9 June 2011

Crossroads

First off, thank you so much for your prayers! I was able to talk to the nurse at PPVI and now I'm in the queue for scheduling surgery with Dr. Hil.gers. I explained to her that I needed a date to give to my local Napro doctor and she said that since I am willing to wait for Dr. H that it won't be until September or October. So I am going to use a "dummy date" of sometime in the early fall.

Still not feeling 100% at ease about that.

I think that I need to start some sort of campaign to convince the Onta.rio government to pay for my surgery. I do have political contacts, but I know that I can work my local MP and MPP -- both of which are Roman Catholic (but we only voted for one of them!). We have an election coming up in the fall, but it would definitely reflect favourably if our MPP helped me out. Mr. JB and I are very well connected in the local church community and I would be more than happy to share how he helped us.

The biggest thing for me is that if I start to contact people in my community, as well as ask influential people to write letters on my behalf, I am going to have to come out of the IF closet. I have been very selective about who knows about my IF, although if one could connect the dots it would be easy enough to figure out.

I want this surgery and I know that Dr. H can restore my fertility. I deserve to get something out of this incredibly long and painful journey, besides multiple surgical scars.

Although I want to go full force and pursue a trip to Omaha, I also know that there is a doctor in PA that can help. If OHIP doesn't pay for my surgery it would be so much more convenient to drive to Pennsylvania.  Dr. Nora has told me that cost of surgery is considerably cheaper, although I haven't found out what the cost differential actually is.

I hate that so much boils down to money.

I know that I can't put a price on growing my family and that we are both gainfully employed. I also have this summer gig that is going to make me $4 500 and I have my salary from last summer that has been invested by our money guy. We have also put our house hunting on hold while we get the surgery business under control (and we also have to save $100 000 so I can get the house that I want, but that's another post for another time).

So I guess I'm in need of some more prayers and advice. What would you do if you had to ask your government to cover surgery? Would you ask your friends and family to start a letter writing campaign? I've also thought of contact media, but I think that I have to be selective about who I contact (I'm thinking the Ca.tholic Re.gister and there's also a medical show on the C.BC).


p.s. My school principal forwarded me an e-mail regarding an upcoming information meeting for aspiring vice-principals. It is definitely something that I have thought about, but IF has taken the wind out of my sails (and I also thought that I would be a stay-at-home mom and not still slogging it out in the classroom). Mr. JB thinks that I should attend since he believes that administration is something that I'm going to do eventually (read: after we have kids and they are old enough to be self-sufficient). When I started teaching ten years ago I thought that my life would be so different, but God had some very different plans for me! 

16 comments:

  1. I think you should go to the meeting. The worst thing I can think of is to embrace childlessness after years of trying, and to have given up all the other things you could have been doing too! (I'm not trying to be a downer here. I mean, seize your other opportunities while you can take them.)

    No clue how to go about lobbying for payment of the surgery, though. Have you already established that they will NOT automatically pay for it?

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  2. The Ontario government has never paid for surgery in Omaha, I would be the first. My Napro doc thinks that because of a new study by Dr. Hilgers that we have better chance AND we've also been told by the surgeon that did my last two surgeries that my only option is IVF. We still have to submit the paperwork and wait.

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  3. Honestly I would go to PA. Everything I've heardabout pA dr. Sounds great!

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  4. I'm curious if PA is definitely cheaper. In my humble opinion, as someone who has seen doctors in both Omaha and PA, and had surgeries in a couple different places, if I had to do it all over again I'd probably just go to PA. Especially if money was a factor and PA was cheaper. I think they're all great and the differences are probably marginal. But, then again, I'm not an expert on their techniques and everything.

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  5. I would go to principal's meeting. I think it is important to keep your mind focused on other things. Or to keep your mind less focused on fertility. I don't know what to say about the surgery but would love to hear more as I will have to face that decision shortly myself. Maybe if you are unsure you should go to Omaha. That way you have peace of mind. A lot can be said for peace of mind.

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  6. Just the fact that they are eyeying to be a vice principal in spite of the fact that you have silently carried the horrible cross of IF, tells me you are principle material. I say go for it and come out of the closet, too!

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  7. i vote for dr. hilgers for you also think of others that might follow after you

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  8. VP-Go for it! you can have it all..why not. Even with kids day care is expensive so with a Vp salary that sure does help! Last time i checked it is around $800 per kid in the city to be in daycare. yeah, putting your mind onto others things helps you cope with the IF part better. Don't let just trying for a baby stop or slow down your other dreams and goals in your life. Remember, you are a woman with "many" talents and aspirations! so you go girl!

