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Is My Doctor Right For Me?

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#1 BundledWithCare

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 09:40 PM

Hi there, I'm new here. I'm hoping to receive a little advice or maybe just get your opinion on what to do from here. My husband and I have been with our fertility doc for just over 1.5 years and we're starting to feel like we're being taken advantage of. 

 

After trying to conceive for about two years, I scoured the pages of Yelp to find a fertility doctor in Los Angeles. I was so new to the whole process and didn't know anyone who had ever needed help having a baby. I just knew that we needed help. I found this prestigious doctor with rave reviews. He took a meeting with us and was very personable, charming, and confident. He promised us a baby and that was enough for us. Being in the United States, we knew he was going to cost us a pretty penny. I'm sure as you're all aware, insurance in the US does not cover a single thing related to fertility treatments. 

 

After testing and bloodwork and more testing and more bloodwork, we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Sperm count and motility was normal and I had no abnormalities with my uterus or bloodwork. We started off with an IUI cycle that resulted in failure. We then did another IUI cycle, which also failed. We had a wonderful nurse/coordinator who answered all of my questions and was always there for me by email, day or night.

 

After two failed IUI's, we decided to go all in and try IVF. We didn't want to waste any more money on failed IUI's. Our doctor also recommended it would be a good idea. It was around this time that our coordinator quit her job (or left?), and we got assigned a new coordinator. Our new coordinator ended up being even better than the first. She responded to my questions, called in my meds, and was always there to answer any questions for me. In this process, I feel like that's a very important trait to have as a nurse. 

 

My body responded well to the egg retrieval and we ended up with 7 good embryos. My coordinator guided me every step of the way and was there for me when our first round of IVF ended in a failure. She called me and asked if there was anything she could do. It was such a nice gesture. 

 

Fast forward a couple months to March of 2020. We gear up for our second round of IVF. When we go in for our first appointment, our doc tells us we will have to be put on hold due to Covid-19. He informs us they're closing their doors to all voluntary procedures and ALSO, our new coordinator has quit the office (second one). He tells me my new coordinator will be in touch with me and will notify me when they re-open.

 

Let's fast forward to beginning of June. Mum is the word from my new coordinator. I start to see that doctors in Los Angeles are opening up so I decide to call the fertility office and see if they're open. They are! I figured my new coordinator just forgot to notify me because of all the craziness going on. I email her and let her know I'm ready to start a new cycle and ask her if I can get in to see the doctor. Last time I saw my doctor, we were up in the air about what kind of IVF cycle to do next. So I knew it was very important to get in and see him so we can figure out our next step. 

 

Here's where things start to get dicey. Coordinator, (let's call her Ali), takes about 3 days to respond back to me. Ali is very short with me and ignores my request to make an appointment with the doctor. Ali tells me she will order me my meds and to let her know when I get my period. The prescription is never called in like she said and it takes me a few days to get a hold of her again to remind her to call in my meds. End of conversation. The following week, I get my period. The day is a Wednesday. I email Ali that morning to let her know I started my flow. Ali does not respond until Thursday afternoon, and her only response is "let me know when it's full flow". That's it! I immediately respond to her email telling her it was already full flow and I asked if she could please make me an appointment so we can start a cycle. Ali does not respond to my email on Thursday. I call the office at around 4pm so I can speak with her. Nobody answers. Ali does not respond to my email on Friday either. Now we're at day 3 of my period and the weekend is coming (they're closed on weekends, very inconvenient for a woman's body). I call the office several times on Friday. Receptionist is very short and rude like usual and transfers me to a phone line that nobody ever answers. I send Ali another email later on Friday urging her to please reach out to me and I let her know in a very professional manner that I have not appreciated the level of care she has provided. Saturday passes, Sunday passes. Now I'm livid. Monday morning comes and goes with no response from Ali. Now we're at day 6 of my period. Not my first rodeo... I already know it's too late to start a cycle. 

 

I call the fertility office Monday afternoon and I notify the head nurse about what has happened. I explain to her I have not heard from Ali since I told her I had my period. Very unprofessional. She never once apologizes to me and tries to cover for her friend, saying they've been busy. I completely understand being busy, yes. But completely ignoring a client to the point where she misses her window of opportunity?  A client of over a year who has spent tens of thousands of dollars on your clinic? I ask her what the protocol is for responding to clients via email and she said they're supposed to respond when they can. That's it!

 

It's clear to point out that I kept a very level head throughout my conversation with the head nurse. I did not yell or curse or any of that nonsense. I plainly explained my situation and let her know I was very unhappy. I requested to speak to the doctor to resolve the issue. I was completely ignored every time I requested to speak with the doctor. "He's very busy" or "Can I just resolve this for you instead?". 

