There was a point when it became clear to me just how all encompassing infertility treatments can become. A nurse was explaining the particulars of a test and told me where I needed to be and exactly when to be there. Of course, running through my mind was all the meetings that I would have to reschedule at work. “No, no,” she explained, “women move everything around in order to be at these tests and treatments.” I slowly realized that infertility treatments were going to be my second job.
However, I have a talent for multitasking, so armed with a super smartphone, this should be no problem. The past month, however, went far beyond multitasking and felt more like an episode of Mission Impossible
My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to get an injection on a certain day in January, no problem. The twist is that I need to complete my mission while abroad on vacation. Tommy and I bought tickets at the end of October; we decided to book after we received the news of another unsuccessful IUI. Our approach to infertility has been to focus on all that we have and not what is missing, so not being pregnant offered us the perfect opportunity to travel. Tommy ended up bailing when he started a new job – yay for Tommy, sad for me. My treatments require that I receive an injection, from a nurse, every 4 weeks, but nothing was going to keep me away from these weddings in the US. Infertility cannot dictate my life.
Yes, I would I accept this mission, so I began to ask some questions. Was this a shot that I needed to receive from a nurse? Turns out that a friendly nurse was able to teach me how to prepare and administer the injection for myself. Would my insurance company cover the purchase of two injections in the same month (I would need to buy the medicine in Israel and bring it to the US)? Yes, provided that I submit a note from my doctor. I was on a roll.
Then came the tricky part, would I be able to transport the syringe (which needs to be refrigerated) along with a needle on the airplane? The airline was of little help in solving that one, and my regular pharmacist was only slightly more helpful. I knew that I could not possibly be the first person to face this problem. Diabetics travel all the time. All I needed was some way to keep the medicine cool for about 24 hours. Yet pharmacy after pharmacy failed to offer any type of solution. Each pharmacist I spoke with was careful to warn me that the medicine should not be placed in my checked luggage – thanks for the reminder.
By Sunday of this week I believed that it was hopeless and began exploring the insanely expensive option of buying the medicine out of pocket in the US. Early Monday morning it occurred to me that there was a small pharmacy downtown where I had yet to try, it was a long shot, but worth the effort. I took the Jerusalem light rail which dropped me off a block away from the pharmacy. On any other day, in any other week, this distance would not have been a big deal, but as Benji Lovitt describes, we in Israel are experiencing Geshempocalypse! I arrived soaked and the pharmacist politely requested that I leave my drenched umbrella in the bucket by the door. I was wet and I was desperate. I asked my question and prepared myself for a perplexed gaze and firm answer that there is no such thing available in Israel. Instead, she pulled out this:
“Great, I’ll take two.”