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...or you cry. Well, that's pretty much how life is chez Batchfile at the moment. I smiled when I saw GardenStateFools comment about her tolerance for medical procedures. Part of the reason that I came to IVF so late was my pure, simple terror of all things medical.

So, I amazed myself and those around me by surviving the whole first IVF cycle with only a couple of bumps from where I fainted when blood was being drawn. I am tall and robust and my hesitant requests to be allowed to lie down while my blood is drained is always dismissed. The first time at least. By the second and third times they are rolling the bed out as I walk in the door.

I digress. We learnt on the 24th July that the IVF procedure had failed. Although my period didn't arrive for another few days I was hit immediately my a state of torpor and high temperature. Deciding that this was just the cocktail of IVF drugs exiting my body I did my proudest impression yet of whimpering couch woman and re-read all my trashy novels.

Then the torpor turned into a cold. Even I can handle a cold. Until it turns into a cold with an ear infection. How could I have forgotten just how painful ear infections are? Off to the doctor who cheerily advises that it's the time of year, too much swimming, here's some antibiotics come back if they don't work.

Well, the pain went but a less than attractive side effect was total deafness on the left side. And lets not forget the lack of balance that makes me look as though I've had two glasses too many even at 7 a.m. when I trot over to the bakers.

Back to the Dr. 'Tinnitus' he says confidently. 'It'll go in a week' Fast forward that week and I'm back with the doctor doing my best impression of 'No, it's not gone and I am not happy'

The one thing I like here is that when they move fast it works well. From a 10 a.m. appointment with my doctor I was moved immediately to the ENT specialist in the next town.

Having spent 4 weeks IVFing having my vaginal passage checked on what seemed like a daily basis it was almost a breath of fresh air to think it was just ENT. Until I saw the equipment trolley. Who thinks of these things, that's what I want to know. It's the sort of things of torture that I could see my evil older brother designing.

Anyway, swift diagnosis of toxic inner ear infection and a description of the short sharp scalpel movement that would be the answer to my problems left me weak and feeble again (although able to cast looks of 'I told you so' at my husband who has been half convinced I am malingering to avoid building work on the house)

Onto the next town up and the 'Head Hospital' (these Germans don't mess with names. Previous diagnosis reconfirmed and two school-children in long coats (is there a minimum age for medical doctors now or am I just too old?) approach with gentle zeal to scalpel my poor inner ear. 1 second they said it would take and I can tell you - they lied. Before they even got the bits lined up I fainted and was prostate on the floor. So, I've been sent home in disgrace and told to return to the hospital a stronger and braver soul tomorrow. They're already suggesting I won't be taking my flight back to the UK next week.

So, on this balmy summer evening I'm looking at my diarý.
Tomorrow, repeat ear trauma.
Early September, general anaesthetic and 2 wisdom teeth out.
End Sept, re-run of the IVF treatment.

By the end of this year I will have ingested more drugs and obtained more needle holes than I have in the whole of my other 40 years.

So, GardenStateFool, all power to you, I'm glad it went well. I hope my story made those that got this far smile a little and I hope the news for all of us keeps getting steadily better.

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