I was feeling pretty angry and despondent about things last time I posted. I have definitely calmed down a lot since then, though I do really wish I was using our treatment break more productively. I keep telling myself I am going to start going to yoga, run more regularly, and order some relaxation/meditation tapes. So far, I have done exactly none of those things. Truthfully, I have been really exhausted the past week and I am not sure whether I am still jetlagged (if so, I suppose this will be solved since we are going to the states next week for Passover!), whether I have been fighting a virus of some sort, or whether perhaps my exhaustion is more of the psychological variety (quite possibly it is a combination of all 3).
My disappointment and frustration with my recent appointment got me to thinking more about the differences between the fertility treatment experience specifically and the healthcare system in general in the United States compared to Israel. While I have been living in Israel for 5 years now, I think that I still have very American sensibilities and expectations when it comes to healthcare and this cultural disconnect is often a source of my angst.
In Israel, everyone functions flying by the seat of his/her pants. There is very little advance planning for anything in general, big or small. There is a very strong cultural mentality of living today as if it is your last and not worrying about tomorrow (in large part, likely due to the by-the-seat-of-your-pants instability and uncertainty that has unfortunately defined our 62-year-old history as a country). While this mentality has served us not so shabbily as a small Middle Eastern country, it is sort of a neurotic infertile's worst nightmare. I am very American in my planning in that I like plans. I love plans. I really love having a plan. Very little cultural value is placed on having a concrete plan for the future - even next month. Shit happens. Our whole country could be annihilated next week, my right ovary might explode, our city might blow up, my next menstrual cycle might take 97 days to begin. But if the world as I know it is still standing next month, I want to have some vague idea of what the plan is, even if the plan might change.
In America, we are very good with plans and also with numbers. We love having dates and numbers even if they end up being totally changed or utterly meaningless. We are excellent at even making make-believe or pretend plans as in "This is your hypothetical IVF calendar for next month assuming everything goes to plan and you respond exactly as we hope." (It is my understanding that this actually happens approximately never.) When it comes to IF, we all know that the cliche proverb "Man plans, G-d laughs" is the ultimate truth and yet, when it feels like we have so little control - over our bodies, our lives, our dreams for the future, it is hard to underestimate the comfort one can find in having a plan. Some patched together semblance of how the future might look next week or next month or the month after that. No such thing in Israel. For someone as neurotic as myself, this is all very unsettling. I must learn to become even more adaptable and flexible than living here has encouraged (haha, more accurately 'forced') me to become so far, or I will continue to resist going with the flow and flail helplessly kicking in every direction in the process, likely making myself and Y and to a lesser extent my doctors and nurses miserable in the process.
More to come on differences between treatment in America and Israel soon...