    Surgery, if you feel that this is what you want to help you find peace that you have done everything that you can to become a mom, then find the way to do so. Come out of that closet.

    Best of luck and keep us posted.

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  9. I'm really torn about this, but I can say that for someone for whom traveling was NOT an option (I flew out to Chicago TWICE for a quickie appt with the RI Dr) - I still chose Dr S in PA, and can honestly say I have no regrets.

    Then again, I did not have as extensive endo as you (but boy were my ovaries quite the pickle - 7.5hrs in surgery just to wedge them!)

    I know Dr S is extremely skilled, but I can't compare the two surgically. I do know he is VERY meticulous and thorough, so you wouldn't be missing out on anything there.

    That being said, the experience of going to PPVI is one that will stay with you forever - and you may feel more comfortable knowing you're at the birthplace of NaPro.

    Really really tough decision. In the end, I think I'd put in my vote for PA, all things considered.

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  10. I really think your best hope is that a bureaucrat in gvt happens to approve it and you don't need to campaign.

    If you decide go campaign here is what you need to keep in mind:
    1. Using the alternative to ivf is not a real bargainging position, OHIP doesn't cover ivf, so arguing that you could get ivf but its against your religion isn't a strong position, you would have to pay for ivf ( which is 10k plus another 10k for drugs) so they will argue that paying for surgery is the same thing. It sucks, ivf should be paid for by OHIP, but, ita not.
    2. You need to prove that this surgeon has some technique that is not offered in Ontario, what does he do that's not offered here? I tried googling him but couldn't figure it out, and just saying that he's a good surgeon is too subjective( it can be argued that we have fantastic surgeons in Ontario as woken come from other provinces to see dr. Lie and dr. Leylqnd).

    I'm not being negative, I just want you to know what your up against. I know of patients fi

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  11. I cut myself off, I know of patients who are having a difficult time getting cancer drugs approved, who need life saving surgeries and can't get them because they don't have access to the surgeons because or where they live(rural Ontario) and can't get a hospital in the gta to accept them for transfer.

    All that said, when I lived in Nfld I got approval to travel to Montreal for laproacopic laser surgery thrre was no laser surgeon in Nfld. If you can prove that he offers some sorta spcecial technique, uses some sorta new age tool, etc, then you would have a stronger case! Hope that helps.

    Ps- i only know these OHIP stories from that old job of mine working with doctors.

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  12. So much going on. Is the PA doctor the same NaPro doctors I am thinking of? Dr. S in Harrisburg Diocese? That is the program I am training under. :) *Fantastic* people. I would have gone with Dr. S if his waiting list wasn't 5 months and ironically it's more travel for me to go to PA for treatment than Omaha since I prob don't need surgery and Dr. H will take me long-distance.

    Hmmm. I also think it would be awesome to go to Omaha and if you think your gov't would be more likely to fund it then perhaps that is a wise route as it could pave the way for others? Again so much to think about!

    All that said, I agree that going to the meeting for administration sounds like a good idea! I am a huge fan of exploring all possible paths/options. Even if it's a career you end up pursuing later in life, it can't hurt to start looking into it now!

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  13. I have no idea what to suggest. :) But - I will vouch for Dr. S in PA - he's fabulous. He's so thorough, he explains everything, is really patient, and when I look at the scars from my surgeries, I can hardly tell they are there. Including the c-section scar from my surgery 3 months ago!

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  14. I'd say go to the meeting, future VP JB! And as far as the doctors go, continue to get information on both Dr H. and Dr. S. Factor in travel costs, surgical costs, etc. and then see if God leads you to a decision. If it's a huge financial difference (a few thousand+), I'd go with Dr. S. Unless you know yourself and would always wonder if you should have gone to Dr. H. You don't want to live with that kind of regret. Then I'd pay the extra. Does that make sense? Good luck with the decisions!

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  15. I am sorry, I can not weigh in on how to even start lobbying for $$$. I will pray for you and hope that they see how important this is for the IF gals in Canada. Also, I had to wait too long for my surgery for Dr. S. in PA- So, I went to Dr. K.B. In NJ. I believe he studied with Dr. H. Have you ever considered that? I am sure it would way cheaper then Omaha and PA. Just a thought.

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  16. First of all - I can totally picture you as a VP! :) I say - go for it! I'm sort of at the same juncture - I pictured myself as a SAHM by now - but instead I'm pushing for a promotion.
    As for letter writing - if you do decide you're comfortable (and I would urge you to think through two scenarious - where too many people care and everybody know about your lady business - and where no one pays attention, to make sure you are ready to deal with both) - I'm ready to help! :)

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