Friday, November 27, 2009

Like pulling teeth

Those who read this blog regularly know that I heart my NYC IVF clinic, but lately, as I try to line up everything I need for this upcoming cycle in Denver, they have been less than helpful.

First came trying to get my records to take to the one-day work-up earlier this month. I was able to get most things through a basic records request, but the embryology reports were mysteriously missing.

And I wanted the embryology reports from our five IVF cycles to see what happens with our embryos over time. I love my doctor, but he is awfully vague - so I've never been clear about whether none of my embryos get to blast or just not in good enough shape to freeze or what...

So we emailed my RE directly, and he sent us back to another section of medical records. Who said it would take several days, but that everything should be faxed to Denver in time for the appointment.

Well, I wasn't feeling so confident in them at this point. Fortunately, we have connections and were able to ask (nicely) if someone from patient services could help us get the records we needed. So she did. For hours. We ended up sitting in her office two hours before our flight because she hadn't been successful. And it was at that point we found out that embryology records are usually not released. WHAT?! Our friend in patient services went ballistic, ranting that of course we could get them, they are after all, OURS. She went round and round to various departments, finally tracking down someone in the embryology lab itself, and then it turned out that there was a special "lock" on the file that only my RE could break.

By this time, it's about an hour until our flight to Denver. The last flight of the day. The RE is in surgery. We've found the file but can't get access to it. Sigh. So the patient services rep calls our doctor in surgery (gulp) and asks for his permission to access the file. And he says ok. And we get the file. And amazingly, we make it through NYC traffic to the airport in time to catch our flight. A minor miracle. And I was grateful. But I was also wondering, gee, RE, if you knew this is what we needed and how hard it would be to get, why just keep sending me back to med records?! Sigh.

The second bit of drama occurred last week when I needed to have day 3 bloods drawn and shipped to Denver. Not sure how to go about this, I called my RE and got turfed to his nurse, who didn't call me back until the end of the day Friday and basically said, No way no how was I going to be able to get blood drawn and sent to Denver. Absolutely not. And by the way, she was leaving the office right then, so I couldn't call her back. And she added to not call the on-call staff either. Hmmmm.... I was peeved at her attitude, as my RE has said he would support me cycling in Denver. So I had Will email him (thought a little M.D. to M.D. email couldn't hurt) and five minutes later he says no problem, just come in the next morning and ask for a specific tech and she'll do it. Done. No problem.

Why does this have to be so hard? Is this what the whole Denver cycle is going to feel like? Geesh!

I should tell them if they make it too hard for me, I might just stick around and do a sixth cycle with them. That should get things moving! I'm sure they think I've tanked their stats quite enough already!!


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  1. How unbelievably frustrating. Glad to hear that you have all of your records now and will be able to get the blood work completed.

    All the best!

  2. I remember asking for a copy of our embryo report after our IVF and being told they don't give them out. I wonder why? The doctor let us write down info from the report, but we were not allowed to keep a copy.

    Good luck in Denver.

  3. UGH! I hate that this has to be so difficult. We had to have blood drawn and Fedexed to California and Quest did it for us free of charge. I was shocked. (I guess I caught them on a good day. That was about the easiest part of this entire process though.

    Good luck in CO!

  4. How frustrating! It's amazing how much we have to fight for the simplest things! Good luck.

  5. Isn't it interesting how things change? Same exact thing happened to me, the nurses at my old clinic could not have be less helpful, and frankly, nasty. I ended up doing my Day 3 bloodwork at a Quest diagnostics just to avoid my local clinic. You've done the hardest part with the NYC clinic now. You may want to consider going out to CO a few days earlier than they tell you, to avoid too many local NYC monitoring appointments.

    When are you thinking about cycling with CO? Have they talked protocol with you yet?

  6. I think it is v. v. v. odd that you can not get access to the embryology records easily - why are they not just in your bloody file? I've only been to 3 clinics, and my origincal clinic mailed my entire record (everything including all the pretty ulra sound shots of my diseased body and embryology reports to not 1 but 2 clinics). I always get paranoid when they wont give me something... what are they hiding (probably nothing but ye know).

    Can not wait for the denver cycle!!

  7. Ugh, I'm so sorry they're being so difficult! If they didn't intend to be supportive, they should have just said so. . . grrr!

  8. Thank God for connections, but shit, it shouldn't be that hard!

  9. Unbelievable! Jeez! As if cycling a 6th time isn't hard enough, I can't fathom why the NYC clinic is making it so difficult for you. Glad everything is sorted now, and that you made your flight.

  10. WTF!!! I can only imagine the stress trying to make your flight. FWIW, I've heard of others having difficultly getting embryology reports at other clinics. No excuse, they are YOUR files, but interesting that some clinics seem to be secretive about it. I can't help but wonder if it's a money and stats thing. The less embies make it to freeze, the more fresh cycles. More money, and higher per cycle success rate, since fresh has higher success rates than frozen. Hmmmmm, think I'm too cynical?

  11. I would be so irate. That's completely jacked up.

  12. I don't understand the big issue? You would think people NEVER changed clinics. My first clinic did that to me. They were rather unprofessional anyway and knew I was trapped because of my insurance network and the RE used that to threaten me. Once my situation changed I was OUT OF THERE. I requested my records and waited and waited and then had to call them and let them know that I know my rights and that they were one day away from being in violation of the law. The second RE office was really rude to me after my m/c which occurred after my 3rd cycle there. I feel like they use you up and spit you out. Both of those offices I had to be very clear that I NEEDED the embryology reports too and they acted like I was weird for wanting them. Hurts their egos or something... even it if isn't your REs ego perhaps the nurses get peeved? We got attitude trying to switch V to a new office when I pointed out I can't be getting busy signals for hours every time I call. They just said well we're busy and I was like well you'll be one less patient busy now then. UG.

    Mailing blood is a PIA. I had my GP do the draw when we sent out for all those weird immunology (waste of money) tests. No one wants to touch it when you are sending stuff out.

    It is nice you have your RE's email direct. I drove mine crazy with calls. It is a wonder she put up with me :)

  13. That is all so frustrating - and, at a time you're supposed to be keeping stress levels down to achieve pregnancy. Gawd! What is up with that rude RE nurse! And what if you didn't have that helpful friend who got your records unlocked? That whole situation stinks! Sorry you have to deal with all of this on top of all your losses. Why can't anything in life be easy?

  14. Perhaps you should take your clinic out for a special dinner, and explain that maybe you should branch out and see other clinics. Remind them that it's not them, it's YOU. They're THE BEST! And could they please give you back all that cheap jewelry and the letterman jacket and maybe your COMPLETE MEDICAL RECORDS asap kthxby!


  15. I really hated when they'd do this kind of thing at my office too. For the money we've spent, it wouldn't kill them to be more helpful without all the drama.

  16. Sorry this experience is not going smoothly - it makes me insane that you need to pull the "doctor" card to get basic information! I seriously considered cycling 600 miles away in the city where my brother is a doc, but decided it would be a big hassle (as your experience seems to underline). Hope this is the extent of the problems and you have a perfect cycle from now on!

  17. Grrrrrrr! I am frustrated just reading your post- I can not imagine how incredibly frustrated you must have been!!! Maybe that was the worst and the rest will be easier???

  18. Ugh. I would have been super-uber-extra-speshy pissed at such a run around. What total jerkoffs. I wish we could just get a infertiles posse round up to stand in a group and mad-dog these places that give us grief until we get satisfaction. Don't they understand that this is important and crucial and frustrating? Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Hopefully they will behave in the future and good luck in Colorado.


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