again. So here are some personal questions for you all out there in blogland. For seasoned IVFers how many of you are overweight? Has it worked for you? Will I run into more REs like this or is he an exception? I need some feedback on anything pertinent to this question.