Monday, December 17, 2007

Update, such as it is

I am going to be a broken record and thank you all again for your kindness and your support. When the world goes mad like this it really helps a lot to hear that there are people who are on your side, who see that it's the world that has capsized, not you who lost the remaining marbles.

I am back in my City, after five hours at the airport before getting on the plane yesterday. Well, at least it was the airport this time, not the actual plane, like Thursday.

I am better, but not well. I actually looked up the symptoms of PTSD and related disorders today because of the frequent, profound, and prolonged episodes of anxiety I have been experiencing since Wednesday. I also have some trouble sleeping, mostly towards the morning. I was afraid I would be stuck in this anxious state for the foreseeable future, and that just didn't appeal to me, to put it mildly. I felt a little better through the day thanks to friends in the computer and IRL who also live in the computer, and my OB's nurse (more on that below) and I am now hoping that this is just a severe but localized reaction and that I will be back to functional soonish.

The one time over the weekend when I was mostly OK rather than mostly anxious, was on Friday, when I drove nearly 200 mi each way to see the newest baby on the block and his lovely parents. Driving to them was like heading for a promise. Knowing there was a living baby in the world, in the family that has waited for a long-long time, well, that was bigger than my stuff, and it was hopeful and right. Being with them was so warm and comfortable, as if we have known each other since forever rather than were meeting in person for the first time. The calm didn't last for me, though, and before the day was over, I was again wondering why I was feeling like I remember feeling this past spring. Early spring.

Things that didn't help today: having the nurse admin tell me that she can't answer my question about an aspect of their accounting of our interactions with the office because we will now have to communicate through patient advocacy office; having to explain to patient advocate that although she is used to only filing complaints, I need her to also call and get the answer to that question for me; and finding out in answer to that question that the same secretary now alleges that, on a different occasion, JD called her an a$$hole. Actually, that last one was also strangely liberating. I couldn't make up my mind before whether I thought the woman was doing this for the first and only time because for some reason she wanted to get me in trouble, but was smart enough to realize you can only get away with this kind of accusation once, or whether she snapped and is likely to do this again. I am leaning towards the latter now. I can only hope that the next family this happens to over there will be treated better than we have been treated. The eternal optimist in me would also like to hope that if/when that was to happen we might get an apology. But my realist told the optimist to not hold her breath and to maybe concentrate on hoping for something more likely, like finding sentient extraterrestrial life forms.

Speaking of that optimist. I think I have this feature where I want to believe in the basic goodness of people. And then, in the true manner of an algorithms geek, I think I perform this internal heuristic search for an explanation that maximizes goodness of players. In this case it is blatantly obvious that I have to write the secretary off. But the optimism feature is making me want to believe that everyone else is acting in a misguided and maybe even lazy way, but not purposefully malicious. Except that is hard to reconcile with making me miss a cycle and not coming out and just saying they won't treat me but doing the whole "we want everyone to be comfortable" song and dance. And then firing me the next day.

I spent some time thinking about the doctor, Dr.YoungGun, today. I think he is probably a good doctor, medically speaking, but a rather immature physician. Seriously, who thinks it's ok to say to an infertile patient, as he said to us at our first meeting, that insurance-caused delays in treatment were as frustrating to him as they are to us? And who gets upset when told that I would doubt that. I mean, I wouldn't expect any of my doctors to be as obsessed with my issues as I am. It's ok-- this is their job and my life, and they have a number of patients, and if they took all of our concerns as personally as we take them, what would be left of them for their families? There were other interactions that we had where I felt like I interrupted a script of his, and that upset him.

The things that helped: friends inside the computer, and getting to talk to my OB's nurse, Nurse Kind. I called her on Thursday when I was very upset, and wanted her to tell my OB. I wanted to know that he will still follow me for my next pregnancy, and I was afraid that would be a problem since the IVF and the OB practices are nominally connected. She left me a message while I was stuck on the plane that endlessly flirted with take off, and we finally connected today. Yes, my OB (Dr. B before, henceforth to be known as Dr.Best) will treat me. And then she asked all about how I was doing and whether I had support through this, how Monkey is, and about my new job. We even talked about the crazy parking situation by where I work, since she went to school nearby. That made me feel much better-- simply knowing that someone in that building is not buying the crap, someone who actually got to know me.

