Monday, 7 July 2008

Telling it like it is

After our first cycle of IVF was cancelled, I asked Dr Abrupt whether my poor response could be down to diminished ovarian reserve. He replied that, at that stage, he could not be sure. All we could do was to try again with a different protocol and an increased dose of stimulants, and to hope for a better response next time round. After our second cycle yielded only three mature eggs, I again raised the possibility of diminished ovarian reserve, this time with Dr Approachable. Was it time for me to give up, I asked. Just last month, Dr Approachable suggested that my antral follicle count was such that he did consider it worthwhile me pursuing further treatment.

This morning I received a copy of a letter sent by Dr Abrupt to my GP (general practitioner), informing her that he had performed a hysteroscopy to remove my polyp last week. He also took the opportunity to fill her in on my most recent cycle of IVF, and to tell her that he considers my poor response to stimulation to be a reflection of 'reduced ovarian reserve, reduced ovarian function and reduced fertility potential of the eggs within the ovaries.'

This isn't entirely unexpected news, and yet it still came as a shock to see it written down in such bald terms. It is, moreover, entirely unacceptable that Dr Abrupt saw fit to communicate this to my GP, yet apparently did not think it worth his while to explain it directly to me, his patient. It also raises the question of whether or not we should go ahead with another cycle, as recommended by Dr Approachable, or whether it is in fact time for us to begin looking into other options, such as egg donation.

But, however angry I may be at the manner in which it was communicated to me, the facts of the matter remain. My ovaries are on their last legs. My eggs are past their use-by date. I have in all likelihood left it too late to have a baby.


luna said...

oh I am so sorry to hear this. I can't believe he didn't tell you but deemed it appropriate to tell your GP. I hope you are able to speak with someone there about this...

that said, I am even more sorry you heard this news at all. it is shocking to see in black and white. while all may not be lost, I can see how you'd hesitate before pursuing further treatment. I'm sorry.

Lisa said...

Wow, that is a harsh way to have been given that information. I'm sorry it happened that way.

That's my diagnosis and, you're right, it's really hard. I struggle all the time with whether it's worth pushing forward in hopes of coming across that one good egg that might be left. I'll be thinking about you, whatever you decide to do.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

That's a completely sucky and harsh way to find out that news (in more legal terms he hasn't handled the divulgence of information appropriately). Of course, it doesn't make things any better in terms of changing the outcome -- all the complaints in the world about how badly handled this has been won't make the outcome better (though it could help someone else in future not be subjected to such shoddy communication practices). Hold strong, and whatever you decide is your next action, please know that there are a lot of people here and IRL (in real life) supporting you through your decisions and actions.

annacyclopedia said...

I'm so sorry you had to get that letter, both for the facts in contains and for the manner in which it was communicated. Sometimes I don't understand doctors and their apparent lack of human feeling.

Thinking of you. said...

Sorry that you received the news in such a poor way. It would be worth complaining to your clinic. Doctors do need to be more accountable for their actions.

Another thing to consider is that doctors rarely agree with eachother on diagnosis - maybe Dr Approachable is the guy for you.

Reduced is reduced, it is not completely final. If you and your husband can face it, I think you should try again.

The only guarantee that you have is that if you don't go ahead with another cycle you will not get pregnant.

I truly think that if you were to not go ahead and try again (this is from a woman who could only ever produce 2 eggs) that you would have future regrets and thoughts of 'what if?'

You will know what is right for you.

s.e. said...

Nothing comes easy. It is o.k. to transfer your anger from the outcome to the situation. I believe it makes things easier. However crushing the information is, you deserved to be told first especially when you requested the information.

I had a similar situation happen to me. My RE told me he did not know my diagnosis and then reported probable PCOS in a letter to my ob/gyn. They must all be chicken shit.

I hope you can find some sort of solace while you decide your next step.

MVED Mom said...

Wow - Dr. Abrupt is a jerk to give that news to your GP to give to you. But you know that's exactly how I got my news. It made me so angry I left that practice and went to another.

And it was at the other practice I had my son.

What is your FSH these days?

Hang in there -- there are other alternatives, so don't give up hope!

I will be cheering for you.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Ugh. What a thing to read in print and how absolutely cruel to read such a thing in print and second hand! I think Dr. Out-of-Line (I'm being restrained) may be a better description. What could he be possibly thinking???

Shinejil said...

What a terrible way to get such news. I'm so sorry that this, on top of the general stress of IF treatment, has landed in your lap.

My thoughts are with you, and I hope you get some clarity (and hopefully apologies) from your REs soon.

Hekateris said...

I'm so sorry you got the news this way. Dr Asshat needs some manners.

And I agree, reduced =/= no...

Lanie said...

I'm so sorry that you got this news. I'm also sorry that Dr. Abrupt is such a bad physician that he wouldn't have a conversation with you. I would try to only see the other doc, if possible.

I have been given the same diagnosis, but thankfully my doctor sat me down to tell me the bad news. It was like I got punched in the gut, but I got the news in a private manner. Again I'm sorry that you didn't get the same courtesy.

It's difficult road, and there are some tough choices ahead. I wish you lots of luck in this decision.