 

So once again, this head nurse assigns me a new coordinator. New coordinator calls me up and we have a very nice conversation. I tell her all I ask is for open communication and we won't have any issues. She gets it. I request, once again, to speak with my doctor to see if it's too late to start an IVF cycle. She tries to dodge my request but ultimately, she lets me know she will try to have him call me. 

 

Later that day, I get a call from the doctor! Finally, I tell myself. I'm finally getting somewhere. But no... it doesn't go as planned. Doc is very short with me and asks "what can I do for you?". I tell him the situation and what's happened. I tell him I'm very close to switching doctors. His response is, "I'm on the medical aspect, I stay out of that, so again how can I help you?". 

 

Guys! What the actual F**k?! Is this normal behavior from a doctor? Am I just going batsh*t insane? This guy doesn't give a crap that his nurse is terrible and that I may switch doctors. He rushes me off the phone and says it's not too late, he will see me the following day to start my cycle. End of convo.

 

My charming, personable doctor has turned into a complete Adam Henry. I couldn't believe the way he treated me. It's as if everyone in the office conspired against me to make me feel as sh*tty as possible about addressing a concern about my nurse.

 

It only gets worse from here, if you can believe it. And this is where I'm just unsure of things. I went in for my appointment the next day, Monday, and doc got me all set up with a natural FET. He said my lining looked great and I had a nice follicle growing. He made made me an appointment for the following Monday (due to Friday being a holiday and being closed on the weekend) to check on my follicle and advised me he would not be in town. Another doctor in the office will be assisting me. That's no problem to me and I'm not surprised. I think the dude works like 2 days a week.

 

So today was my one week follow-up. During my ultrasound, my substitute doctor had a weird look on her face. She wouldn't tell me anything. She just said everything looked good. When I sat down with my coordinator immediately following the ultrasound, my coordinator also looked nervous. I asked her what was up and she said I might have ovulated early but she didn't want to tell me for sure until my regular doctor (sipping a mai tai on some beach) looked at my results. She was very nervous to tell me that. And all I could think was... they pushed me to Monday because of the holiday weekend knowing full well what they were doing. But I didn't say that out loud.

 

So sure enough, she called me later today to let me know that I ovulated "early" and we will have to push our cycle to next month. And I know that things happen, and timing is everything. But I honestly feel like I've been taken for a ride. These appointments are not cheap and we are not rich people. Every single appointment has cost us a sum of money that my husband and I work very hard for. And now I feel like they're just messing up and not taking responsibility. 

 

Can somebody please guide me and give me their honest opinion? I don't know what to do at this point and I don't know if maybe I'm just being irrational because I want a baby so bad. I'd love to hear your opinion or guidance if you have any. 

 

Thank you so much if you made it this far. 



#2 Misskika007

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 08:07 AM

If you dont like the service provided, change. Its your body and money. There are many great IVF docs and clinics that will give you the quality of care you want. I did this after my first two cycles and it has been well worth it!
  • annatarz79 likes this

Me: 36, Hub: 36

TTC 4 years

Beginning 3rd IVF cycle- hopefully 3rd time's a charm! heart.gif

 


#3 Cotton2

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 10:28 AM

I am with possibly the busiest clinic in Toronto and I had a very similar experience that caused me to miss my first potential cycle. There was a genetic result that, had it been positive, would have made me want to go with donor sperm IUIs instead of IVF. I 100% knew the result was out because I'd been following it with the lab, but my clinic has an asinine policy of not releasing results without the doctor signing off on it. I got my period early and the one day I needed to know the result happened to be the day my doctor was off. I physically went in person and pretty much begged to get the result, asked if another doctor could sign off. Initially one of the nurses lied to my face and said the result wasn't out. This is one of many crappy experiences I've had with this clinic. 

 

Like your clinic, my clinic has some of the "best" REs around. Well "best" also means high volume, which unfortunately means they don't have to care about customer service. 

 

The nature of IVF is 24/7 with the way women's cycles work. They also get emergencies (e.g. ectopic pregnancies) so they have to have 24/7 on call coverage. If they are a busy clinic, when 5 or 7pm the day before their day off rolls around they have the choice between tying up loose ends for an hour (e.g. getting back to people like us) or walking out the door. And they can't take time off without screwing people over. I walked out on my last appointment pregnant with a SCH because my doctor was seeing another doctor's patients and he was running four hours behind. So basically you have the choice between an RE with less experience and a lower volume clinic with better customer service, or the McDonald's high volume clinic with the more experience RE. For whatever reason alot of places seem to have a hard time hiring staff who can keep on top of stuff. I can't tell you how many unanswered voice mails and emails I've left with my clinic. 

