Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trying (but failing) to make a long story short

I haven't posted anything else because I am having a hard time trying to come up with what happened between starting with Dr. H and until now. It is a long story, so many details that I don't remember at this point. So I think I am going to go with the short(er) version. I have 4 notebooks of medical crap that I could go through to decipher the timeline. But honestly, that is depressing and I don't really feel like bringing myself down like that right now.

So long story as short as I can make it is....

The first thing we did with Dr. H was an HSG and my tubes were both completely clear. This was the first procedure where I had major problems getting insurance to pay because they said it was coded infertility however Dr. H said he could code it something else so they would pay since this is kinda standard procedure for other things. I went round with the insurance company, the hospital where the procedure was done, Dr. H's medical office. But I eventually gave in and paid, even though I still think I could have gotten it fixed. I know more know anyway!

In the mean time of all the testing and trying to get something done, I ended up with a thyroid problem which did eventually resolve itself. Then we did our first IUI (and actually ended up being our only). I took injections of menopur for that and we did have concern about my E2 being too high and had to back off and coast. But the results came back negative for the procedure. That tapped us out for year 3. Then later when I was ready for another IUI, I ended up with a thyroid problem that took several months to resolve which took us into year 4. I went to my last appointment with Dr. H in the spring of 2007. At that appointment we were discussing our best options with all the drugs that I have to take just to ovulate and all the monitoring involved. Plus, the low morphology factor which Dr. H seemed really to dwell on. He kept saying IVF was our best option. But his price was really high. Not to mention continuing to drive into H-town in horrible traffic and such.

We started weighing our options. We felt jumping into IVF after only one IUI was a(lot) little crazy. But when we thought about how much money we had paid for just the IUI, really IVF was not financially that much farther unfortunately. Plus, our chances would be better. I was a bit apprehensive too, because I had always looked at IVF as our very last option. If it didn't work, then what? But because my ovaries are so stubborn, it takes the same amount of drugs and the same amount of monitoring for me to do an IUI as for me to do an IVF cycle. The only extra we had to pay for and go through was the egg retrieval and the transfer. Which yes, is a BIG extra chunk, but again not that much further financially. And then we would know if fertilization occurred. With IUI we could be left wondering if fertilization occurred but then something else happened. And 2 IUIs = about the same cost for one IVF with Dr. H. Another reason to do IVF, was that we had really been concerned the whole time about the low morphology being a major factor, even though all other numbers were completely off the charts great. I felt the low morphology classification was kinda some one's opinion more than anything too, isn't denial grand? So before we did anything we decided to try to get a second "IVF is our only good option" opinion. So I had heard of a doctor that was part of a popular local health care plan where we live, who was also covered under my health plan.


So we made our first appointment with Dr. W in T-town (which is still 1.5 hours away, but through the country with no major traffic!!) and he was great. A real straight shooter, but also compassionate and funny. And willing to just sit and talk out all our options and hear all our history. Plus, his nurse K was awesome and we all know how import and sometimes CRITICAL that can be! He also was willing to consider a technique for PCOS called ovarian drilling which all 3 of the other doctors I had been 2 would shun the second I even mentioned those words. To give them credit, it is an outdated technique, however my mother keeps hounding me about it because that is what they did back in her day. However, Dr. W still did also recommend IVF as our best viable option since our insurance would not cover infertility costs for IUIs.

Then we asked the big question, how much do you charge? We were surprised to find out the price was half what Dr. H charged!! We were shocked. Dr. W just explained that the clients they served simply can't pay the prices that other in major cities can pay. The population of people they serve just simply aren't the same as those served by our previous doctor in the medical center in H-town. When we though about it, it made sense. Best of all, there were no hidden costs for extra procedures like ICSI or assisted hatching or anything! The fee's and contracts for Dr. H were so scary! I felt like I was going to forget a major $5000 item if we went through him. With Dr. H, it was one fee, one time, from start of stims to finish even if that finish ended in a frozen transfer. And another upside is that their department is a teaching department for a medical school, so they would actually learn from our cycle. That was highly appealing since I work in the research administration field.

So, we jumped in with Dr. W and have been with him since the summer of 2007. It has been very nice, even though I haven't had the outcome that I wanted. He and his main nurse are great people and they have truly tried to help us just because they want to help. Not to make money, but to learn and help us have a baby. It has been a great decision.

Sorry this turned out so much longer. Aren't you glad you got the short version? Hee!

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