S’gonna be interesting, isn’t it?
My theme this year is IVF/ICSI, a process we’re starting at the moment and today it’s A for Appointments.
Assisted reproduction means lots and lots of hospital appointments. Different things happen at these appointments, mainly it’s blood tests and scans. You get very used to having blood taken and getting bits of you scanned.
As the appointments aren’t always pleasant, I think it’s important to make those days somewhat enjoyable. We like to go for a nice meal, pick up a film, a book, some new clothes, whatever on the way too or from our appointments. It helps to make up for anything that might have been uncomfortable or unpleasant about the day.
I’ve never been the sort of person who is ruled by the calendar. I keep a diary, but it’s a journal, not a schedule. In fact, the only time I use any sort of planner is when I’m planning my blog posts. If it wasn’t for the fact that I need to pay attention to what day of the week it is at work, some days I probably wouldn’t worry too much about what day of the week it was.
Hospital appointments change that. You suddenly pay a lot of attention when you’ll be going, what the weather will be like that day (or maybe that’s just me what with the threat of ferries being off and all) and then there’s wondering when the next one will be. A lot of the time you don’t actually know when your next appointment will be until you get the results of blood tests or scans. In the beginning they’re scheduled in advance, but once your treatment is underway you won’t know from one day to the next when you’ll next be paying a visit to the hospital.
So you’re going to want to keep a fairly clear schedule during that period. You don’t want to plan too far in advance, for one thing as treatment progresses you probably won’t feel like doing too much, for another, you simply won’t know when you’ll be summoned to the hospital for another blood test, scan and perhaps some good news.
If you’re going through treatment yourself, you’re probably going to feel nervous about your hospital appointments, but you’ll be excited as well. You’ve probably been waiting for this for a while and it feels good to get going. There will be bits that you won’t enjoy, mostly the needles and the prodding and poking, but remember you’re taking steps in the right direction.
If you can, make it into an enjoyable day; counter the good with the bad. Pick up a treat while you’re out or when you get home, chill with your favourite book or film. I know that it’s stressful so find a way to unwind afterwards.
And if you know someone who is going through IVF or some other form of assisted conception, let them know you’re thinking of them. It can be a lonely process and it’s easy to feel as though people don’t get what you’re going through. Ask them how their appointment went or take note when they say they’ve got another one so you can wish them good luck.
Trust me, it’ll be appreciated.