 

Overall I had a good experience with my McDonald's clinic. I have a healthy baby and embryos in the freezer. In your case I wouldn't switch clinics with embryos in the freezer. I don't think it's worth the risk of some kind of disaster happening transferring your embryos. It is worth trying to get some kind of credit to your account for the wasted appointment(s) but the person to talk to would be the clinic manager, not the RE. I think you will get better success in person for your request. 

 

If you are lucky enough to get pregnant, you may find a similar experience with your OB care for the same reasons. As an example, my midwife took a 3 week vacation that overlapped with my term delivery period. I got the date for my induction only 4 days in advance. Something to think about when you consider how many embryos to transfer. If you get pregnant with twins you're automatically a high risk patient with a high risk OB and you will spend plenty of time warming the seats in waiting rooms and playing phone tag with staff. 



#4 amazing grace

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 02:46 PM

I'm in the same boat. I have been with my clinic for five years. It has been filled with positive and negative experiences. Like above, my clinic is one of the top in Toronto. I got pregnant in 2015 but had to terminate after a incompatible with life birth defect was noticed on my 12 week ultrasound. That day, I remember it like yesterday. I didn't know what was happening, I just wanted answers and no one was giving me answers. Laying on the ultrasound table I remember vividly the tech circling the same area. It seemed like hours had gone by. I am very intuitive and knew something was wrong. She of course couldn't tell me. I waited for the nurse and finally she came in to tell me that something was not right with the baby's head. I demanded to speak to the doctor who was in and of course he refused to see me, stating he was too busy and to make an appointment. I still have a lot of unresolved feelings about that day but I chose to stay because I had frozen embryos but switched doctors. The last episode was fall of 2019. I suspected an ectopic pregnancy because of the strange bleeding I was having. I know the difference between miscarriage bleeding and other types of abnormal bleeding because as I like to think of it, I am a pro at miscarriages. I continuously begged to be seen at five weeks, but they kept telling me it was normal. When I went in at 7 weeks, I had extensive bleeding and almost lost my tube due to an ectopic pregnancy that had stretched my tube past the point of rupture. It was a miracle that it did not rupture and I believe my little girl was my guardian angel during this time. My point, all clinics to me are pretty much the same when it comes to patient care. Unfortunately most are about the money and we are no more to them than dollar signs. I know I seem harsh with the above comment, but this is how they make me feel. I wish I could find a smaller clinic with more compassion and patient care and not so much about the cash. 



#5 amazing grace

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 02:46 PM

PS: If you don't feel right about your clinic, my suggestion is move along. You don't need the added stress.



#6 BundledWithCare

BundledWithCare
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Posted 16 July 2020 - 10:55 AM

@justhatched I think you're right about it being too difficult to switch clinics. I don't want to risk ruining our embryos if we moved. I would really hate to have to go through another egg retrieval. I'm terrified of surgeries of any kind and I don't like being put to sleep. 

 

When I had all of my issues with my coordinator, I spoke to the clinic manager to let her know what was going on. She was trying to cover up for her co-worker by lying to me, telling me they don't have to respond to emails on Friday's. She assigned me a new coordinator to appease me. 

 

Crazy thing now... I had a conversation with my new coordinator about the importance of communication. I told her we will be all good, as long as she communicates with me. She said she understood and that she wouldn't let that happen to me again. Then she ASSURED me that she does respond to emails on weekends and they are supposed to.

 

So just last Thursday morning, I emailed her. I asked her about PGS testing and whether or not they anticipated to get shut down due to the governor shutting things down again. I sent the email around 730am, knowing she'd see it when she went into the office. THIS LADY DID NOT RESPOND TO ME UNTIL TUESDAY NIGHT. That's 5 days... 

 

When she finally emailed me back, she apologized as she "was not in the office". I just don't get it. I feel like I'm just being played with now. Like everyone is against me for complaining. I even tried calling the office this morning and I was immediately put on hold as soon as the receptionist picked up the phone. I waited for about 5 minutes before she took me off hold and rudely asked how she could help me. 

 

I have never had this kind of service before, especially with a business I am giving sooooo much money to. It's really unbelievable! I actually reached out to a family friend who has had two successful IVF transfers resulting in 3 babies. I asked her who her doctor is and LO AND BEHOLD... it's the same doctor I'm currently with. 

 

So I don't know. I know he's a good doctor, but there's just so much BS I've had to deal with. It makes a miserable situation even worse and it really gets me down. Not being able to naturally get pregnant is so stressful all on it's own. We don't need added headaches. I'm really torn here.



#7 happyfrog

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Posted 21 July 2020 - 06:57 AM

Agreed with the previous posters, if you are not happy, change you clinic. I even travelled to Europe to undergo my treatment, partially cos of my doc.