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The Infertility Cafeteria

Fertility clinic a la carte

a blog by Lori Shandle-Fox, Laughing IS Conceivable, September 29, 2011

To read more of Lori Shandle-Fox's Trust Me: Laughing IS Conceivable blogs, CLICK HERE.

I remember when I first set foot into a fertility clinic. I was naively looking for the package deal. You know: "Here's $1,500 to cover everything until I get pregnant. Great! Let's get started!" 

But everything was a la carte. So I had to ask: "Am I in a fertility doctor's office or a cafeteria?"

Of course there was a charge for the office visit. But then…

After that first visit, I got paranoid. I was afraid to say “Good Morning” to anyone. I thought there it would be, itemized on the invoice:

  • Polite Greeting Charge: $6.95
  • With Eye Contact:  $8.50
  • With Smile: $3
  • With Handshake: $14.50 (I can definitely dispute that one. Oh, wait, now I remember. Crap! They're right. I did shake somebody's hand!)
  • Carpet Usage Fee: $10 (I had to walk to get to the examination room didn't I? I guess if I had floated over from the waiting room there would have been an "Air Space Usage" charge.)
  • Magazine Rental: $5.25 (The magazine only costs $4 in the store. Oh, but that's true. Things usually end up costing more when you rent instead of buy.)
  • Probing Charge: $800 (I inquired what the "Office Visit Charge" was for then. Apparently the "Office Visit Charge" is the talking-with-the-doctor part. The "Probing Charge" is …well, self-explanatory. I guess it makes sense that  the "Probing Charge" would be so much more expensive than the "Office Visit Charge." After all, the fertility doctor goes to school for all those years so he/she will be a great prober, not a great talker.)
  • Paying Fee (I was told this goes towards paying the cashier's salary. Why can't she just work on commission? One percent from everything she collects? Naaaa that wouldn't work. By the end of the first week she'd buy the whole building, and they'd have to work for her.)   
  • Elevator Fee: $10 (I have to pay to leave? Maybe next time I'll just leave my husband waiting on the sidewalk with his arms open and I'll jump out the window. It's only four floors.)

I really wish someone had forewarned me about all of these extra charges. At least now I know what to expect. So now I'm prepared.

From now on, I'll go to my appointments with my head down, looking at my feet, acknowleging nobody. I'll bring my own reading material (if I'm looking at my feet I can plead ignorance to the posted sign in the waiting room that clearly states: "No outside reading material.") I'll avoid walking unless it's absolutely necessary and make sure my husband isn't busy talking on his cell phone on the sidewalk below when it's time for me to come flying by.  

As for the "Probing Charge," I can … nevermind … I'll just pay the $800.

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