Your Input, Please

In the wake of my panicky post last week about my upcoming consultation, I’ve got a better perspective on this appointment. As always, I thank you for your sage wisdom, fellow infertiles.

My job is to be a human sponge. Soak up as much information as possible, so Mr. O and I can make the best decision for us.

But here’s the rub: I don’t know what I don’t know. But YOU do. Yes, I’m talking to you.

I would love to hear from you about what questions you asked early on that were helpful, wished you’d asked along the way, or never had the guts to ask in the first place.

BRING IT ON, LADIES.

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10 comments

  1. lucy50 · August 4, 2014

    I think I asked all these questions at some point or another. Eventually (because I was in for so long), I managed to ask everything I needed to ask. But here are some important ones in my opinion.

    1. Who does the monitoring appointments? (These are the CD 3 and then CD 10 – 12 appointments. My first clinic always had a nurse who could never answer any questions because she was a nurse. The RE at my second clinic always did the monitoring himself. My preference was for the doctor. The nurses are fine, but I found with the first clinic I’d have to wait two or three days to have them pass the message on to the doctor and then the doctor to pass the message back through the nurse.)

    2. I am hypothyroid, so I was always concerned about my TSH levels. This might not apply to you.

    3. My RE DID NOT push IVF at all. He made us aware of it, but didn’t push and we took a slow approach and then more aggressive when the slow didn’t work. I think one of the important things is that you are comfortable with your doctor and you are comfortable with what he is doing to you (because much will be done to you). Don’t be afraid to question anything in terms of drug choices (he wanted me on Clomid and I was like, fuck you, I am fucking done with fucking Clomid it doesn’t work for me–I was nicer than that). It’s your body, you know it better than anyone else. So I think asking about his method of protocol, i.e., how long he wants to go slow or when he feels things need to be more aggressive might be good. I didn’t ask this in the beginning.

    4. I asked why my RE was in the business he was in. He said he used to be an OB/GYN but he saw some family members go through IF and changed direction. I wanted to hear some compassion from my doctor.

    The other thing I want to say, and this is a tricky thing especially diving into the online IF community, is not to get caught up in other people’s protocols. Every RE’s office is different. Every doctor has a different way of doing things.

    GOOD LUCK! I am rooting for you!

    • thecommonostrich · August 5, 2014

      These are awesome suggestions. Specifically the point about other people’s protocols. In an effort to fill the void of information right now, I’ve been reading a ton. And I have to remember that my situation is different.

      Ah, sanity… I’d like to get that back some day…

      • lucy50 · August 5, 2014

        You will. 🙂

  2. julieann081 · August 4, 2014

    I would ask to meet with someone to discuss finances. We have a person in our office who calls the insurance companies and can help you get estimates of costs. I found this helpful.

    We asked a lot of questions about genetics, but I don’t think those apply to everyone. I’d say just ask questions whenever they come up. Keep a list if you need to. (I do.)

    Wishing you all the very best! ❤

    • thecommonostrich · August 5, 2014

      The finances thing is definitely on my list. It will partially dictate what/when we do certain procedures (at least that’s what I’m thinking now. Thursday could be a whole other ball game.)

      Thanks for the suggestions, dear!

      • julieann081 · August 5, 2014

        No problem. I posted a similar thing about questions to ask about IVF. I don’t know why, but it didn’t occur to me to Google it as there are lists out there. You might want to Google too. 🙂 Wishing you all the best!

  3. labmonkeyftw · August 4, 2014

    I had done a lot of bloodwork and some clomid cycles before I started working with an RE, but they wanted to redo all the blood tests. I was initially annoyed, but the second set of results were really useful in the longer run: seeing what was stable and what had shifted. There will be many times where it seems you are making no forward progress: you are. Setting up with a clinic can take a long time, so try to keep your timeline expectations wide open.
    Questions I would recommend you ask (if your RE doesn’t just directly cover them):
    1) what do you propose as a first step? and from there?
    2) Are there additional tests (check tubes, genetic testing, etc.) you typically do/I should do?
    3) common side effects with this?

    I end up with new questions every time I go in, and even though I am pretty bold, it takes a certain confidence to ask a question while you are half-naked in stirrups: just go for it. It’s much much easier to get an answer then than to turn to Dr. Google afterwards or try to get to your busy doctor via phone.

    • thecommonostrich · August 5, 2014

      Thanks for putting the “extra” tests in perspective. I don’t want to do them again, because I feel like I KNOW… but truth is that I don’t. They are over a year old in some case. At the very least, it might be good to verify that things haven’t changed- it’ll direct whatever treatment we go with.

      You’re awesome- thanks for sharing!

  4. conceptionallychallenged · August 5, 2014

    We already had diagnoses before we actually saw an RE for treatment, so the outset may be a bit different. Nevertheless in general I’d consider these points:
    * How will this test or procedure affect my diagnosis and treatment plan? (As in, if it doesn’t change the plan or expected outcome, consider not doing it. My RE was against a laparoscopy even though we know I have/had endometriosis – beyond stages I and II it’s not shown to help, so moving directly to IVF was more likely to be successful)
    * Given our diagnoses, how likely are different treatments (IUI, IVF, etc.) to work for us? What are your clinic’s success rates for my age group and diagnosis? If IUI, after how many unsuccessful rounds would you recommend moving on to IVF? (May be worthwhile cross-checking insurance coverage here, and of course what you’re willing to do, though at least the latter tends to change for many people over time)
    * Consider asking about diet or lifestyle recommendations, although in part that depends on how willing you’d be to follow them – but I think it helps to know which page your RE is on.
    * Write the questions down and make sure you get an answer for all of them – but also be prepared that, during the course of the meeting, new questions might pop up or change your view of a particular aspect.

    Good luck!

    • thecommonostrich · August 5, 2014

      YES. No kidding, every single question here is going on my master list. Thanks so much for the advice!

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