Testing Here, Testing There, Testing Testing Everywhere!

Super-Secret Post
Originally written month 16 (beginning, middle, and end)

Here beginnith the testing.

They took at least 5 or 6 vials of my blood in one sitting this month. (The nurse printed out a string of labels measuring several feet long but then needed fewer vials than that, and I was too busy not looking to count.) There are a slew of tests they run on day 3 of my cycle and luckily the lab is open Saturdays.

For those of you not in the know, it’s common now for the men’s-sample-production (often depicted as taking place in the small room containing magazines or tapes) to occur at home instead. Here are some sample-drop-off tips from the initiated:

  1. At least in our province, there is a weird tier-and-a-half thing going on with fertility stuff. Treatment is not covered, but testing that can be completed at a regular public lab is covered. Your specialist may want to do special semen analysis on-site that is not covered, but if they also need several data points (since morphology, etc. vary incredibly) you might be able to have the first test done as part of the provincial coverage — in our case this was detailed enough. In fact, we did not see a bill for either of us during the entire first round of testing.
  2. If you are expected to produce the sample at home, and you don’t have a car, can’t make it to the lab on transit in the prescribed time window, and can’t figure a way to tell a friend (or cab driver) why they have to wait outside your home at a specific time, you’re going to have to rent a car for the day. Since at this point you are already starting to sound like a romantic comedy about trying to conceive, I suggest nicknaming your wheels “The Spermobile”. If anyone asks in the present, our story is that we’re renting it to catch up on errands. But it’s pretty funny when I stop to look at it objectively.
  3. If your lab location is part of a chain of labs, confirm your appointment *with the location*, not the central office. We have two labs, same chain, across the street from one another in our city, so asking central office what the street address of “the location near the mall” was had nearly disastrous consequences when we didn’t have an appointment at the lab we arrived at (but the sample made it across the street in time).
  4. This last advice is second- or third-hand: do not exceed the speed limit or else face explaining the rush to the cop who pulled you over.

My hubby got his bloodwork done right away but couldn’t make his other appointment until a couple of weeks later. You know what’s “hilarious”? The appointment falling on my most fertile day. Who’s writing this crap? How much bad luck do we put the characters through before it becomes unbelievable?

Finally, it’s possible for us to look at our lab results online. However, I don’t recommend doing this; even with the reference range for comparison, without medical training you can’t interpret the results and there’s no point in driving yourself crazy trying.

In our case, we would learn later that he was right and I was wrong about whose numbers were more worryingly out of range, so just don’t worry about it (although it’s nice to know when the results are in so you can call right away to make the follow up appointment).

After our results were ready we could schedule our first appointment with the specialist herself, but unfortunately we had a conflict the first appointment available and had to put it for two weeks after that, or three weeks from when we were making it. Oof; time stretches out so slowly in this process.

Meanwhile, we really aren’t keeping up the effort very well; I find it difficult to feel motivated when it seems like such a lost cause. Plus, we were really sick again this month. I was interning at a preschool and brought home a stomach big, strep throat, and then the flu.

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