Pavlov's dog - Mind the Baby

IVF Diary: Pavlov’s Dog

You may remember the infamous toilet scene from Trainspotting where our hero Renton finds himself so desperate for a hit that he resorts to some opium suppositories. What follows is three minutes of every germaphobe’s worst public toilet nightmare. Sure take a look:

My favourite line from that scene is:

“Oh, yeah, for all the good they’ve done me, I might as well have stuck them up my arse!”

Because, tongue firmly in cheek, that’s exactly what I say in my head when I think about all the meds I took during IVF treatment. Interestingly, for those of you who love a bit of TMI, my arse is probably the only orifice in my body which was not in receipt of some class of a drug during that time.

There were drugs I had to sniff. Drugs I had to swallow. Drugs I had to inject. Drugs I had to insert vaginally.

And of course life had to go on as normal too, so it meant all of this drug-taking had to fit into my daily routine. There was a fair amount of public drug taking. Some of the places I have taken my IVF medication include:

  • In the meat aisle of Supervalu
  • Stopped at a red light in the car
  • On the Luas
  • In the middle of singalong Frozen in the National Concert Hall
  • In the toilets at work, often coming out sniffing like a coke partaker
  • On the bus
  • Outside the Nespresso shop on Duke Street
  • At the cinema
  • In restaurant toilets
  • Walking down the street
  • In a shop dressing room
  • In a lift

This, of course, is definitely not an exhaustive list.

So many drugs, taken so frequently, at very specific times, that I had multiple alarms set up on my phone to remind me when it was time to pill pop, sniff, inject or insert. An alarm would ring and I’d reach for my bag. Sometimes other people’s alarms would ring, and I’d reach for my bag. And then, sometime following my third failed cycle when I’d long stopped taking any medication, I realised that at specific times of the day my concentration would break and I’d be sitting at work trying to figure out what I was forgetting.

Over a period of about seven months I had literally become Pavlov’s dog.

It did not feel good. Although it didn’t feel bad either because the reflex was an echo of something I hadn’t enjoyed that had now ended. It certainly gave me pause for thought – one of many such pauses – on whether we should go again…

COMING NEXT: Going Full Woo

ALSO IN THIS SERIES:

Dear IVF Diary

So you need to give a sperm sample?

IVF Diary: Eye of the Tiger

IVF Diary: Unpleasant Presence

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