I'm usually pretty good at letting stuff go. It happens. I say: "that sucks. Oh well..." and then I keep it moving. But when I was going through infertility, it was a real challenge. A lot of stuff got stuck in my brain and festered, festered, and rolled around my head like it was a pinball machine. I was so desperate, so exhausted, so stressed out, I hung onto every word people said. The problem with this is that when you're going through infertility, the majority of words are coming from only two places: People who know too much and people who know nothing.
People who know too much are the medical professionals. They deal with infertility and desperate, exhausted, stressed out infertile people all the time. If my appointment was at 8 am, they had likely already dealt with four of me. I had enough trouble dealing with one of me. I can't imagine if there had been four neurotic pains in the ass before me, thirty the day before, and thirty the day before that. So maybe, unintentionally of course, a nurse or doctor or receptionist would say something they shouldn't, or inadvertently left out a few crucial details, not thinking about how I'm going to hear it, not stopping to realize that we hang onto their every syllable, and it would be the one thing that would stick in my head for weeks.
"She said: 'Take it before bedtime.' But my bedtime isn't the same every day. What if one day I go to bed at 10 and the next day at midnight? Or what if I go 'to bed' at 10 and then I can't sleep and go to watch TV in the living room and then fall asleep on the couch at midnight? Should I take it before I 'go to bed' or before I 'go to sleep'?" Or another gem:
"She said to call them when my cycle starts. But what if it starts when they're closed? Should I call and leave a message with their answering service? What if the answering service person is a man and I skeeve him out and he writes 'TMI' on the memo? Or should I skip the message and tell him to page the doctor on call immediately? Or should I just wait to call tomorrow morning? I have an appointment there tomorrow morning. Should I just tell them when I get there? If I call first, what if they tell me there's no point in going in? I don't want them to tell me not to go in, but I don't want to go in for no reason and waste my time either."
Then there's that second type of person we listen to: The person who knows nothing. Usually a person who's expertise in infertility is everything they have retained from their vast education at People Magazine University. Friends, relatives, cashiers at Wendy's, neighbors, acquaintances... In our delicate state of desperation, exhaustion, and stressed-outedness (feel free to add the words "hormone-induced" in front of any and all of the above), we somehow are convinced that everybody we bump into is a messenger sent to us from the Universe and that they all know more about how to get us pregnant than we do. So we subject ourselves to the likes of this:
"My aunt's neighbor has a daughter who couldn't get pregnant either until she started drinking almond milk five times a day and moved to St. Louis. Now she has twins."
A rational person would say to themselves: "Okay, I'm not sure this woman even has a neighbor. I'm pretty sure there's an empty lot over there. And anyway... Almond milk, Missouri, twins. No, I don't quite get the connection."
But I was, at that moment, an irrational person so I thought to myself what any irrational person would think: "It's just that if I move to St. Louis it might be really hard, since I'm a life-long, die-hard Mets fan. I can't really see me ever rooting for the Cardinals. I suppose I could see if the doctors there could manipulate my cycle so I can ovulate after baseball season..."
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