Friday, 28 March 2008

The assvice just keeps on coming

Yesterday I went to the acupuncturists. Because it is a training clinic, each week, I am initially seen by a group of students, who ask me a number of questions about my general well-being, listen to my pulse and look at my tongue, before going off to report their findings to the Chinese Fertility Goddess herself. The CFG then comes in and repeats the whole process, before deciding on a course of treatment. She then supervises while the students insert the needles.

Yesterday, I was seen by a new group of students. How old was I, asked one of them. 'Thirty six,' I answered. 'Oh, that's no age at all,' he exclaimed, 'the newspapers are always full of stories about women having babies in their fifties: it's marvellous what doctors can do nowadays, isn't it?' 'I think you'll find those women conceived using donor eggs,' I explained, testily. 'Not necessarily,' he answered, 'I have a couple of women friends who both conceived naturally at the age of 44.'

How can this possibly be considered a helpful thing to say to somebody who has just undergone a cancelled cycle of IVF, and who is worried that her poor response could well be a sign of diminished ovarian reserve?

After the treatment, the same chap came in to remove the needles. 'Are you absolutely sure you want a baby?' he asked. 'Raising a child can be awfully hard work.'

Really? And there was I thinking that it was going to be a walk in the park! Does he not imagine that, after five years of trying to conceive, and the best part of three years of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, I have never before stopped to question my motives for wanting to become a mother?

Why am I surrounded by people offering unsolicited assvice? Why does everyone I encounter seem to have an opinion on my infertility?

The student in question informed me that yesterday was his last day in the clinic for the time being, so hopefully our paths won't cross again - otherwise I would have requested that he had no further involvement in my treatment.

I do, however, have every confidence in the Chinese Fertility Goddess. Yesterday, she spent some time explaining how she plans to tailor my treatments to support me through my IVF cycle. She also told me that I should cut down on the amount of dairy products I consume, and eat more seeds and nuts - in particular walnuts.

Such is my faith in the CFG that I immediately went out and bought a large bag of walnuts, which I am chomping through as I type!


jp said...

Oh wow about the tactless student-
I remember when I was kid there was a "Mad Magazine" book or something like that called "snappy answers to stupid questions"- I am sure it's in my parents' basement. We should all collaborate on the most sarcastic/snappy answers for assvice givers.

I am glad you are confident in the CFG and her nut prescription!
I have been sucking down Chinese herbs (this week's taste like what I imagine bitter bitter powdered poo might taste like)as prescribed and prepared by my WAMA (white american male acu)-

You should hold a contest, asking for the best answers to be given should anyone ever be moronic enough again to ask if you are "absolutely sure you want to have a baby"!!!!!!!!

luna said...

what a moron is right. even though he's gone, I would still voice my displeasure to the CFG. my very own CFG also likes to share how women in their 40s are successful too, but what that ignoramus student said is beyond inappropriate on so many levels. I'd tell her so she can incorporate some sensitivity training to her students. outrageous.

and you just reminded me to eat some walnuts, thanks. ~luna

Mrs.X said...

OMG. I'm still sometimes left speechless by the incredibly stupid things people say. I would have said, are you sure you want to be an accupuncturist? You could get all sorts of nasty diseases. What an a$$hole!

I don't know if you've considered this, but I would let his teacher/supervisor know. If he's a student, this is the time for him to be set straight on unsolicited opinions on topics of which he obviously knows nothing about.

Lisa said...

Those students need some extra learnin'.

annacyclopedia said...

Totally agree with Luna - your CFG should definitely know about idiotic comments like that, and hopefully she will work with future students to help them understand what not to say. Nobody working in health care should be even thinking of making comments like those!

shinejil said...

Walnuts rule. They are filled with good oils, and very good for people doing heavy intellectual lifting.

I think we need to make little cards that we can hand people that say things like "Your advice is stupid. Please refrain from speaking until you have half a clue about infertility. Thank you."

The CFG should definitely know about the unfortunate remarks. Emotions are an important factor in TCM, and for treatments to be healing, you need to be put into a safe, comfortable space.

Malloryn said...

"Your advice is stupid. Please refrain from speaking until you have half a clue about infertility. Thank you." -- BRILLIANT Shinejil! I love it!

I agree that you should probably let the CFG know. He needs to learn better bedside manners.

Pamela Jeanne said...

AAAArrrrgggh! That assvice always seems to come at the wrong time, too -- hold on, as if there's every a right time!