My theme this year is IVF/ICSI, a process we’re starting at the moment and today it’s W for Waiting Rooms.
When you’re going through any kind of medical treatment you’ll notice that you seem to spent a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms. IVF treatment is no exception there.
No matter what the waiting room is for, I can’t help but look around and wonder why the other people are there. Sometimes it’s obvious, like when you’d in A & E and there’s a crying kid with a swollen arm resting on a pillow. Other time’s it’s not so easy to tell, like all those times I’ve sat in the local health centre waiting room, waiting to have yet another armful of blood taken to be sent to the lab.
In the Assisted Conception Services waiting room you know that everyone is there for the same thing, more or less. Everyone who walks through that door is there because they want to make a baby and haven’t been able to. But sitting in the waiting room you can’t help but wonder about the people there, what’s their story?
Is that woman there alone because she’s giving up trying to find a man to start a family with and is going it alone? Or is she by herself because she’s just here for blood tests and told her husband to stay behind?
Is that man who’s looking nervous and watching the clock waiting for his wife to come out of theatre from egg retrieval? Or is he waiting to go in to make a deposit in a little plastic cup?
Is that happy looking couple smiling because they’re here for confirmation that treatment worked and they’re finally pregnant? Or is this their first appointment in the process that will hopefully bring them a child, and they’re just relieved to know that their problems might be solved?
In the ACS department waiting room you realise that infertility really does affect people from all backgrounds and all walks of life. You all sit there side by side, no one speaking to one another, pretending to watch TV or read a magazine, checking your phones (some ultra modern smartphones, others less so). It’s a shame that people in waiting rooms don’t really talk to one another, I guess everyone is focused on why they are there that they’ve not got room to worry about other people. Even though those people are probably the ones most likely to understand what you’re going through.
I’m not sure what the solution to this would be. I think I’d be weirded out if some random person in the hospital waiting room started chatting to me about my treatment. But a friendly smile doesn’t go amiss. There are many blogs and forums out there specific to hospitals and clinics, so you might start chatting to someone on there and then meet them in person if your appointments fall at the same time.
For those of you who might have friends or family members going through treatment, remember they’ll be spending a lot of time in waiting rooms. They’ll probably be grateful for recommendations of books to kill time while they’re there, or perhaps someone to send them a text or two to distract them while they’re waiting.