On Tuesday I went for my second fertility appointment with a new doctor.
I was looking forward to my meeting, but I was also dreading it. There’s a sort of vulnerability when you step into an office and ask for help. Will they care for me? Or will they rush me in and out like I am just another case?
I arrived at the office building and walked into the main lobby. I saw that the office was on the second floor, so I patiently waited for the elevator.
The elevator doors opened and I stepped in, my heart was racing. Why was I so nervous? The elevator had a smooth transition to the second floor, which somehow put my nerves at ease.
When the elevator door opened, I peeked around the corner and found the doctor’s office. I could see through the glass door that the decor was modern with beautiful hanging lights. There was a receptionist who had a motherly warmth, and she smiled as I walked up to the desk. As she asked for my care card, another patient came and stood uncomfortably close to me, waiting for the receptionist to help her. She was facing me and staring at me without letting go. I always wonder what those people want from me?!
The receptionist told me to take a seat. I looked around… there were no botox doctors or ugly green foliage. I could hear patients laughing in the hallway with the doctor. The room seemed welcoming (despite the staring lady) and I reminisced on how alone I felt at the first appointment. I no longer felt alone.
The mother of the patient who was staring at me was sitting on my left side, and she too was staring uncomfortably at me. I looked at her and smiled but she just kept staring without smiling. Awkward.. I looked at my clock and I was five minutes early, so I requested a key to the washroom and retired there hoping that the ladies would be gone by the time I returned.
When I came back in the starers were gone and the nurse called my name. She weighed me and took my blood pressure… which I haven’t had done in YEARS. I couldn’t help but peek at my weight and my eyes went large when I realized that the high fat diet I’ve been following has been true to its name. The nurse looked at me and my eyes quickly went from wide and horrified to this weird squint with a forced smile. Just fattening up for the winter season over here!
She ushered me into the room and I sat on the chair, admiring the natural lighting. I could hear the doctor in the next room and I was waiting for the door to swing open to mine. I wasn’t worried about him asking to inspect my uterus considering my first specialist meeting, so I felt good about that. I looked at my phone for a bit, but then I ran out of things to look at and realized that he would walk in to me staring at the weather… riveting.
He opened the door and introduced himself. He first asked why I was seeing him when I had already seen a different fertility specialist. I figured he would ask me that and I had rehearsed a whole spiel in the mirror 50 times beforehand. But now that I was sitting there, nothing came out properly and I said a jumble of things that probably made no sense.
He asked me a bunch of questions about my cycle and health history. When he asked about my pms systems I said, ‘no breast tenderness’ and all of the sudden I felt horribly uncomfortable. My face went hot with embarrassment and the rest of the time I covered my neck with my hand because I got all red and splotchy ALL OVER MYSELF, which is the absolute worst. There’s something about talking about your cycle with a man that you’ve just met that is weird, at least for me.
Then he explained how he would approach the infertility. He was going to send me for more tests first, since my last specialist tested me at the wrong times in my cycle. Then he would assess the results and prescribe something if the problem’s obvious, otherwise he would send me to another specialist in Burnaby so that he doesn’t waste my time. He kept saying, “Is that fair?” and I appreciated that he wanted my input. Then he said he wouldn’t be performing a pelvic exam on me because I had already had my HSG test and it’s likely that the HSG would have picked up on internal issues. I ALMOST DIED. Thank the good Lord, because I was not prepared for a pelvic exam. I need at least 2 weeks to mentally prepare for those things, I don’t do those on command!!
Even though I was horribly red and splotchy, I felt confident in the doctor. He spent time talking to me and it felt like he actually cared about the outcome of my blood work. He told me he wanted to explain everything to me so that I felt like I was informed and an ‘active participant’ in finding a solution. I felt perfectly taken care of, but not excessively smothered in care, which was perfect.
I am now awaiting my bloodwork appointments and will be meeting with him in another month. I have a lot of faith that he will be able to help me! This appointment put me at ease and gave me hope. I am happy to say that there were no tears this time as I drove away.