Daily Archives: February 13, 2008

Progress comes in very small boxes

Over there, on top of the refrigerator, next to the bottles of vitamins and the tub of fish-oil and the fruit-bowl, is a small white box, not much bigger than a match-box. It has a label with my name on it. It contains fifteen small boring pills. I am surprised it hasn’t crushed the fridge to the floor with the mere weight of its portentousness.

Clomiphene Citrate.

Oh yes.

H and I both took the afternoon off and hauled ass to the Hospital Out In The Countryside today, arriving beautifully on time for our appointment at the Assisted Conception Unit. Which was a pointless waste of energy, this being the NHS and what with everyone’s time being so very valuable, it was an hour before the consultant saw us.

The waiting room is also the Ear Nose and Throat waiting room, and the Gerontology waiting room, at least one of which will explain why there was a blond toddler sucking plastic bricks in the play corner – incidentally, there’s such a thing as Novovirus going around at the moment, and I’d’ve thought letting my infant suck foot-lotion from my socks was marginally more hygenic than letting him suck anything at all in an NHS play corner, but who am I to judge, not being a parent at all or anything – at whom I saw every single woman in the room stare with slightly rabid intensity. Unlike their husbands, who preferred the floor, the walls, their shoes, ‘Builder’s Weekly’ and occasionally even the ceiling. Blond toddler offered H his brick, at one point. Oy vey, the cuteness. Me, I was reading my book and refusing to take any notice at all. I’ve often wondered at people who take their infants to private RE clinics and so on. But not in the NHS. We don’t get to make nice distinctions between clinics, and we don’t get to glare at baby-bringers either. No, we get to wonder about the sort of administation that puts the sans-baby coterie in with the avec-deeply-snotty-and-repellent-baby coterie for an hour or so and lets the whole lot marinade in central heating cranked up to ‘polar expedition’ while outside the sealed windows the sun beats on the glass and all the trees burst into flower.

Anyway. The exceptionally brief and perfunctory chat with the specialist, who, for once, was actually the specialist named on the referral letter and also the woman who added such neat scars to my abdominal geography back in the summer, and who had yet another adolescent medical student in tow, went exactly as expected. Losing weight? Good for you. Not ovulating much? Here’s the clomid. And here is the provera in case you can’t be bothered to ovulate before Easter. Here are the instructions, call us when you get your period so we can poke you with a dildo-cam, we’ll have another little chat in June, get the nurse to weigh you on your way out. Throughout which the medical student sat in his corner and looked, well, bored out of his leafy little tree, really. I did get another glimpse of my pre-surgical innardly polyp collection, as my notes were all laid out on the desk – H was severely unamused by this as he has the greatest difficulty with anything at all of the sort, despite extensive desensitization training on CSI.

And then we went to the pharmacy, to collect our drugs, and then we went home.

Which was anticlimactic. As is, ah, so very much of life.

And I was in a good mood all afternoon, to H’s chagrin, as he’d been bracing himself to be all supportive and strong and of course if you present yourself to be leaned on and the leanee declines and skips happily off down the street, you fall flat on your face, like as not. Then later on, his parents called to ask complicated technical questions about email and also to find out how the clinic visit went, and as I sat there knitting and listening to H’s attempt at Clomid 101 for the Lay Person, I heard him say that the main side effects would be headaches and irritability, which might interfere with – at which point he stopped dead, realising what he was saying to his own father, and I shrieked, and I am told the parental unit said something flustered about having got H’s drift, and jeez, but I have to look these people in the face at some point.

I think it’s the result of excessive but unnecessary bracing. Poor H. He’s been in an odd mood all day.

Also, it interests me strangely that I am not in the least bothered that H’s parents know I am about to jump-start Queen Satsuma by chemical means (if however slightly bothered at the idea of them getting any kind of drift at all about the likelyhood or not of my willingness to lie back and think of England; I mean, I have standards), but am feeling decidely private about it when it comes to telling my own parents. Which will become very awkward in about seventeen minutes time as H’s parents do actually talk to my parents, and then my parents will talk to me, and I will feel like I have just been strapped to a chair with the kommandant’s belt while his second in command goes looking for a working desk-lamp with a 100-watt bulb.


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