Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is "IN" out?

Between negotiating the purchase of our new house, packing to leave our old house, the beginning of my donor egg cycle, and work life has just consumed me and my blogging has suffered. I promise, I'll try to be better!!

Yes, I have officially started our donor egg cycle!! I started on birth control a couple of weeks ago (used to suppress your ovaries so you start fresh and, in the case of a donor cycle, used to sync the donor and recipient's cycles) and started my lupron last night. Our donor will begin stimming on 3/16 and her tentative retrieval is between 3/25-28!

All of my drugs for all of my cycles have been obtained through a speciality infertility pharmacy. For those of you who don't know, you generally don't walk into your local Walgreens to get these specialized drugs. Local pharmacies don't stock them as the volume and, in some cases, short shelf life, doesn't justify having them.

But, birth control pills, those are available at your local pharmacy. So, a couple of weeks ago, Clinic A called the prescription in to my pharmacy, and I went to pick them up.

Many people take BCP before an IVF cycle but, other than this time, I only did for my first IVF a million years ago. So, when I walked into the pharmacy, the pharmacist/customer service person inquired as to why I took BCP for one month in 2006 and had a short-life prescription again now. I explained that I take it as part of my infertility treatment plan. She cocked her head to one side, looked at me thoughtfully, and said "I prefer the term 'fertility problems'. It just sounds....I don't less of a disease than 'infertility' sounds".

After quickly convincing myself that jumping over the counter and stuffing pill bottles down her throat wouldn't be the best way to handle this situation, I calmly explained that I AM infertile and, yes, the word is appropriate because infertility is a disease. Now give me my damn birth control pills!

But, it got me thinking. In some ways, the words fertility and infertility are almost synonymous. We use them interchangeably. We call ourselves INfertile, but, we go to Fertility clinics. We google INfertility, but come up with articles and books on increasing and improving our Fertility. We don't take INfertility drugs. We take Fertility drugs. Why? Fertile people don't take them - only we INfertiles.

If INfertility is the inability to have a baby, and, through treatments at the Fertility clinic we successfully have a child, are we no longer INfertile? Since I still hope to have a baby, albeit through the use of donor eggs, is it more appropriate to say I have Fertility problems? Would INfertility only be appropriate after all baby-making attempts have failed?

I'm sure you all know that my answer to these questions is HELL NO! I think a better definition of INfertility is that it is a category of diseases that prevent the sufferer from conceiving or, in some cases, carrying a pregnancy to term, without medical assistance. But, it is, most assuredly, a disease, and a horrible one that doesn't get the attention it deserves, unless it's negative attention.

I don't know why the terms INfertility and Fertility are sometimes used interchangeably, but, it doesn't really matter. We know what we're talking about. My answer to that pharmacist should have been "I am INfertile! I don't have Fertility problems. I have no problems at all with fertility! Apparently, though, it has a problem with me!!"

But, all I was thinking at that moment was that I had to go home and take my birth control pill. Gotta prevent those unwanted pregnancies, you, THAT would be a Fertility problem!


Busted said...

Um...(1) WTF is with her asking you why you are or are not taking something? Is that appropriate? And (2) I have no problem with the word "infertility" and like your explanation.

Kami said...

Maybe she had some fertility issues and she doesn't want to feel like she had a disease. I had an subfertile friend tell me just that when I called it a disease.

Although I use the term infertile it is rarely accurate. Most of us aren't completely sterile or INfertile we are SUBfertile.

And you are already on your way with a de cycle! Well, good for you and best of luck!

Emily said...

You are underway?!?! Hooray!!!! I was so thrilled to see your post today :)

This post made me giggle, but you are so right. It is complicated!

Linda said...

that is SO dumb of her to even say anything to you about why you're taking something and making commentary on it.
I'm so happy to hear that the donor cycle is under way. Continued prayers to you Lisa!!!

Dagny said...

I will through INFERTILE out there no problem. Like you, I do not have a problem with fertility. It hates me. And you are so right. It IS a disease. A horrible and devastating condition that many dont' have to face.

AND, WOOT!!! I am so very excited for you this cycle Lisa. I have goosebumps just thinking about it. Seriously, like right now. If I had a pic I'd show you. LOL

So 'enjoy' those lovely BCPs, and I will sit here and watch your latest journey unfold, and hopefully this time we can all scream for joy with you.


shiner said...

Holy crap you are a good person! I would have ripped her apart verbally. What an idiot - who gives a crap what she prefers and what gives her the right to speak to a CUSTOMER that way. I use the terms interchangably but do prefer "fertility" to "infertility" because even before I got pregnant and stayed pregnant after 6 years of ART I considered myself somewhat fertile since my uterus was still good. My ovaries are fried but hey, still not totally infertile, so I shy away from the negative conotation of that term but that's just me. So glad you are "in" cycle! WHOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! Can't wait to hear more.

Beautiful Mess said...

YAY for getting everything rolling! Good description of the words, it makes sense and I get it. Maybe next time, throw something at her and pretend it was an accident? Sending you so many positive vibes!

stacey said...

I agree with your explanation (I've thought about that myself several times), and am so happy you are back in the game!!!!

theworms said...

So glad you're getting started - GL!

The post was great, sorry your pharmacist is a d-bag.

Mrs.X said...

Congrats on starting the donor cycle! How exciting!

As for fertility problems versus infertility, hmmmm. I think for some, it helps them cope to think that they have problems with fertility rather than being infertile. Infertile implies no chance.

Molly said...

Love the way you make the distinction between fertile and infertile.
Good luck with this cycle.

Ms Heathen said...

Great post, Lisa! I think my beef with the term 'fertility problems' is that it makes it sound more like a lifestyle issue, rather than a medical condition.

But I'm so glad that you are on the way with the DE cycle. Thinking of you and wishing you the very best.

Wishing 4 One said...

LOL I can't believe your didn't jump pver that counter, i would have, LOL! But you do make some really good points here about both words....something to ponder further for me. Anyway just so excited for your upcoming cycle....very exciting.