About two weeks ago, one week into birth control pills, I started spotting. At first, I tried to ignore it. Maybe it was just that clot in my uterus breaking loose. The problem was, it kept getting heavier and more period-like until I finally called the RE’s office at day 12 of birth control. After some back and forth, the plan was made that I would take days 13 and 14 of the birth control pills, then go off and let my period happen. Because my body, apparently, just does not do schedules.
This all duly decided and executed, my period started according to the new plan and I called the office as directed about the FET cycle we had planned. I asked if there was any chance I could use something other than PIO as my progesterone support. Dr. E was fine with ordering Crinone, the nurse called my meds to the pharmacy, and I went on about my day.
Until there was this little random, unexpected moment that triggered all sorts of uncomfortable feelings and sadness. This, in turn, caused some ripple effects into other areas of life that will remain unspecified but were unpleasant. By night, I found myself laying in bed, not sleeping, watching the hours tick off on the clock on the bedside table, counting the various nasty creatures that emerged out of the dark cracks of my brain to have their turn sitting next to me, telling me all the horrible things they planned to do with the space I’d now given them in my mind.
I woke up Saturday morning exhausted and more pissed off than I had been going to bed. I spent the morning crying to my mother and getting Arthur’s Valentine gift to me, a massage. Feeling fortified for the afternoon, I got ready to tackle various responsibilities, including finalizing purchase and shipment of my medications for the FET.
In my infinite wisdom, figuring that this would be a quick phone call, I decided to order the FET meds before grocery shopping or doing any other major tasks. This turned out to be a bad decision.
“Now,” the representative said, once I’d given her my name and birthday, “I see that your doctor ordered Crinone for you.”
“Yes, that was the plan.”
“The script is for 60 inserts, or a 30 day supply. With the $50 off coupon we’ll apply, that comes to $965.”
Here’s where I make an embarrassing admission: in my search to ward off further nerve damage to my rear end, I hadn’t bothered to ask about the price of Crinone. This was stupid, because I know my insurance doesn’t cover any of my infertility medications, but in my defense, I’d never thought progesterone could possibly be so expensive. In my previous IVF cycle, I’d used Prometrium, which had come to a grand total of around $5 for a 30 day supply. I knew Crinone was more pricey, but I had figured a couple hundred dollars more pricey – not nearly a thousand.
After telling the pharmacy rep that I’d need to consider some things and call back to place my order, I did a quick, cursory internet search that revealed that the going price for Crinone was indeed around $15-16 for a single applicator. I needed two per day.
“I’m done,” I announced to Arthur.
“But hon, we can afford it. I know it sucks, but we can manage it.”
“I know that. I don’t care. I’m sick of making bullshit decisions where none of the options are ones I want. Ones where I can have PIO, which will only cost us around $75 but potentially causing more damage and for sure a lot more pain or I can have Crinone which will be much less problematic to my nerves but will cost us so much more! I budgeted $750 for drugs this cycle, which was the upper end of what I had heard the drugs would run. At some level, I know we can afford it, but I don’t want to. This is ridiculous.”
“Are you saying you’re done for right now? Or done with treatments?”
“I’m done with all of this shit. DONE.”
Arthur retreated to the computer to do his own research on Crinone prices, then retreated to the living room. I tried to cool off for a few minutes, then followed.
I will spare you what followed over both Saturday evening and Sunday, which was not pretty but involved alternately fighting with Arthur and curling up next to him sobbing, needing to be comforted.
By Monday morning, when I finally called the RE’s office to see if there were any solutions to the dilemma there, I was a thorough disaster. And of course, there were no solutions. I could take the PIO. I could pay for the Crinone. I could pay for something called Endometrin, which was less expensive than the Crinone, but still expensive and less proven. Many phone calls and frustrations later, a solution was finally reached: I would take the PIO prior to transfer, and if we actually had something to transfer, then we’d consider the Crinone.
Then, in the final phone conversation of the day, the nurse mentioned what I’ve been told all along: that it would be four days of progesterone support prior to the transfer of my cleaved embryos. I caught the ‘cleaved embryos’ bit and stated that Dr. E had told me that we’d culture them to blast stage. The nurse informed me that she hadn’t realized this, and that in that case, I’d need six days of progesterone support prior to transfer. And that she’d need to confirm with Dr. E that this was indeed the plan.
“Uh, it’s not in the plan already?”
Nope. Apparently the plan is still being finalized since we’re still a ways out from the actual transfer, and that while yes, this is the general plan for me, it’s not the usual one with the embryo stage I’ve got. So it needs a few final bits and pieces confirmed.
Damn it all.