Sunday, January 10, 2010

At What Cost?

My period's gonna come any day now, and that's when I start taking the drug that amps up my ovaries.

Until then, I almost feel like IVF hasn't really kicked off yet.

Oh, but it has.

I've been on the Lupron for about five nights now. As I've mentioned before, it's like injecting ten units of insulin. Been there, done that. I even need to time it to a certain hour or so each night, but other than that, I've sort of forgotten about it the rest of the day.

We have a stack of papers that I'm supposed to sign, along with Mister L., and send them off to our IVF clinic. In the past, I've been super on top of this and had everything in like a model patient.

This time, I've gotta go track down a notary to watch the Mister and I sign these things. My nurse tells me to get the paperwork in by the egg retrieval, which I know is more than a week away. (I'm too lazy to go and figure out what my estimated egg retrieval is right now, but I know I've got time).

I also wrote out another check to my secondary insurance plan--the one that pays for a majority of the infertility stuff since our primary insurance covers little. It may have been the Lupron working its hormonal magic, but seeing myself write out the amount of the check made me tear up.

Every other month, since last spring, I've written this check without a problem. Just like every other medical expense, I've told Mister L, it's been matter of fact.

Hundreds and hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for diabetes medical supplies, doctor copayments and co-insurance until we hit the "catastrophic out of pocket maximum" our insurance says is the limit before they cover everything else? An amount we hit by April or so each year?

"It's just the way it is," I've told Mister L. Other people pay for their kids' braces, or their rehab stints, or their own health or money issues that may not be chronic like mine, but I know they're coming for everyone one day or another. We pay for health insurance and its assorted coverage for various medical expenses. (We also fund our retirement accounts as much as we can each year. Because although we may be poor by the time we actually make it to retirement age, fuck, yeah! we plan to live that long and enjoy life with whatever our dollars will buy by then.)

However, this week it hit me exactly how much I have paid for this secondary insurance. Along with other out-of-pocket things (parking at the doc's places, acupuncture before and after an embryo transfer, who-the-fuck-knows how much on juice boxes and sugary snacks and other crap to treat who-knows-how-many-insulin-reactions to keep my blood sugars in a tight range for pregnancy or potential pregnancy).

It struck me that all the money that's paid out for diabetes has a result: I am alive. My blood sugars are reasonable enough to get pregnant without worry. My eyes haven't fired up (too many) extra blood vessels and so my retinopathy isn't angry and my eye doctor and endocrinologist are fairly happy with me. Those dollars, to me, have been well spent.

The money for infertility insurance coverage, for genetic testing to figure out exactly what embryos will be viable, the acupuncture, for extra child care so I don't subject other people at the IVF clinic to my toddler running around in the waiting room, and more?

Gone with the wind, baby.

The Mister and I have heated discussions about expenses and where we can cut back and how I can bring in more freelance income. We've spent thousands. My bank account flirts with minimum balances.

So far, it's all been for nothing.

We spent a ton out-of-pocket to conceive our first child, and while it took more than a year from first-fertility-doc-appointment to Welcome-Baby-L!, there finally was an end. From today's vantage point, it was easily the best money we ever spent.

But here, in the midst of my third time trying to do all this again for a second kid, I worry that it might not end so well. Or maybe it will... but we'll have little to no money if and when we ever get there.

4 comments:

bethany said...

it breaks my heart to read your post ..i'm only 24 but was told at 15 due to being a type 1 diabetic and having pcos and other things that if i am to ever have a baby it will take a lot of work ... i've always wanted babies, i love children, but how scary is it that i may have to (like you and mr. l) spend thousands of dollars just to have one child? i wish you guys the best and i hope that this time around it works!

Lyrehca said...

Hi--I cross posted this on Bethany's blog, but will put it here so people can see it.
-----
Hey--thanks for your comment on my post, but I want to be clear. I'm 39. I'm old. If I were your age, I would likely have a much easier time getting pregnant. With me, there's been no sign that diabetes has been a factor for any of my infertility, and my first pregnancy was in fact, problem-free.

I didn't write this on your other post, but while PCOS makes it tougher, it's not impossible. I talked to several women for my book who had PCOS and some were pregnant as I was writing (and others had children already). So know that it is not impossible.

passingwindows said...

Aah, the money, I know the discussions and the fear and worries very well. Good luck on this try, I hope it works out well for you guys and that this time next year you're writing out checks for other reasons.

Thanks for your comment. I read Coming2Terms quite often.

Dr. Grumbles said...

I hope you get your money's worth this time. Money just adds so much strain to the whole process!

 

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