Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nothing is Ever Easy

Sometimes it seems that it is so hard to get anything done regarding IF. Some of the simplest tasks become drawn-out, frustrating events. That is how things have been going for me recently. At my last Dr's appointment, we were reviewing my surgery results, hormone panel, and miscarriage panel testing. The doctor spent a good deal of time with us reviewing my results and outlining a course of treatment. He quickly ended our meeting because he was behind schedule. Before leaving the office I realized that he had not mentioned anything regarding progesterone supplementation even though my hormone profile showed that it was very low post-peak. I decided to wait and either send the doctor an email or call the nurse about it. It took a couple weeks for the doctor to set me up with a protected email account where we could send messages back and forth. He sent me my instructions for the new treatments and then asked if we discussed progesterone supplementation. Great, I thought, he noticed that missing piece as well. I responded to the message right away and never heard a response. Called the doctor's office a couple times and never heard a response. Finally, about two weeks later, and cutting into my post-peak phase, the nurse called and said the doctor never got my email message. Ugh! By then I was close to P+7 and my monthly blood draw and cycle review. I sent him and the nurse a second message immediately. They decided to wait to see the blood work and monthly chart.

Finally, around the start of my new cycle I got a response that the doctor wants to supplement my progesterone. But of course, nothing is ever easy. He wants me to use a compounding pharmacy. I found one that is about 20-25 minutes away and called the number into the nurse last Monday. She called that day to order my prescription. In the back of my mind I thought maybe I should call the pharmacy to make sure they got the order and were filling it. But of course I didn't. On Thursday I had an appointment that was fairly close to the pharmacy. I decided to kill two birds with one stone since the pharmacy is really out of my way otherwise. I got to the pharmacy counter and of course they had trouble finding the prescription. The assistant asks if it is possible that it is new order. "Yes," I said and she found the order immediately. The problem was, they hadn't filled it. And since they had to compound it, it would be a few hours before they finished the order. "Usually people call first," they explained. Is it crazy of me to assume that a pharmacy is going to fill my prescription when it is called in by my doctor? I gave them four days before stopping by to pick it up!

Since it is a small pharmacy, it has very inconvenient hours that just aren't working with my schedule. We had plans with friends in the area on Saturday, but got done about 15 minutes too late to get to the pharmacy before their 3 pm close time. They are closed on Sundays (good for them) and now I am going out of town until Thursday evening. It seems that I should be able to pick it up next Saturday, but that is cutting it really close to when I will need it. This one little item that should have taken 1-2 days to take care of has turned into a month and a half project!

Trying to coordinate my cycle review was a second (albeit shorter-lived) fiasco that I won't get into. Why do simple things have to be so hard? As if it isn't frustrating enough that conception doesn't work as smoothly as it should, adding the frustrations of working with doctors offices, labs, pharmacies, insurance, hospitals, and others just seems to add insult to injury.

I know this is all a great lesson in perseverance. Romans 5:3-5 says: "… but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us." These verses seem to reflect the IF journey and so many of the faithful Catholic women I have met along this path. We persevere and endure through this affliction, through daily sufferings and inconveniences. We stand counter to the pressures of this world with regards to illicit IF treatment showing a formed and proven character. And of course we are reflections of hope. If we had no hope, how could we continue on this journey? I know that God must rejoice in the faith, hope, and love of the faithful infertile woman. May we continue to lovingly persevere along this journey, growing in virtue every step of the way.

"We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all." 1 Thessalonians 5:14

"Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered." James 5:11a

"In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1Peter 1:6-7

Reflection Questions

  1. How do I deal with setbacks and frustrations along this path?
  2. What virtues have I developed through perseverance?
  3. Reflect on Romans 5:3-5. How does this reflect my growth through infertility?

Lord, thank you for the gifts of faith, hope, and love. With these virtues, I can faithfully endure along this path. Please help me to persevere through struggles, frustrations, and sufferings. Help me to be patient with others and with myself. Lead and guide me through your Holy Spirit, that I may do your will in all things.


  1. "God must rejoice in the faith, hope, and love of the faithful infertile woman."

    I think so too! Wonderful post!

  2. Thanks for this post. You can add the frustrations of dealing with insurance companies when they deny claims or say that they are experimental. Many virtues are to be practiced through IF!

  3. This week I was trying to get a physical appointment scheduled for my husband because our home study is about to expire. Getting this appointment for him was an extremely difficult process. I often wonder if these little "tests" are meant to help us continue to grow in humility and patience...
    P.S. I just found out we have a mutual friend! My friend, Adrienne, went to college with you and said she went to an awesome bible study you ran. Adrienne and I go to the same church and she recommended your blog to me- she sent me the link and I realized we were already trying to figure out if we were at CUA at the same time. What a small Catholic world :) !

  4. Funny - I'm in the DC area too (I just stumbled on your blog). (It's funny - given our anonymity, a lot of people in the IFosphere might know each other already...)

    Growth in patience and perseverance is certainly one of the available graces of IF, if one I accept reluctantly. But frankly, as precious as the little time we have is, I tend to ruthlessly separate into delays with which I must contend (graciously, if I can), and those that need not be accepted and should be eliminated. I have NO idea what a compounding pharmacy is, but I go to the closest blood lab with the most flexible hours, picked the radiology clinic right off the metro (I wonder now whether the one in Fairfax might cost less!), and if my doctor prescribes progesterone (I hope!), and the Catholic pharmacy has inconvenient hours or location, I'm getting it filled at my grocery store. Infertile people have to deal with all the same life responsibilities as everyone else, plus we're often tired or ill, to say nothing of anxious or depressed, and we have the time and money drain of innumerable medical appointments - I seize the convenience of modern technology and business practices wherever available.

    Which is not to say that your method might not earn a great deal more treasure in heaven!