When you or someone you know went through/going through infertility treatments, did it involve a lot of time off work?I'm asking because I have a co-worker who has been trying to get pregnant for a number of years, last year she finally started seeing a specialist (unfortunately a pregnancy resulted in an early miscarriage), but in the past couple of months she has been taking time off at odd times for Dr. appts. Is there a timing aspect here that I may be missing? She missed work twice last week and came in for literally 5 minutes this morning before telling us of an appointment, her intention to return before 11:00, and then a subsequent email telling my boss that she would not be returning today. I'm not sure if this is "normal" or not. We'd like to have an idea if we should expect the whole year to go this way?LWW
Answer: It depends what's wrong. At the beginning, you end up going through a lot of testing. Some of those tests are time sensitive, some of those are somewhat uncomfortable, some of them are just emotionally draining. Also, there's a lot of monitoring. Many specialists have early-morning hours for monitoring, but there were periods where I had monitoring three times a week, and ended up being semi-late for work those mornings. Sometimes you have to have shots and do something within X hours of that shot. And sometimes you find out things that you'd rather not find out and end up bawling hysterically in the parking lot for a half hour and just would rather crawl under a rock than talk to anyone. And since the entire thing is a manipulation of your hormones, sometimes you've got less control than usual. It's been five years, so I don't remember specifically how much time I had to take off, but the rules tend to be: you go when the doctor can see you and you go when you have to be there, yes, because of timing. Depending on what she's doing, it can be more or less predictable. When I went to full out IVF, for example, things got way easier to plan around, because I had a full schedule of what to expect and how to expect it. When I was taking Clomid, a drug that induces ovulation, things were a boatload LESS scheduled, I was prone to all kinds of side effects, I had to be monitored periodically, and to top things off, I would get these killer hot flashes and headaches that wiped me out. Considering those cycles all ended in serious frustration, there was also that day that you find out that no, you're not pregnant... again. Going to work after that sucked. As for "the whole year" going this way, I would hope for your friend that no, it would only take a month or two and then suddenly she would be fortunate enough to be pregnant. Unfortunately, that's not always the way it goes. To make a long answer short: I don't know if there is such a thing as "normal" infertility treatments, and some people can handle them far better than others.
Thanks for the insight, GSF. It's been very frustrating for her, and her refusal to talk to our boss has made it frustrating for him. I worry that she'll lose her job due to excessive absences. I don't know what kind of treatment she's currently on, but it seems to be sporadic at best. She gets a phone call and off she goes, sometimes without letting the boss know. Last summer was a nightmare when she lost a baby at 6 weeks. Her then Dr. put her on antidepressents that just made everything worse, then she fired him and found a new Dr. who is in a neighboring town. Her mood seems improved after getting the new Dr., but the excessive absences put quite a bit of pressure on the rest of us. Maybe she'll get on some sort of predictable schedule soon! I just wish she'd hurry up and get pregnant, although given that she's been trying for almost 6 years, I'm not too confident that we'll see that happen very soon. However, one can always hope!LWW
LWW,When I was going through the treatments, I never let anyone in my office know about what treatments they were. They just knew I needed to go to the doctor's and was trying to deal with some medical issues. Luckily, 95% of my work was done independent of other people and I had flexible timings so the doctor's appointments were not an issue mostly.That said, yes, there will be frequent appointments - some that you know of in advance and some unexpectedly. Most of the appointments are based on the menstrual cycle and will need to be kept on an exact day after the periods start. Lather, rinse, repeat if it does not work in this cycle. IVF needs a couple of days of bedrest too.For her sake, I hope your coworker talks to your boss about her treatments. It might make him more sympathetic, or it will atleast give him a chance to explain why her absences are causing a hardship to everyone involved. Maybe they can chalk out a work plan that suits everyone better. Also, if its a matter of trust, she could produce a letter from her doctor about her appointments.b8.
That said, yes, there will be frequent appointments - some that you know of in advance and some unexpectedly. Most of the appointments are based on the menstrual cycle and will need to be kept on an exact day after the periods start. Lather, rinse, repeat if it does not work in this cycle. IVF needs a couple of days of bedrest too.I don't think she's doing IVF at this point, but I don't knwo for sure. Needing to make/keep appointments based on her cycle certainly makes sense. For her sake, I hope your coworker talks to your boss about her treatments. It might make him more sympathetic, or it will atleast give him a chance to explain why her absences are causing a hardship to everyone involved. Maybe they can chalk out a work plan that suits everyone better. Also, if its a matter of trust, she could produce a letter from her doctor about her appointments.I hope so too. Right now it's just so up in the air. I think there needs to be a higher level of reality check as well. If she'd just say: "I have a Dr. appt. and I don't think I'll be able to be back today." I think he'd be okay with it. However, she always says "I should be back by X o'clock and then ends up sending an email that she won't be back for the day. I think he'd be more understanding if she'd just level with him and let him know that some days she simply won't be able to be here.LWW
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