“You’re surprising”, Dr Text announced. This was his official diagnosis, issued in the second of three unblogged about appointments.
The first appointment had taken place at record speed on Friday morning. I was shuttled through the various Clinic One stations at a pace that made me think the staff might be competing in some strange sort of fertility clinic relay race. I was called in for my ultrasound while still signing in, and was left somewhat ungracefully attempting to unzip my jacket while rushing down the hallway after the ultrasound technician (not Diana). The ultrasound itself took less time than the time required to take my pants off and put them back on. Then I was off for an equally speedy blood drawing, conducted by the blood sucking miracle worker who can find veins in my arms. During this bloodletting, the heterosexist receptionist appeared in the doorway of the room. “Oh! There you are! Dr Text was looking for you”, she exclaimed, before rushing off to make more heterosexist calls. Almost as soon as I had made my way back to the waiting room, Dr Text found me and ushered me into the insemination room where I had had my first IUI. Using the exam table as a desk, Dr Text flipped through my file before telling me that two of the three follicles were still growing, and were now at 15mm and 16mm. He jotted down a few notes while I considered how much sperm had probably been on that table. Then, interrupting my train of thought, Dr Text told me that— given the unpredictability of the previous cycle—I should probably come back the next day. As he followed me out the door he repeated, “You’re surprising.”
So come back early the next day I did. Weekends are not Clinic One’s area of expertise. Maybe some statistical anomaly means that people are more fertile on weekends, or maybe the staff of Clinic One stay at home later, drawn in by the allure of Saturday morning cartoons: I don’t know. Whatever it is, show up at Clinic One on a weekend and you’ll be there a while. After having my blood drawn by the bloodletting miracle worker (note to self, think of better pseudonym), I went to see the same ultrasound technician as the day before. Still shaky on the etiquette of casual conversation with a person who has a wand up my vagina, I asked her how many ultrasounds Clinic One performs in a day. She calculated for a moment, before telling me that between cycle monitoring and procedures, there were about 100 ultrasounds on every given day. My 20 odd ultrasounds began to seem paltry in comparison. Feeling more like a number than ever, II went on to see Dr Text- in an actual office this time! He looked at the numbers from my ultrasound, smirking slightly. “You’re surprising!”, he announced. This was in response to the fact that Friday’s smaller follicle was Saturday’s larger one. Again recognizing the unpredictability of my body, he again told me to come back the next day.
The ultrasound technician had told me that Sundays were busier than Saturday, and that I should probably arrive early. Despite my best intentions, I didn’t wake up until 7:30am. By the time I had found my keys and waited for two buses in the bitter wind, it was almost 9. The ultrasound technician had been right: I should have been there early. I waited to have my blood drawn, then waited again for an ultrasound. When my number was finally called, it was only to shuttle me into another line. “Have a seat.”, the nurse directed, gesturing to a row of chairs more packed than a crowded commuter train. There was no seat to be had. Instead I leaned against the wall until the ultrasound technician called me in– the same ultrasound technician that I had seen on Friday and Saturday. When I had seen her on Saturday, I had asked about the process of becoming an ultrasound technician. Not because I’m contemplating a career change, but because it seems like such a highly specialized skill. She had told me that it took four years of post-secondary education, and I wanted to know why she had chosen that of all fields of study. It seems like a good one, absolutely, but not one that it would be easy to just stumble across. She explained that before immigrating she had been a doctor– a gynecologist– but that it would have taken far too long to retrain to have her qualifications accepted in this country. She missed her previous career. With that depressing conversation out of the way and my pants back on, I resumed my waiting until Dr. Left called me in. Dr. Left was the one doing the calling because Dr. Text was mysteriously absent again. He gave a cursory glance at my file before telling me to come in again the next day, and that we would decide whether to use a trigger shot then. Clearly channeling Dr. Text’s spirit, Dr. Left conducted most of this brief conversation while texting on his Blackberry. His eyes were still on the screen as I left the office and headed home.
Later that afternoon, the trigger shot issue was decided for me. Nurse Brittany called to tell me that I was surging, and that the IUI would be happening the next morning. As in, today.
Total Ultrasound Count: 23