The last few days have been a series of ups and downs…
I picked up my immunology blood test results last Friday (see last post) and have been waiting since then to have an appointment with the hospital to discuss the results and next steps. The appointment was meant to be yesterday afternoon and I had done a good job of keeping myself busy and distracted through the weekend. S and I had a last minute trip to Turin with two friends (which was spent mostly walking, talking and eating).
The house where we stayed in Turin this weekend
But on Monday my patience broke down when I received an email from the clinic to say that my appointment had been moved from Tuesday to Friday (to a time that I couldn’t do). This small hiccup was enough to send me over the edge as I had received these very worrying test results last Friday and was expected to wait probably at least another week to get some sort of conversation about them with a medical professional.
I had a good cry for a couple of hours, screamed at the world and then pulled myself together (well, what else can you do?) then took myself off to a new boot camp club that I had signed up for. There’s nothing like a bit of lactic acid, lung burning exercise to distract yourself from your emotional misery. I came home broken (both physically and emotionally) and passed out in bed…
This is not me by the way, I look waaaay worse when exercising
Yesterday was spent recovering from the boot camp and waiting for a new appointment. I asked my husband to call the doctor directly and put some pressure on them as I find it hard to have complex nuanced conversations like that in Italian on the phone (I worry that I’ll come across as too direct or too nice or just lose the thread of what they are saying without the visual cues to help me). Late yesterday I found out that the hospital have fitted me in first thing on Friday morning (a huge relief!)
Yesterday I also had my first appointment with a British based infertility counsellor via Skype. It’s been something that I’ve been meaning to do since my last FET failure. I was offered counselling here in Italy and went to one session but as it was all in Italian I found that my brain was too busy processing the language to actually feel any kind of emotional engagement to the session.
The British counsellor was kind and patient, we spent the first session mostly talking about my back story. I feel positive about her and hope that she can help me manage my anxiety through my next FET (whenever that might be).
After the raging emotions of the last few weeks I have finally managed nearly two days in a row without any sort of anger or crying fit. This could be because I currently have a cold which has filled my head with cotton wool and is preventing my mind from thinking about anything else apart from how much it hurts. But whatever…I’m calling it progress anyway.
Yesterday S and I visited the psychologist at our fertility clinic. We only had to pay 20 euros and so we thought it can’t hurt so why not give it a go. I was sceptical about the appointment, not because I don’t believe in psychology (I studied psychology at university in fact), but because doing the session in a foreign language was not an enjoyable prospect.
As soon as we got into the room with the kindly looking man we asked him if he spoke English and he looked a bit sheepish and mumbled that he wasn’t very confident in it, so we had to push on through in Italian. My husband, who is totally fluent in Italian, began recounting our long story. He had to hand over to me after only a couple of minutes to explain the IVF procedures in detail (I always think that it’s strange that his brain is able to accommodate 4 foreign languages perfectly but seems to flatly refuse to store any knowledge relating to IVF procedures…haha…oh well).
I managed to bumble on through the rest of explanation of the three failed IVFs in Italian. The psychologist then asked me about my emotions and I attempted to explain as best I could. I tried to feel sad and angry (which represents my overriding emotions for the past 10 days) but found it rather challenging as my brain was actually enjoying the intellectual challenge of speaking at length in Italian to a new person. Afterwards S said that I smiled too much…but I couldn’t help it, a stranger was being kind and patiently listening to our problems in my bad Italian and I couldn’t help feeling a wave of gratitude towards him.
We explained the treatment by my employer: the firing two days after my embryo transfer and other things that I won’t go in to detail about here. He said that my boss was ‘mobbing’ me (a word that Italians use to mean ‘bullying’). He also said that the way women are often treated in Italy relation to children or fertility treatments is ‘medieval’ which definitely struck a chord. In addition to my treatment I have also heard other stories of behaviour that would be totally illegal in the UK and all of this has definitely added to my recent fragile state.
Overall we got some support from the session, and hopefully some help in helping to resolve the work issues at least. I’m not sure whether I will return to him as the language challenge makes things difficult. Instead I’ve found a couple of counsellors in the UK who may be able to provide Skype or telephone counselling for us.
So in summary, yesterday we made some small steps in a positive direction. S is being amazingly supportive through this, and we’re holding on to each other for dear life right now…