Not starting LIT until June wasn’t how we had thought how this year would progress on seeing Dr 4th Opinion in January. We had, perhaps naïvely, thought if we start treatment in March then we would try ‘naturally’ for three months before embarking on the IVF journey. In light of the June curveball this has had to be reassessed. Plan B is going straight to IVF, so my mission was to sort out which clinic and how it needs to fit in timing-wise. Back to phoning and emailing ditsy secretary…
I finally got to speak to Dr 4th opinion the week before last (he had been on holiday the previous week) about IVF clinic recommendations, i.e which ones he’s worked with previously and could cope with LIT parallel running. Armed with his recommendation I braced myself for a new cohort of administrators to play telephone tag with. To my surprise initial enquiries were dealt with promptly and pretty efficiently. Their open evenings for April were fully booked, however I was offered an informal tour by a patient liaison representative last week.
May, unfortunately, was what we are now delightfully describing as NSFW, so I had to go it alone and take notes. The clinic is in a hospital picturesquely set alongside the river. Much to May’s amusement I was referred to as Mr May (as it were) rather than my own surname. The tour was fairly brief with lots of facts and figures about how many thousands of transfers they do a year, how many waiting rooms, scanners, treatment rooms and facilities they had, and how all their consultants are considered equal (50:50 male/female ratio too) – but we must feel free to ask for any of them specifically for whatever (ungiven) reason if we desire. It was clean and clinical, but not unfriendly. I encountered a nurse and a consultant on my tour, as I was shown different types of room, who both smiled and seemed genuinely friendly.
I was told that as soon as we’ve had our initial consultation there is a free counselling service that we can use as much as we need (only mandatory if we’re donating or receiving donated gametes). If (their emphasis) IVF is the right treatment for us then we will be given everything we need including sharps box alcohol wipes and a free session with a nurse to go through the whole pack to explain the whole treatment cycle schedule.
The only thing which is not done in the clinic itself is egg collection, because of the sedation and recovery facilities required. This is done in theatre downstairs and with wards upstairs for recovery.
The best piece if information was that there isn’t a waiting list. As soon as one their consultants gives the go ahead, treatment can start. There are a number of blood tests that will be required though. May asked me to check whether they would accept previous test results. I was reassured that they are, in principal, against unnecessary testing, but reading the paperwork it seems quite a few tests need to be within the last 3 months – so it looks like there will be a battery of needles, probes and deposits.
On departure I was given a price list (yikes – but we have savings and offers of help) and a full contact sheet with names, phone numbers and email addresses of all the staff in the clinic – another sign that they are genuinely wanting to be approachable.
Onwards and onwards…