The Referral

Let’s rewind to over a year ago.  Now that I had decided that this was going to happen, the next step was to go get a referral.  Not only can you not just walk into a fertility clinic, but you generally have to wait a good chunk of time so I wanted to get at’er.  Being in a small town, the only appointment I could get was almost three weeks down the road.  The crap part was, it was during a work shift, but it was the only one I could get without waiting another week.  Luckily the boss gave the nod.

As such, I arrived at the doctor’s office in my police uniform.  Again, being a small town, there were several people who knew me there, so I was able to fill the wait with good company and conversation.  Luckily, they got me into the office fairly quick.  As I walked in to the room, I identified some logistical issues. Remember, I was wearing my uniform, so I was automatically wider.  Chairs with arms are my enemy with the duty belt and taser on.  Sometimes, when the arms are far enough apart, I can enter on an angle and then adjust, like some child safety lid, but that wasn’t going to happen with these chairs.  My only other options were to lean against the patient table thing, or steal the doctor’s stool.  I figured I didn’t know the doctor, so he may not be understanding in me stealing his stool.  Further to that, the only place to just “stand” was right in front of the door, and any military or police person will know that you don’t stand immediately in front of the door, I don’t care what office you are in (one of my many cop habits…).  As such, the lean method on the patient table thing was my best option and I figured no one would complain since, in theory, I was the patient.

I was leaning for a while…to the point where Facebook was no longer amusing me.  I figured that if I busted out the Boom Beach, Murphy’s Law would have the doctor pop in the moment I pressed attack.  Indeed, my strategy worked.  As soon as I pressed the attack button, in walks this fairly young, male doctor.  I promptly put away my phone, and off we go.

Dr No Name (you’ll understand why soon) walked in and went straight to it, as I prefer, and asked what he could do for me today.  I told him that I was there because I needed a referral to the Olive Fertility Clinic and my family doctor can’t give me a referral since it’s been over a year since I saw her and we were too far away to go see her directly.  Dr No Name looks at me with a blank expression and says that I need to give him more than that.  Fair enough, I told him that we were going to try and have a second kid.  We used another clinic in the past for our first pregnancy, but wanted to go to Olive since our favorite doctor was there now and yeah, I needed a referral…Just so you have a picture, I am there in uniform.  The common person would at least assume that I at least had some form of head on my shoulders since my entire purpose in life was to ensure the safety of everyone in the community.  Well, I learned quickly, he wasn’t the common person.

Immediately after I gave him that extra little bit of info that he asked for, he looked at me with a serious look on his face and said “You know you have to have unprotected sex to get pregnant right?”  It took me a sec, because I had to remember that I was in uniform and despite being in the privacy of a doctor’s office, cussing and swearing at someone never looks good.  There were a ton of options on how to respond to this blatantly ignorant response, but I tend not to jump to anger right off the top.  Instead, I chose to lean in slightly and with an equally as serious face to him “yeah…my wife doesn’t work that way” as I figured such a stupid question deserved a smart ass response.

Now immediately he went on the defensive and it was clear that somehow I had offended him!  It looked like his brain was about to break with the information I just provided him and then he turned to the computer.  A 90 degree turn to the right I should add, because shortly after facing the computer he very shortly asked me to sit in the chair, saying that it’s difficult to turn and talk to me while he typed and very dramatically demonstrated a very awkward 270 turn to the right again…instead of simply 90 degrees back to the left again….but again I clearly broke his brain.  I told him that I physically cannot fit in those seats which is why I was standing there, but the almost livid look on his face suggested this will only get worse if I continue to point things out to him… so I said that I could stand on the opposite side, in front of the door (or in the fatal funnel in my head) but God forbid the doctor be uncomfortable during this.

I stood there, not liking where I was standing, and staring at the side of his head as he pressed the occasional key in an attempt to type up this visit summary.  I swear smoke was coming out of his ears as he was staring at the blank text page.  He eventually asked, without turning anyway, “so you are in a lesbian relationship?”  Many responses came to my head…

1)”You mean is my WIFE a women?”
2)”I think the PC term is ‘Same-sex’ relationship”

But in the end, I figured I already destroyed his day, so I reluctantly just said “Yes, yes I am…”  His typing appeared to have improved after this information settled in his head.  Eventually he asked if I had a specific fertility clinic in mind, clearly emphasizing the fact that he wasn’t listening when I said the fertility clinic by name because he was too busy assuming I was an idiot that didn’t know where babies came from.  Smiling, because I knew this was going really well, I repeated the Olive Clinic.  He typed it and then proceeded to ask me for their contact info.  Well, I needed a distraction to bring down my blood pressure anyway, so I took the time to google it for him.  After awkwardly providing all the contact info to him, in between my combat breathing, the torture was finally over.  He said that the referral would be faxed off either that day or the next and then I walked out of the office in a daze and kind of shock as I tried to digest what had just happened.

First I thought, how on earth was that a shock to him?  Like, come on!  When my wife mentions her wife, people may have a tendency to correct her and say “you mean your husband?” because she doesn’t fit in the world’s criteria of a stereotypical lesbian.  I on the other hand…if I reference my wife in front of someone new, they just think “huh…thank makes sense” and we move on from there.  It’s kind of obvious…

Then I got frustrated.  People don’t just go to the doctor and ask for a referral for a fertility clinic, by name none the less, just because it is Thursday.  Generally there is a reason.  What if I was a single, heterosexual female?  From his comment it was as if he would prefer me go find someone at the Pub and just make it happen instead of consulting professionals.  Or, maybe I was still a heterosexual female in a relationship that had been trying for years to get married and are finally taking the step to seek help from experts.   No matter what the reason, his response was highly unprofessional and insensitive to the topic.  I went home later that day and told me wife who was equally as shocked and angry, but the referral was happening and we didn’t have to deal with Dr No Name any more…or at least we thought.

Just a reminder, I went to the doctor as soon as I could because I knew that the waiting list could be 18-24 months because we had previously received a referral for another clinic.  A couple of weeks after my very pleasant referral visit, something just wasn’t sitting right with me, so my wife decided to call the clinic and ensure they got the referral.  They did not….I took a deep breath, and said to myself, it could have been a technical thing.  I hate fax machines!  Something could have gone wrong with the fax.  I called the medical clinic and updated them that the referral had not been received and was wondering if they could fax it again.  The clerk looked in my records and gave a very reassuring, huh before letting me know that they didn’t have any record of the referral being sent in the first place.  Considering how smoothly that appointment went, my mind automatically jumped to the doctor deliberately not sending it…but I took a breath and reminded myself that regardless of his personal issues, he was a professional and would never deliberately block a referral.  The clerk was very helpful and took down on the information.  She said that she would follow up with the doctor and get it sent off.  Check back with the fertility clinic in a few days.

I’m not going to bore you with the back and forth, but I will tell you there was some.  In the end, it was over a month before the fertility clinic confirmed that they received the referral and I had a long conversation with the local “doctor manager” person about my five star experience with the doctor.  Regardless of the anguish, I was exceedingly grateful to the office staff at both the medical clinic and the fertility clinic for putting up with me every other day until it was all sorted.  I made it my mission from then on not to deal with that doctor ever again, and I had my appointment for the fertility clinic booked within only a few months surprisingly!  Our favorite doctor is our favorite for a reason 🙂

*The referring doctor will not be named because, once again, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt.  He clearly had a bad day and I’m sure he does good work, so I won’t be busting out his name.  Our fertility clinic on the other hand is the Bomb!  And I don’t mind mentioning it 😉

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