Friday, February 13, 2009


First, the babeola has decided it's fun to lift my shirt and lick my back. That is a new one!

Our health insurance changed and we are now in the Kaiser Permanente system for the first time. I faced the change with trepidition and it turns out I was right to be concerned. My asthma medications, which are mainstream normal everday asthma medications, are not approved in the Kaiser system and I have to get special dispensation in order to have them, which means an appeals process. Ridicuolous.

For me, medication is the difference between holding a job and collecting disability. I am not the kind of asthmatic who could be an Olympic athelete. I didn't even think I would have kids as I was too ill to even exercise let alone care for a child and didn't want to pass on the disease. However, there have been so many advances in medical care for asthma that I am, finally, almost symptom free 90% of the time. It's quite disheartening to think I may have to backslide simply because Kaiser thinks my medications are too expensive. Seriously, that's the excuse.

Interestingly enough, I can get a 90 day supply of one of my meds from a reputable overseas pharmacy for $100. My ER visits alone usually cost around $2000 and these medications are pretty much the only thing standing between me and becoming an ER frequent flyer. So I think Kaiser's cost-benefit analysis is screwed up.

Even worse, when I shared with the Kaiser doctor--as part of my medical history-- that we did IVF for the babeola, she asked if I too had eight babies like the octuplet mom. What the hell? How is that an appropriate comment? I replied that no, we had been ethical in our treatment choices and worked with scrupulously ethical doctors who followed the standards of care as established by ASRM. Further, I am not mentally ill.

Then the doctor proceeded to say that I could have two or three at once and that would be fine. Ummmm. Okay. Crazy much, doctor?

It pains me when people make poor choices with fertility treatments. The Gosselins of  Jon & Kate Plus 8 did not come by their sextupluts honestly. No one does. High order multiples are the product of poor monitoring and bad judgement on all sides. Every time. And it is always the bad apple that ruins it for everyone else.

Which is why a medical professional felt it appropriate to make the comments they did.


Edited to add some caveats....

Believe it or not, unlike the octuplet mom, there can be times where transferring more than the recommended 2 embryos is apporpriate. However, these are situations that should be evaluated on a case by case basis and be subject to peer review (most reproductive docs discuss patient protocols with each other, the good ones do at least). The octuplet mom already had 6 children and should have never transferred more than 2 embryos. Her doctor basically committed malpractice in my opinion. Transferring a million embryos is reserved for the hard cases, for couples with no children and  multiple failed cycles (I'm generalizing here for a lay audience, the details are more complex).

Also, you can't prevent all multiples but we can reliably prevent quintuplets and up. With a 2 embryo transfer, the worst case scenario should be quads and that's it. Also, age is a factor in the incidence of twins. So if an older mom does IVF and has twins, was it the IVF or her age? How can you tell? I'm not sure you can.

It would be nice if we could get to a point where high order multiples were a statistical anomaly instead of malpractice.


Jenners said...

I cannot believe that:

1. Your new insurance won't cover basic asthma medication.

2. Your doctor made such an inappropriate and weird comment.

There is so much wrong with our healthcare system. I hope you can somehow get this resolved so you can get the basic meds you need. It is a total shame that you have to go through this.

And the more I read about the octuplet mom, the more disturbed I am. God bless her children ... they are going to need a lot of help.

Shannon said...

Wow... that is ridiculous about your new insurance company.

I really enjoyed reading about your perspective on the Octuplets mom. I find the whole situation really sad.