Monday, December 13, 2010

The Nightmare That Has Me Freaked Out

I had a nightmare on Friday night. Maybe it was because DH was gone hunting and I was sleeping alone. Maybe it was because I didn't take Bena.dryl to help me sleep. I dunno. But here goes:

I dreamt that DH and I and dozens of other couples showed up at the STL clinic for Embryo Transfer day. DH and I got into the room and Dr. S and Nurse Jackie were there. I asked for the Fertilization Report as I hadn't had one yet and how many eggs they'd gotten in the retrieval. Then I realized I didn't remember having the retrieval but it must have been because of the anesthesia. Dr. S said we had 5 embryos. I asked how that could be because we hadn't even stimmed yet. He said everything was fine and that we were transferring all five embryos that day. I got even more upset because I knew that without stimming and medications that they couldn't have retrieved five mature eggs from me. I then realized that they got five immature follicles with the eggs also being immature. Therefore it was impossible that they had five of MY embryos to transfer. I couldn't figure out whether they were transferring someone else's embryos or if they were going to fake the transfer. Dr. S and Nurse Jackie got really mean and pushy so DH and I ran out of the room and yelled to all the couples that the clinic was a scam and all they wanted was your money and to run. Couples started running out of the building and Dr. S and Nurse Jackie threatened us...I can't remember if they said they had a bomb or that they would ruin our lives, etc. It was a dream. Anyways, I remember sobbing in my nightmare, begging DH to forgive me for finding that clinic, for the waste of money it was for him to withdraw all of his retirement money for our one shot at a baby.

I couldn't get the fear and anger to dissipate after I'd woken up. I went on with my day and got in a pretty good mood. But that heavy feeling of fear and impending disaster has been hanging over me ever since my nightmare. I told DH about it, all the details I could remember and he laughed and said everything will be fine. I asked him if he regrets or has any doubts about the clinic or Dr. S or Nurse Jackie. He said absolutely not and that at any time if he had disagreed he would have said something. He reminded me that we are using all of his retirement money on this so he does care, a lot!

I only took Intro to Psych in college and that was a LOOONG time ago (okay 7 1/2 years since the class) but still. About 1/4 of my lifetime ago. I'm trying to analyze why I would be so scared about using this clinic.

Here's what I've come up with:

DH's money came in on Friday and all I need to do is call the clinic and pay the remaining bill over the phone. It's a huge bill and I still haven't had a conversation with anyone as to what will happen if the cycle is cancelled or if we'd get any bit of a refund for a cancellation due to poor response; or if the transfer is cancelled because all the embryos arrested, etc. The other IVF clinic we met with spent over an hour going over what financial protocols were in place. This clinic seems just a bit too relaxed and it really concerns me. I haven't signed any paperwork yet, no contract or agreements. I just paid a $500 deposit for the January 2011 cycle and that was it.

All of this is such a humongous risk for us and I don't feel like the financial aspect is being taken as seriously by the clinic as my health. Isn't it strange? The other IVF clinic cared more about our money than about personalizing my care, and at this clinic its the extreme opposite. I did receive an invoice from this clinic's billing company but it was for about $400 less than what we are supposed to owe at this point and when DH and I were in STL last Monday, the billing person told us that amount might be incorrect and when we call to pay she'll review our account balance.

Ladies, do you have any thoughts on this? Any advice? I'm avoiding calling the clinic because I'm so nervous that the other shoe (which we haven't seen for awhile) will drop. In the meantime, I'll just send an email to the billing person at the clinic and copy Nurse Jackie and share my concerns. Maybe the answers will help me to calm down a bit.


Emily said...

I don't have any advice, as I've never gone through this, but I certainly wouldn't pay it until you know for sure what will happen if you cancel, etc. I really hope this works for you!!

Zula said...

Dear Christa,

I am sorry to hear about your night mare, and billing issues with the clinics. Lol, sounds very tough thing to deal with. I have no experience with IVF clinics yet, (have not started my IVF cycle, yet), but I dread the anticipated cost of it everyday. I think that it might be a good idea to get very clear picture about their billing policy, so you'll have no awful surprises in future. (It is just my opinion, and as I said I have no experience with this) I really hope that all works out well for you.

Shawna said...

Goodness, isnt it funny what IVF does to someone. Makes us have crazy dreams!! lol

Anonymous said...

What a crazy dream! It's so weird what little fears and thoughts pop up while we're sleeping.

I asked about the refund policy at my clinic when I paid for my cycle, and they said that if the cycle is canceled, they will itemize everything up to that point and refund the rest.

I would call and ask all the questions you have, until you are comfortable with the answers. Then you won't have that additional uncertainty creating stress.

Anonymous said...

I read your post again more carefully. I think that it is very strange for the clinic to be ambiguous about their billing info and not getting their numbers straight. That is very concerning. Here, you are talking about thousands of dollars right? I would definitely ask tons of questions and demand billing information session with the clinic until I know everything i need to know about it. I feel very affected by it, because my hub and I are going through a sort of financial crises and we have just learned that we need to go for IVF. (our insurance won't cover IVF). I have been reading other blogs, but have not run into a post that talked about the cost of IVF. I am sorry that i am rambling here. i really hope that the clinic will help you with it.

LisaB said...

Whoa, what a crazy dream! You are right though, I bet it's a manifestation of your financial fears. I hope the clinic will be more straight forward with you about the costs. My old clinic was more concerned about money, whereas my new clinic is not. They did go over the prices with me at my first visit though. Good luck!!

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