medical secretary

My Private Infertility: Trying To Keep Everyone's Nose Out Of My Uterus (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. My blog is like a soap opera. If you don't follow it every day for thirty years you'll never forgive yourself.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. How to get people to mind their own business as mundane as their own business may be.

And that's really what I think this is about.

In my opinion, people close to you are not entitled to any information about your personal chromosomal, reproductive, conceptional business, but you can at least understand why they want to know. When their nose is in your business, at least their heart is in the right place. 

Then there are the extraneous yentas in your life who just want to know because it seems like there might be something  juicy there to write about on her Facebook wall. 

An hour ago she wrote about shopping for underwear at  Target. Twenty minutes ago she wrote about trying on said underwear at Target. Ten minutes ago she wrote about waiting in line to pay for same underwear at Target. Five minutes ago she wrote about driving the underwear to its new home.

Two minutes ago, she wrote about trying on the underwear again at home. Thirty seconds ago, she wrote about how the underwear fit much better at the store. (Maybe she shouldn't have treated the underwear to KFC  on the way to its new home.)

Eight seconds ago, she wrote about the injustice of Target's no-return policy on underwear. And in another minute she's going to post photos about the whole madcap episode.

Then she's out of wall crap.

And then you walk into her room, her office, her web:  Just as she's in the market for some new crap to sling onto her wall.

Your only defense: The "Prying Lying" game.  There's only one rule:             You pry.   I lie.  

I invented this game because some busy-body nobody, someone I barely knew once asked: "You're not doing those shot treatments are you?"

I pretended I thought she said "shock treatments" and responded:  "Well, I did have a lobotomy, but that doesn't make me a bad person."

So here are some examples to get you started:

Someone comes up to you and asks: "Why don't you have any kids?"

Acceptable responses:

"I don't want any kids. I had an abusive childhood: My mother always beat me at Scrabble."

"I misplaced some of my chromosomes last year along with my library card and my remote control. The doctor told me there's a chance I would give birth to a stuffed animal."

"I'm really a man."

"I'm planning to adopt Brad and Angelina's kids when they're done with them."

"I strongly believe it would be inhumane to bring a child into the world today. I'm waiting until there's peace in the Middle East, economic stability around the globe, and no oil flowing through the elementary school water fountain."

"We think my mother, father, and in-laws would all make lousy grandparents so we're just waiting for all of them to die."

"I'm lactose intolerant and don't want to risk passing it on to a baby."

"My husband and I don't believe in pre-marital or during-marital sex."

"I figured I waited this long to have kids, I may as well go for the Guinness Book record."

Yes, I agree. Some of the responses are sick. The point is:  If they ask what they shouldn't ask, they get whatever they get.    

Listen, I gotta go. I want to get my soda and chips ready. There's an exercise show coming on that I never miss.  I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

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My Private Infertility: Trying to Keep Everyone's Nose Out Of My Uterus- Tuesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I know what you're thinking. "I hated Monday. I thought it would never end. Now this chick wants me to relive it?" Yeah, I do. But just for a few minutes.) So, what were we talking about? Oh, right. I was about to introduce you to my new line of board games specifically designed to get people out of your infertility business and back where they belong: On their couches dipping chips and watching whatever's taken the place of "Dances with the Stars".

The first game in the series is called: "The 25 Cent Privacy Pyramid". It's the ghetto-bargain basement-trailer park version of the $25,000 Pyramid game show: You list things and the other contestant, your nosy opponent, has to figure out what everything on the list has in common.

Here's an example:

My Endometriosis

My Irregular Periods

My Husband's Sperm Count

The Number Of Home Pregnancy Tests I've Taken

Nosy Opponent: "Things That Are None Of My Business?"

 Me: "Right! You're great at this game!" Okay, let's try another one.

My Mood Swings

My Rocky Relationship with My Husband

My Taking Out A Second Mortgage to Pay for IVF

My Three Cutesy Pregnant Coworkers

Nosy Opponent: "I know! I know! 'Things That You Don't Want To Talk About!'"

Me: "Good answer! 'Things That Are None Of Your Business' would also have been an acceptable response.'" On to the next round!

Making Dinner

Calling Your Husband To See If He's Really At Work This Time

Mowing Your Lawn

Seeking Fresh Breath

Picking Up Your Kids From School

Tightening Up Those Thigh Muscles

Nosy Opponent: "Things That I Should Be Doing Instead Of Standing Here Wasting Your Time?"

Me: Yes! "Things That Are Your Business" would also have been an acceptable response. 

Learning a Foreign Language

Watching Football

Playing Golf

Squeezing My Husband

Writing Something Humorous

Sticking One Of My Needles In My Eye

Almost Anything Else

Nosy Opponent: "Things You'd Rather Be Doing Than Standing Here Dodging My Awkward Questions?"

Me: On the nose! "'Things That Are None Of Your Business' would also have been an acceptable answer.

Thank you for playing today's  25 cent Privacy Pyramid and remember, most of the time it's None of Your Business! 

Listen, I gotta go. The ice cream man's coming down the block and I'm a dime short. I'd better go change into something low-cut. I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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The Fertility Clinic's Medical Team (Or “Cast Of Characters”): Whichever You Prefer-Friday

(Start with “Monday” if you can. Tell your supervisor that having a ‘blog reading’ period on “Casual Fridays” has been clinically proven to boost employee morale. He’ll appreciate your proactiveness...proactivity...being proactional) So what were we talking about? Oh right. The medical assistant from Hades. (No, I didn’t mean the country with the horrible earthquake. I know what I’m talking about.)

