I bet you thought this would involve drinking, didn’t you? Well, it doesn’t. At least, that wasn’t the dramatic part.
I had my second appointment in the city on NYE. Yup, I traveled to Manhattan on New Year’s Eve. Totally sane. Anyway, I took the 7 a.m. bus and somehow made it to the NHF office (a bus ride and a subway ride) in an hour and 40 minutes. That is unprecedented. Smug and satisfied, I strolled in 20 minutes early for my appointment and made plans for a leisurely brunch with a friend. I felt breezy.
In the back of my mind there was a slight problem – blood test results. We needed them to be officially accepted into the trial and to get all of my fun prescriptions (You know – injections and stuff). Eric got his results immediately, but since I had to have genetic testing the results took longer. For some reason I was convinced that while I sat in the French cafe with my croissant and coffee, the results would magically appear in my email inbox. Because life always works like that, right? Of course, the results did not come. I called Quest and was told that some results were back, but for some reason my PCP was not authorized to get partial results. Great.
I went back to NHF and broke the bad news. They said that if one particular test was holding up the works, they could still get stuff done that day. I gave them all the info and let them deal with Quest.
Now comes the fun part. Have you ever waited for a fax that someone said was coming? Have you ever stared down a fax machine, willing it to spit out that life or death piece of paper? I have. My car got towed in Philly many, many years ago. I was totally that girl that you see on Parking Wars, fighting with Allstate and fighting with PPA and waiting in the filthy, noisy waiting room for seven straight hours for a mystical proof of insurance document. If that show had been around back then, I would have been on it.
This “waiting for fax” episode was not quite as dramatic because someone else did all the phone fighting for me. I simply sat in the waiting room. And sat some more. I read an entire book. (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling. Highly recommend; laugh out loud funny). I changed seats. I watched people come and go, nurses wish each other a Happy New Year and leave, and receptionists switch off lights and head out. By the time they finally summoned me back to the office it was just me, a dark waiting room, and a young Asian child sleeping on a nearby sofa.
I’m not sure where the study coordinators are from, I’m so bad with that. I want to say they’re Russian? Ukranian? Something like that. They have thick accents and don’t understand some of my sarcasm (more’s the pity). Anyway, coordinator Matt said they finally, FINALLY got the fax after many threatening phone calls placed on my behalf. Thinking about his colleague, a sweet and soft spoken woman whose name escapes me, on the phone battling with Quest Diagnostics for hours in broken English just to get MY blood test results gave me an instant surge of gratitude.
I drew my envelope. Matt made a big deal about this part but I don’t know, by this point I was tired and anxious and just wanted to get home to celebrate New Year’s. Plus I don’t even know if I wanted Conventional or Mini IVF; there are pros and cons to both. We got placed into Conventional.
Conventional IVF means daily injections. Matt demonstrated how to do these on a small rubberized button meant to resemble my stomach fat roll while I tried not to look visibly ill. He also said that since we are Conventional, the injections had to start that day. As in, within a few hours. He gave me directions to a pharmacy a few stops Uptown that he knew would carry the drugs and sent me off.
I should probably mention at this point that my phone was dying. I think by the time I left NHF I had 6% battery life. I also had no idea what time I could catch a bus out of Port Authority and my mom had borrowed my car, so I needed to be able to communicate with someone to pick me up. Stress levels began to escalate.
I made it to the pharmacy pretty easily. I confirmed with them that I could use an HSA card over the phone to pay for this $200 prescription. I also warned Eric that I would be calling to get the number. I called him from the pharmacy’s phone – twice – no answer. Desperate, I called him from my cell phone, thinking he wasn’t answering because he didn’t recognize the number.
“WHAT! What do you WANT! I’m in the shower!!”
“Hi I’m at the pharmacy I need the number now please give me the number now I have to talk fast phone is dying hurry please.”
“Oh MY GOD I am DRIPPING WET! FINE!”
I could type out even more of this story but this post is getting ridiculously long and I’m not close to finished here. Basically the card wouldn’t go through, a line formed behind me, I broke out in a rash and started sweating profusely, called Eric back at least three more times, got yelled at again, and I think our final communication was him screaming “JUST LEAVE. ABANDON ALL HOPE AND FUCKING LEAVE!” as I hung up the phone and whipped out a different credit card. If you were behind me in line, you would have hated me. I hated me.
I raced back to the subway, practically jumping over an old woman who had collapsed in the street. Sorry, didn’t have time for that shit (a large group of people was helping her, don’t worry. I’m not a monster). Somehow I made it to Port Authority in time for a bus going to William Penn. Phone life was at 2%. I called my dad and said, “Shut up don’t talk be at bus stop at 6:50 with my car phone dead k love you bye.” And with that – my phone died.
You think it ends there? Nope. I still had an injection to do, remember? Eric and I had already decided that neither of us were up for the task and we would get his mother, a (***now retired!) nurse to administer the injections. I knew she was going out for New Year’s Eve but had no way to warn her I was coming over with this urgent matter. Once I got in the car and charged my phone enough to turn it on, I called her, right as she was walking out the door. She was kind enough to wait for me to race over so she could stick me before heading off to her party.
After that we made it to our party 2 hours late, which I figure is fashionable. 2013 arrived. It better have a baby in it, and he/she better be pretty effing adorable.