The reason for my out of town trip this weekend was that my grandmother turned 80 on Friday, and there was to be a party on Saturday. All three grandkids, with significant others (where relevant) and with Monkey, the only living great-granchild, came into town for it. There was a party, much scaled down from what was being planned even six weeks ago. This is because my grandmother is slipping into dementia, and this might be the last time she recognizes any of us. And this is the thing that is hard, the thing that will take me a long time to process and to deal with-- because of where I was emotionally this weekend, I wasn't all there for either my grandmother or my mother, who is not taking this deterioration well. I know I didn't plan this, and I know there is nothing I could've done to change my state, but this is still a hard thing to realize, that I couldn't do what I would've liked to have done-- sit with my grandmother one on one and try to talk. I may never have another chance.


Snickollet said...

Thinking of you still. Glad that Nurse Kind was able to restore some of your faith in humanity, and glad that the visit to the new baby was mostly good. You are brave and so generous.

I also have trouble sleeping towards the morning, and I'm watching both of my father's parents slip into dementia from afar. It's really hard. I'm sorry.

Magpie said...

This is so hard. I'm glad the nurse at the OB is a good one. And the computer is indeed on your side.

niobe said...

So much going on -- both good and bad -- that it's no wonder that you're having trouble processing it. It sounds overwhelming in so many ways.

Amelie said...

I have this people-are-good-algorithm as well. Until a certain threshold has been stepped over [too often].
Thanks for Nurse Kind, and getting to see the new baby. Of course you were busy with your own thoughts at the family gathering; it must have been hard for you with all those different sources of worries. No wonder the sad Julia is shining through. Thinking of you.

meg said...

Thinking of you, Julia. I'm glad you were able to talk to Nurse Kind. I don't know what is wrong with this clinic, I think you might have hit on it exactly, when you said that Dr. Young Guns was immature. No excuses though.

I'm glad you are home safe and sound.

christina(apronstrings) said...

well, i am glad that some medical person isn't a moron. good grief. and what she said about your hubbie...made me smile. they probably won't apologize WHEN they figure her out. but they WILL *know.*
still pulling for you.

Tash said...

Yeah, like above, hope you don't mind I snorted a wee bit thinking of you're whole family coming down on this office like a ref who made a bad call. (not.) Sounds unstable, this one. Also ditto the niceness of Nurse Kind, and for YOU to go and visit a baby. My own inititation this weekend hurt like hell. You are wonderful to to do this.

And I keep having to remind myself that short-term memory loss is also a symptom of PTSD. And I have mem-loss. And I personally think I went through quite a shock. I don't think it's a stretch at all.

Tash said...

(That should be "your family", and no, there is no "tit" in initiation. And no, I'm totally sober. See above on PTSD.)

Lori said...

Well, her accusation against JD pretty much clinches the ruling of insanity doesn't it? She sounds certifiable. How can everyone around her not be seeing this? Crazy.

I am so glad you got to talk to Nurse Kind and that she is having nothing of it. I can't believe you are even having to make these sorts of phone calls. It's awful.

And I am so jealous you got to go see that beautiful baby boy and his wonderful mama. Lucky you!

wannabe mom said...

ugh. i hate when other people make your life hell, and you're not able to be fully present with people that matter.

how sweet that you got to visit with the beautiful baby and his wonderful parents.

happy bday to your gramma. mine turned 94 this year and she mostly forgets all of her 8 kids and her grandkids, and she probably doesn't remember that she has great grandkids.

Casey said...

I'm just now reading about all of this. I'm so sorry, Julia.

slouching mom said...

oh, i'm just so sorry. and there really are no words to get you through this time.

just know i'm thinking about you and worrying about you and caring about you, okay?

Aurelia said...

Well, I'm glad you heard from the nice Nurse, as I said before. Take care sweetie, and know that this is just one bump on the road to another baby. Really.