I’ve talked a lot this week about medical and non-medical staff at the fertility clinic and my interactions with them.

But the one staff member who intrigued me most was someone with whom I had no contact whatsoever:                      "The Sperm Collector".

 Well that's what I called him anyway. I know that title makes it sound like he has dozens of samples from all over the world mounted in a glass frame on his den wall. I certainly hope he doesn't.

The young man who worked at my clinic had his desk front and center outside the donation door waiting for the man inside to complete his task. He sat there patiently reading a magazine (although unlike, I imagine, the ones on the other side of the door, his magazine looked fresh and unmangled).

He sat there reading away. So nonchalant. As though someone was in there baking and would, in a moment, fling the door open and hand him a plate of brownies.

I can understand the sounds from within not bothering him. He lived in NYC. I lived in NYC.

The walls in a NYC apartment are so thin you feel like you're in bed with everyone in the building.

You take sides on their spats, you know what their kids have for breakfast, you know what pets they hide when the landlord comes by.

But why does his desk have to be right there? I think if I were that man in the room, trying to accomplish, I would want him sitting across the street.   

Is he there because they had no where else in the office to put his massive one-drawer desk? Or to make sure nobody tries to barge in on the contributor?

Who would have something so vital to tell the man that it couldn't wait? His wife. 

“Aren’t you done yet?  I have a hair appointment at two. It never takes this long when you’re with me.” 

Most likely the Sperm Collector is posted there in case the man's a klutz. If the hand-off takes place right outside the door, it won't give the guy much of an opportunity to spill his future on his shoes.  

See, if I were a guy giving at the office, I wouldn't want a woman to be the Sperm Collector. And I certainly wouldn't want her right outside the door. What pressure. Yet another female waiting for him to perform.   

I guess the man contributing would have to forget that there’s a woman waiting outside the door.

And the female Sperm Collector would have to forget that in his mind, she might be filling in for a lack of imagination.

If the poor guy emerges with only a few drops in the cup, a male Sperm Collector could empathize: "Yeah I know. I have sucky aim too."

While the female Sperm Collector would probably say: "What am I supposed to do with this? I ask you to do one thing. One thing. Is that too much to ask? Do I have to do everything myself?" 

Listen, I gotta go. I'm going to buy a huge beach tube to put around my waist in the pool. It's easier than dieting and exercising.  I'll talk with ya Monday.

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The Fertility Clinic's Medical Team (Or Cast of Characters): Whichever You Prefer -Thursday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Tell your boss that the company owes you fifteen minutes from last month. By the time she sorts it all out, you'll be caught up.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. Doctors' receptionists, and how hard it is to get good help. Especially for eight dollars an hour. 

Then there was Gloria, the doctors' assistant at the fertility clinic I went to. She wasn't nasty. She wasn't incompetent. She was evil.

I don't mean it as an insult. Just as a statement of fact. Some people are tall. Some people are overweight. Some people are shy. Gloria was evil.

And there was no way to avoid her.

And I tried.

If you called any of the six doctors, she answered. If you emailed them, it sailed directly into her inbox. If she accidentally called you back, she alone would decide whether or not to put the doctor on the phone. And she always decided against it.

She'd deny getting your messages. Her email wasn't working. Her voice mail dropped calls. It was always something.  And damn it if she wasn't convincing.

I think during a lifetime, everyone meets a few people who seem so nice to your face, but your gut just isn't buying it. Everybody likes them. You can't pinpoint why you don't. Yet every time you're in their presence your colon knots into a figure eight.

Gloria seemed nice enough. But being evil is like being a psychopath. All psychopaths are nice. How else are they ever going to lure anybody into their car or convince anyone to take a nice long walk with them through the nice dark woods?

And the temperature in her office was always ten degrees warmer than in the rest of the clinic. She claimed it was because she was always cold. I think it was because below her perfectly manicured nails was a very professional-looking keyboard, below which was a very tidy desk, below which she was engulfed in flames twenty-four hours a day.

I don't think she ever left. Once I got there so early the door was locked. Dr. Shroeder came along after a while with a key. When she opened the door and turned the lights on, there sat Gloria, at her desk, like she'd been there for days.

I think if there was a major earthquake and the whole building that contained the clinic came crashing down, the rescue crew would find Gloria, among the rubble, sitting at her desk, neatly groomed, cool as a cucumber, typing away. 

(Well what could she do? Afterall it was an act of GD... or someone.  Maybe she's just being loyal... but to whom?)

And the doctors and nurses could not sing her praises enough. I'm thinking it was like that episode of The Twilight Zone with that evil brat, Anthony, who kept threatening to send everyone to the cornfield if they had unpleasant thoughts.

"Gloria's nice. Everyone likes Gloria. Isn't Gloria a wonderful, wonderful assistant?"  

She was my biggest incentive to get pregnant. I had to get away from her. I had to leave the clinic because I knew she never would. She was there for millenia.

And nobody would ever sack her for fear that the next morning they'd wake up to find their house in flames and their soul gone. Or maybe they'd wake up in  a cornfield.

Listen I gotta go. It's suddenly gotten very hot in here. I'll talk with ya tomorrow...I hope.

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