Friday, April 8, 2011

"Helpful" comments

Ever since we married and bought our house, I've been seriously considering supplemental life insurance and short-term disability insurance. Having these coverages just seemed like a prudent, adult thing to do, and I didn't want MM to be in a position of being forced to move should anything happen to me. I'd investigated the idea of purchasing them on my own while at my previous job, and it was cost-prohibitive. Once I became eligible to opt into benefits at my new job (well, new-ish job; I've been here 5 months now), I signed up for both.

Prior to approving my application for life insurance, the company required a brief physical exam with a nurse and a urine specimen (which apparently they test for HIV, among other things). The nurse came to my office today and asked me a boatload of intrusive health questions, in addition to taking my urine specimen and vital signs. (By the way, my blood pressure was 118/70, and my pulse was 60. Yes, I'm fat, but I'm fit.)

Because of the urine testing, I had to disclose the fact that I am currently taking prescription estrogen and progesterone. And believe it or not, one of the questions included asking whether I had ever been diagnosed with, or treated for, infertility. (Why they need to know this is a mystery to me. Infertility isn't likely to be fatal.)

So obviously the topic of our infertility came up. I know this nurse thought she was being helpful, but in the span of 20 minutes, she managed to say three of the things that those of us who are dealing with infertility HATE hearing from fertile people.

(1)"I've heard metformin helps women get pregnant. Have you tried that?"

Um, OK. I suppose if a woman has PCOS or insulin resistance, metformin could indirectly help her achieve pregnancy. However, it is not a fertility drug per se, and I don't have PCOS or insulin resistance.

Also, I just told you that I have been treated by two different REs in the past two years. Don't you think one of them might have investigated possible treatments for us? Or, if you think they are both potentially incompetent, don't you think *I* might have looked into alternatives? Some time in the three years we've been trying to achieve pregnancy?

(2)"Well, I have two teenagers, and let me tell ya, maybe not having kids is the way to go."

This statement was followed by a description of her teenagers' (typical and developmentally appropriate) behavior where they alternately love and hate their parents and "want to be independent." My response? "It's a developmental phase. Keep loving them, and they will probably grow out of it."

(3)"I'm sure you will eventually get pregnant."

Really? Based on what? I'm sure she was trying to be encouraging, but geesh.

Honestly, I think this nurse needs a better filter. She also suggested I try the hCG diet during our brief encounter.

It's a good thing I am feeling positive and zen about our infertility at the moment. Otherwise this interaction might not have gone down so smoothly.

P.S. I really hated answering questions about my infertility for this purpose. Suppose I were a 40-year-old "career woman" who never wanted kids; then I would never have known I can't conceive, and none of this information would be available to the nosy insurance company. Ugh.


  1. I hate comments like that. "Have you tried spinning in circles three times and then balancing on your head while clapping your hands? I hear that works!"

    What. the. hell.

    I'm so glad you are feeling positive, despite the stupid comments. :)

  2. Wait, a nurse suggested the hcg diet? I can understand the other stupid and annoying commentary but that diet, really? Sorry you had to deal with her. And way to go on being a serious adult!

  3. Thanks, Katie. Yes, I am embracing optimism for a change. Now if our DE cycle fails. . . all bets will be off, and I'll be back to my usual negative self. ;-)

  4. Gurlee, yes, though she did add the caveat that Dr. Oz says it's "unproven" and needs more research. I do have friends who've had success on the hCG diet, so this thought has crossed my mind before (think I've even written about it here).

    As to the serious adult thing. . . thanks for the compliment! These steps were long overdue, I think.

  5. What awful comments. Perhaps consider reporting her to her supervisor, if at all possible.

    Sorry you had to deal with this.

  6. Good grief, where do these people get off? I mean, does she sit there and dispense assvice about other people's health conditions, or is infertility just That One Thing that people feel they have license to weigh in on? Unbelievable. And from a nurse no less -- not only is it egregious that she would be spouting off this bs advice, but you would think she would have learned some compassion somewhere along the way. I'm fuming over here on your behalf!

  7. ugh, hate this all around. Those comments are so angering, as if you even asked for suggestions. One day I will get enough guts to actually answer back instead of just nodding my head and smiling. I am going to make you a t-shirt that says "i did not ask for your opinions"

  8. Ugh...the fertiles!!! And yes I mean fertiles in a derogatory sense. They make me so angry with such comments. Kudos for you on getting your insurance needs met...we are having our wills re-written.

  9. Suck off woman. You were pure class in your restraint.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.