Cheers

The medical professional building where Dr. DeadFish's office is located is also the home of several other doctors of various branches: cardiologists, obstetricians, oncologists, psychologists, and so on. The other three people who boarded the elevator with me could have been going to any of the many practitioners there.

"What floor?" I asked the other three, as I pressed the button for the third floor. "Third," said one woman, and "Us too," said the masculine half of the other two passengers as he gripped the hand of who I assumed to be his wife.

After the short vertical ascension, the elevator doors opened with a bing and we filed out one after the other. We could have been ducks in a row, as all of us made the left turn down the hall and into Dr. DeadFish's office. We lined up at the window to sign in, all of us at once coming to the realization that we were cut from the same infertile cloth.

The receptionist (who is as kind and bright as Dr. DeadFish is…well, fishy), sat up with a start behind her glass window and exclaimed, "Oh, my! You all just came in at once! You all don't have to worry about signing in! I know all of you by name and can get your files!"

We all sat down at triangular points from each other and pretended to do other things while casting furtive glances at each other. The couple seemed mismatched, not because they were interracial, but because she appeared ready to pluck tomatoes or pull weeds and he seemed moments away from catching a plane to New York to shake down a multi-million dollar business deal. The woman who came alone was Maybellined to sunkissed, caked perfection, her French manicured nails tapping away feverishly at the screen on her Blackberry.

"Moxie?" the receptionist called. "Here's your lab slip. I'm going to send you down to have your blood work drawn first so that we can stagger you guys out a little bit, since you all came it at once."

Downstairs in the lab, three of the four nurses present shouted (yes, they literally shouted) various greetings along the lines of, "Hey, Mrs. SmartOne!…You're back again, huh?…It's good to see you again! Hopefully everything will work out this time!"

As I sat there having the first blood of this cycle drawn, I couldn't help but wonder — is it a good thing or a bad thing when your fertility clinic becomes a place where everybody knows your name?

15 Comments

  1. niobe on April 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I’m very impressed. My clinic is a well-run place, but they see so many people that it’s a bit of an assembly line atomsphere.



  2. JessPond on April 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    It’s a good thing, I think. I’ve never had a doc/medical staff that I liked better than my clinic, and that made the crap of IF infinitely easier. It really did.
    Course, people are a lot more likely to care if it’s a smaller number of people to begin with (as IF is) and also they’re more likely to be nice and PRETEND to care even if they don’t, if you’re paying OOP! hahaha.
    But hey, whatever works for me.



  3. Shelli on April 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Yep, they call me NORM! at the RE’s office.
    Ok, I’m kidding… but I may as well be Norm. Every doctor and nurse sees me coming and always has a nice word to say. Even 5 years later, they are still optimistic for me (even when I’m not). That is the mark of a good RE.



  4. Kristin on April 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Its not good that they know it but it is good that they care neought o know it.



  5. Kristin on April 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    ugh…can’t type…that should say…
    Its not good that they know it but it is good that they care enough to know it.



  6. Moxie on April 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    You nailed it, Kristin – I love that they know my name but sad that I’ve been there enough for them to know it.



  7. VA Blondie on April 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I like being known at my clinic. I makes me feel like I am in good hands. I called back after over a year to start IVF, and they all remembered me. When we went to our appointment, all the doc pretty much asked us when do you want to start?



  8. Megan on April 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I’m always afraid people think of Jeff and me the way you described that couple. He’s always got it together and is nicely dressed and coiffed. I always feel like I’m a mess and like my clothes are better suited for playing outside than looking sharp. (Not to mention, we’re interracial, too.) So probably they are perfect for each other. 😉
    Good luck with this cycle. You are all in my prayers.



  9. stacie on April 16, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Kristin did hit the nail on the head. I just started up again with my RE after 2 years, and while it was nice to be remembered, it would have been even nicer to not have to be remembered.
    But, them knowing me isn’t what makes me cringe. It is the thickness of my file that is starting to get to me…I hate how thick that stupid thing is. When I see patients check in, I know so much just from the thickness of the file the nurse pulls out. Sigh.



  10. anymommy on April 16, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I’m not sure how I would feel about that, although, I am so inspired that about half those visits have been on behalf of others!



  11. charmedgirl on April 16, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    i hate my last clinic and they can kiss my fucking ass in hell while they greet me by name. i wish i would have gone to the farther, more factory-like clinic i went to the first time, but, oh well, as they say.
    as for our personal business, it’s in the mail, as they also say…cold-wrapped tight and hopefully still chilled upon arrival…



  12. Andrea on April 16, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    LOL! I always feel like that in the RE’s office too. I try to check out the other infertiles while they aren’t looking and I’m sure they’re doing the same to me. Talk about mismatched…I was in the waiting room once and I swear a guy who was in his 60s came in with a girl who had to be in her 20s. I was really hoping it was her dad just coming for moral support. When they started holding hands, my hopes were shattered. Good luck this cycle to you & Chance!!!



  13. Carrie Holmquist on April 16, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    They know your name because they care about you and you make such an impact on them, that it is impossible to forget you.
    Check 1? Any zebra striping?



  14. Trish K on April 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    At least it isn’t a STD clinic where they all know your name!



  15. Ellen on April 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I feel the same way when I go to my RE’s office! Everyone knows me by name and I always get to go back first!