Sunday, April 13, 2008

And so, it begins

This is the way I began my last three blogs. I always start by creating a post, warning readers that I have no idea how disciplined I'll be about keeping up with daily posts or even posting every other day. It's kind of like saying "bli neder" (for all my Jewish readers, who understand what that means). I don't want to make any promises that I can't keep, so I'll just say that I hope this blog helps me keep my spirits up while trying to conceive (henceforth referred to as "TTC"), and I hope that I find the time/interest to post frequently enough to keep everyone's interest intact.

Anyway, why don't I start by summarizing my TTC journey thusfar.

Hubby and I started trying to conceive our first child last November 2007 (December 2007 was really our first serious attempt). After hearing all the women in my family go on and on about how they all couldn't believe it just took 'one try' before they got knocked up, I was shocked/horrified/angered that I wasn't pregnant after our first or second month. In fact, I was outright hysterical on our second month of trying after my period arrived. Here we are, four months later (six months after the journey began), and I feel like we're headed in the wrong direction. I feel farther from my "BFP" ("Big Fat Positive" - pregnancy test result - for all the unintiated readers) than ever.

As the description of my blog suggests, I'm going to spend an awful lot of time bitching about Ontario's healthcare system. It sucks! Thus far in my TTC journey, I've fired one doctor, battled with the secretaries of my new doctor, and resorted to "hallway medicine" (where I've exploited my religious connections and acquaintances) to get referrals to specialists. I've had one family doctor forget to requisition a blood test for me, I've had a lab forget to test my thyroid function once the doctor actually got around to requisitioning a blood test for me, and I've had to wait and wait and wait for my doctor's schedule to open up for an appointment while she took a month off to get married and then another three weeks off for her honeymoon (from which she will undoubtedly return pregnant).

Doctors in Ontario are no longer care providers. They are merely obstacles. Obstacles to specialists and to the diagnostic tests that their patients require. Visiting the doctor is no longer about explaining your symptoms and receiving quality advice, it's about presenting your 'case' in such a way as to convince the doctor to take the course of action that you, the patient, has decided is best as a result of your extensive internet research. Y'know what? You usually end up being right. At least I do. Seriously, I do.

Five years ago, I visited three hospitals in one day (!!) and insisted to every doctor that I saw that I had something severely wrong with my salivary gland. They all told me I was exaggerating and that all I needed to do was 'flush a small piece of food out of the duct' with a solution of warm water and lemon juice. I was so insistent that the last doctor agreed to refer me to an ear, nose and throat specialist in order to calm my 'hysterical' mind. Forty-eight hours later, the specialist took one look at my X-rays and sent me for immediate emergency surgery, where he removed (and I quote) "the largest, entirely calcified, salivary duct stone" he had seen in his "entire 30 year career".

Anyway, after looking over this post, I realize that it's about time I get back to blogging. My thoughts are scattered, my writing stinks, and I'm not particularly humourous. I'll try harder next post, I promise. Please come back and keep reading. In the next post I'll explain a little more about our TTC journey up until now and how I eventually ended up smashing into a brick wall (figuratively) when I was diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism.

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