I’m going to start this entry by saying that I am incredibly grateful for the NHS in this country. Just the testing I have had since infertility happened would have set me back a hell of a lot in many other countries. However, as I’m sure many of my UK readers know, the NHS is incredibly frustrating! None more so than when someone is time critical.
Today is cycle day thirty two. Which means my period is due today or in the next couple of days. You may remember that my dr said wait three months post miscarriage and he will prescribe clomid. Ok, great. The end of this cycle will bring me to the three month mark and allow me to access the treatment pat that will hopefully bring us our forever rainbow.
I phoned my GP surgery last week. No appointments available with my dr. Not one. I asked for advice regarding the fact that it was time critical and the receptionist advised me that she had no idea what clomid is or what I was talking about, and to call back on Wednesday when my dr in in surgery.
As the receptionist had been unhelpful, I had a look on the website for my surgery last night. Turns out they do an online consultation where you can fill it in and a dr will call you back within twenty four hours. Great! Easy way to find out if anyone else can prescribe clomid. There were several options to choose from – “family planning (the pill)”, “contraceptives”, “the pill”, “Contraceptive injection” or just “family planning” on its own. No “infertility” or anything like that, so I went with “family planning”. I filled in all the questions, some of which were totally irrelevant, and hit send. They sent a copy to my email entitled “your contraceptive consultation”.
‘Oh well’, I thought. ‘Hopefully the dr will read it and not just call me asking me about the pill.’
Spoke to A doctor this morning. Not MY doctor, just another GP from the surgery. To give them credit, they did call back very quickly, however the consultation was not exactly what I had been looking for, and my hopes of them actually reading the email were dashed as he clearly hadn’t read beyond the “what medication are you on?” section. Here’s how the conversation went.
Dr – “Hi there, you filled in an online consultation regarding needing more metformin?”
Laura – “Nope. I filled in an online consultation regarding clomid”
Dr – “Oooohhhhhh yes. Clomid can only be prescribed by our in house specialist, Dr (who I usually see). Let me see if there is an appointment with him” *long pause* No, nothing at the moment. Can you call back Monday and there may be appointments then?”
Laura – “See I could do that, but as I’m sure you know clomid needs to be taken on specific cycle days. My period is due today so next Monday would be cycle day seven and too late to start any treatment.”
Dr – “Could you not wait another month?”
Laura – “Well, no not really. I’ve been given a treatment plan which I am just trying to access at this point. Is there any way I can contact Dr (usual Dr) at the earliest time?”
Dr – “Well he’s here today, so I can shoot him a message to call you back if you wish?”
Laura – “That would be helpful”
*dr writes and sends message*
Dr – “Ok so I’ve asked if he can call you back at his earliest convenience regarding clomid. If you don’t hear back by next Monday I would call in and get an appointment”
Mouth says “ok, Thankyou for your help”
Brain says “I ALREADY TOLD YOU THAT WILL BE TOO LATE! WHY DONT YOU PEOPLE EVER LISTEN?!”
Interesting that my dr is supposedly there today, when reception told me he wasn’t in until Wednesday.
I do have a plan. If no callback by tomorrow afternoon, I need to go to the surgery anyway, so I will be making sure that I am on the dr’s callback list for Wednesday and that he phones me back. If no call by midday on Wednesday I will be phoning to chase it up.
I hate this because it’s not like I’m trying to do anything particularly difficult here. I’m not bugging them for a medication that I’m not allowed or haven’t been recommended or assessed for. I’m not trying to do anything other than access the treatment plan that the Dr has put in place for me. I’ve waited the time he recommended, I’ve done everything that he has requested me to do, yet stupid NHS red tape means that I probably won’t get the drugs that I have been recommended in time for my next cycle.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that I at least know I can concieve without clomid, so I still have a chance of conceiving even if I don’t get the prescription this month. However, the treatment plan is in place and I am trying to follow it. I am putting up with metformin for the sole reason that I want to get pregnant – why else would you inflict constant diarrhoea on yourself? I’m just trying to do what I can to raise our chances of one day having that forever baby to take home and it seems that I’m coming up against obstacles that are so ridiculous that they shouldn’t exist.
So, there’s my frustration for the day! I will keep you all up to date with the clomid drama. In the mean time please hope that my period doesn’t show up until I know whether I’m getting clomid or not.
Sometimes I wonder what’s better…free health care but having to deal with a BS system and waiting FOREVER to get a call back let alone an appt, or paying $300+ a month but having your dr at your beck and call…i guess it’s a give and take! i hope that they call you back, and that they are able to get you an Rx for your clomid!
At this point I would rather pay the £300 a month to be honest. If I miss this month it’s going to be a hell of a complaint going to my surgery. I know it doesn’t “have” to be this month but I didn’t ask for a treatment plan for no reason. I’m damn bored of waiting now
“CANT YOU WAIT ANOTHER MONTH?” Are they serious?! How dare they?! You’ve waited long enough, hun. Complain away if they don’t get back to you.
I rarely speak to the receptionist for long when I call the dr’s as I refuse to justify myself to them as to why I’m calling.
Don’t you have to see a Consultant Gynaecologist for Clomid? A GP with special interest surely isn’t properly qualified and doesn’t have the equipment to track your cycle. If you don’t get pg on 50mg, how will they know whether to up your dose to 100 or not without being able to see how many follicles 50mg created. If 50mg was fine but you just didn’t get pg that month then upping to 100 could lead to ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome, which is very painful and rather dangerous!
My GP is a fertility specialist at the surgery. I only see him for fertility things. He is licensed to prescribe clomid and arrange scans at the hospital when required. He knows what he’s doing 🙂
I hear you, the nurse that coordinates the iui program where I go ignored my call until after the time I could schedule anything for the next day, so I’m out for the month.