Fertility clinics are strange places. Perhaps this is true for any serious illness but (other than IF) I’ve only seen the inside of a doctor’s office for low-level issues.
I find it oddly comforting to see a packed clinic. It makes me feel like I’m not the only one dealing with all this and others struggle too in their own way. And yet, we’re isolated. It’s very rare that patients in my clinic talk to each other. Or even make eye contact.
And it’s such a diverse group of individuals – there’s a wide range of ages and skin colors and all walks of life. That gives me comfort too – there’s nothing special about me that I got stuck with this. Someone has to fall on the bad side of statistics sometimes and apparently I’m one of them.
Some come on their own, some with their husbands (or wives occasionally). I sometimes find myself guessing what their day life would entail (scrubs – doctor/nurse; suit – lawyer?; yoga outfit – umm, freelancer?). They even have different ways of passing time while waiting.. some on their laptops, others on their phones, other just sit there. And no one touches the ever present pile of magazines.
We’re all bound by this strange place in life we’re in. We’re in a limbo – neither carefree newlyweds or young adults, nor parents constantly running after their toddlers. We can’t easily enjoy the freedom of fewer responsibilities. Because we’re tied to responsibilities even before kids come onto the scene. The financial responsibilities of the treatments. The physical and mental load of keeping track of the appointments and medications (plus the aforementioned finances). The physiological strain of all the side effects and hormones. The compromises in so many ways – no caffeine, no wine, careful exercising, planning life around treatment cycles and treatment cycles around life. But we don’t even get to enjoy the positives of the tradeoffs.
I wonder what others think of when they’re here. Do they think they could have done things differently? Do they look at the stats and wonder what this cycle’s chances are? Do they trust the doctor to always know what’s right? Are they worried about the repercussions of another failure? Or maybe they’re just tired because we’re all here early in the morning before we start our actual jobs.