Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The mad dash to monitoring

People seem to think that when you work in education, you have SO much free time.  I honestly can't think of a worse profession for trying to schedule appointments.  True, I could make an appointment at 4pm without having to miss any work, but there is zero flexibility during the day, and to take a whole day off is a REALLY big deal and impacts your colleagues.  Apparently, there is even a note in my chart that says, "Teacher - minimize monitoring as much as possible."

The thing is that the IVF clinic really thinks they have a solution - they have appointments for bloodwork and ultrasound that start at 6:30 in the morning!  Ummm I'm at work by this does not help me out at all, in fact it is a cause for significant anxiety.

I've started, what I believe may be, my dream job this year.  It's new, exciting, challenging, and I'm definitely still learning the ropes and making mistakes, so I absolutely do NOT want to come across as someone who is slacking off or not meeting my responsibilities.  I hate missing work. Ever.

I made the decision to tell my boss earlier in the year what was going on, why I would need to come in late 1-3 times per month and possibly take 1/2 days without much notice due to the importance of timing and domino effect of each step.  She has been really understanding and supportive, but it is less than ideal, and if I didn't know my boss as well as I did before I even started working here...I can't imagine how hard it would be to make the decision to reveal your infertility struggles at work or cover it up/be secretive about all the time you need to be flexible/miss work responsibilities.  I am so grateful I can trust her and count on her support.

So back to 6:30am...I've figured out some tricks to be the absolute first person on the sign in sheet.

1. Leave my house at 6:10 to get there around 6:20 even with traffic (I'm so lucky our IVF clinic is 3 miles from my house and near the highway to get to work.)
2. Park as close as possible to the door - I haven't quite figured out if the # of spaces you are from the door is an unofficial order - today I chose to totally ignore that - I got out of my car first and was at the door.
3. Exactly at 6:30 the tiny light on the security pad at the door turns green (another woman showed me this today).
4. Walk purposefully to the sign in desk and try not to throw elbows.

Generally, they do blood first - which is good AND bad.  If you're the first on the list and you do blood first and WHILE you're in there they call the first ultrasound patient...that sucks.  There is only one ultrasound tech, and that process takes about 8-15 minutes per patient, whereas blood is under 5.  Today was my lucky day!  First for blood and was back in the waiting room by the time the ultrasound tech came out.  I was at work signing in before homeroom ended, though I had had to arrange coverage for my breakfast duty.

Having done this for 3 cycles now, I am definitely finding my favorite phlebotomists and ultrasound techs.

For the blood-takers it's all about who is the least painful and fastest - so far I love all of the phlebotomists at my clinic.  In all the testing and monitoring, I only ever had one not perfect stick, so I really cannot complain.

For u/s techs...while they have all been pleasant, I dread getting the silent one.  I had her today.  The other two have given me the follicle counts/measurements and lining thickness they observed, which makes my day MUCH better. Sure I still get the call from the nurse in the afternoon, and she gives more info as to what the numbers mean and the next steps, but at least I get a tiny reward of information for having messed up my work schedule.  The silent one says nothing...which I'm sure is what she's SUPPOSED to do...but you just violated me with a u/s wand for 5 minutes and I hear clicks and beeps and I know you see something...but no reward!  Fingers crossed that there are some good follicles.  So far each of my previous two monitored cycles, I have had 1-3 follicles that have matured.

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