Sunday, August 12, 2007

Med Tourist: Full Story

Here's the punchline: I was interviewed about it. The m.edica.l t.ouris.m agency that arranged things with me was approached to do an article. H thought it would be a good idea for me to participate, as anyone who was in our situation might want to know it's not as terrifying as it may seem.

And while I don't think I was interesting enough to be published (that's a good thing), I figure I may as well spill. Because one of you might be in a similar situation.

Okay, so back when I was still with my first RE, I did five or six IUIs. But the thing is, we suffer from a m.ale f.actor infertility, so it no longer made sense to try IUIs. So I trotted into my REs office and said I wanted to try IVF.

And my RE said no.

As I mentioned before, I don't seem to respond well to drugs. I have the one, developing too soon egg that seems to screw something everything up for the other eggs. So I have never developed more than 4. And my first RE didn't think it was worth it for me to try IVF. Adoption? my RE suggested. Donor eggs?

That was my last appointment with that RE. When you get a list of the top ten infertility clinics in the United States. Two are in the New York City area. One I got an appointment with. (The other is my current clinic).

So I met with my second RE. The second RE screened me for a bunch of stuff, thought I had a better chance than my first RE did, but quoted to me a price that was higher than the norm of 12K, and even if I got insurance, they were going to require me to pay outright and then make claims to my insurance.

Then I got creative.

Long story short, Mama is from Argentina. And I found a clinic in Argentina. So I talked to my husband, talked to the clinic and set something up.

A lot of my apprehension about this upcoming IVF is that I have no idea how they do IVF here in America. In Argentina, I was kissed hello and hugged goodbye by my doctor (my third RE)and all those in the office. I was put into a pink gown with little roses sewn at the neck. The pharmacy that sells you the drugs will also inject them for you. And everyone will hug you and kiss you and bless you and wish you well. Everyone.

That is not like the doctors and medical professionals I have encountered here. And I do miss it...

My Doctor spoke great English. As did the embryologist and the nurses. As did every third person we ran into in Buenos Aires. The drugs were the same, the protocol the same, the technology the same. About the only thing that drove me batty was the fact that Argentina is an anti-choice country. Three is the absolute most embryos they are willing to implant. They are completely against selective reduction, and no amount of arguing that you are a 40-year-old woman is going to change their mind and up their implantation count.

So now I have insurance, and I am at a Big Medical clinic where I am a number (and no one hugs me). And while I hope that the two cycles I have coverage for are more than enough, if I have to do another cycle, I'm going back to Buenos Aires.

E-mail me if you want to know more.

4 comments:

SULLY said...

Sounds something like IVFvacation.com

Where will your article appear?

My Reality said...

That is kind of cool. We have thought about being a med-tourist, and if I decide to look into it further, I will ask you for more info.

One of the things we have briefly looked into is IVF in India. Even if you figure in the cost of flights there and hotel costs, it is still cheaper than it is here.

Heather said...

So, what if you don't have family in another country...how do you go about setting things up then? (if you know)

Bea said...

Argentina sounds like a great place to cycle! I hope you crack the ice with your stony-faced local clinic in the meantime, though.

Bea