A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Infertility Support Forum

(My companion ebook to this blog, Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility is available to the right. Reviews there and at Amazon.com.) Thousands of people this month are flocking to graduations. So I, always the non-conformist am looking to the past instead of the future and reposting a combination of several posts which were first posted as posts here in October 2010. post post post ****************************** I always encourage people going through infertility to check out some of the infertility support forums out there. You just never know what you might find in them.

Some of the discussions are moderated by medical professionals so you can get questions answered and fears allayed. But a lot of them are just wonderful kvetchfests.

We all know that infertility can torment you daily, monthly, annually, and sometimes....hourly.... and now and then we all need to talk, kvetch, vent, whine, point fingers of blame...

So instead of us sucking the life out of our spouses, relatives or poor strangers who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, these forums allow us to mutually suck the life out of each other.

They give us the unparalleled opportunity to catch each other seconds before we crumble into our own cold, dank, unfinished emotional basements.

Have you ever played the trust game? Where someone you may or may not know well stands behind you and you fall backwards, trusting that they'll catch you? That's largely what these support forums are like.

And in them, you stumble upon some strange things:

Abbreviations. Lots and lots of abbreviations. Abbreviations for specialists and spouses, treatments and ailments. I've perused these sites for a year or so now... And I still don't know what any of the abbreviations mean.

People post in some sort of code. And moments later, others respond. So I'm apparently the only idiot who hasn't memorized the initials and has no idea what they're talking about. (Or the only fool who hasn't noticed there's usually a glossary at the bottom of the page.)

So everyone's chatting away and I'm googling my ass off: "What does DH mean?"

Sometimes I just think the abbreviations are subliminal messages planted in these forums by pharmaceutical companies. CWG! BM! (Clomid works great! Buy more!)

Many support forums have moderators. Most are kind, compassionate people. Some already sound pissed at everyone on the "Welcome!" page. It's like they got booted out of mandatory anger management classes for upsetting the other students and decided to get back at society by starting a chat room for infertile people."This site is not, I repeat 'NOT', I repeat 'NOT!!!' for people who just want to talk, listen, offer advice, vent, complain, hug etc etc etc....If you are ever caught even remotely posting ANYTHING that even SOUNDS like it might be talking, listening, offering advice, venting, hugging, etc etc or etc, you will banned for life from this forum. We are a loving, supportive forum and people like you will not be welcome so don't even THINK about asking to be let back in!!"

As a whole I think support forums are great. There's a comraderie among the insane... at least among the stressed-out, hormoned to the max, all-you-can-ride $20,000-a-ticket emotional roller coaster temporarily insane insane.

One of the common chants on these forums is: "Nobody understands what I'm going through!" Right. That's why these forums were invented: Because there are 7.3 million infertile people out there. And nobody understands what any one of us is going through.

So you can try telling your sister with her three kids, for the umteenth time: "The holidays are just impossible for me. Why can't you be more sensitive and hide your kids in the closet behind the broken Christmas ornaments until they're over?!"

Or you can pick one of a thousand forums and have dozens of instant friends from all over the world tell you you're 100% right, send you a big juicy cyberspace hug, and offer to punch your sister in the face.

I smile whenever a woman finishes her 7000 word support room post/rant with: "I'm sorry to sound so angry" or "I don't mean to vent but..."

Please. Have you read the other 30 posts before yours?

Each one of us sounds a little more nuts than the one before. Almost every comment sounds like it was written from a ledge. Everyone who answers a post should start with: "Come back in here so we can talk. And close the window. You're letting out the air conditioning."

(Laughing IS Conceivable-the ebook: http://licthebook.com-- $2.99 or Free @Kindle Library. For all Kindles and Smartphones, iPads etc w/Free Kindle app)