Describe your experience with Positive Steps Fertility.
Every test, with the exception of a few blood tests, are done in-house. All of my exams, my tests, have been done right there in the clinic. Everything that the doctor sees via ultrasound or sonogram, the patient sees as well via flat screen t.v.s in every room. Privacy is a huge concern, and their rooms are all designed with that in mind, so there are no accidental walk ins during your procedure.
Mrs. Tracy occupies the front desk and will likely be the one to check you in, and she is still a welcoming sight to this day. She greets you with a smile, and will most likely already have you pulled up on her computer before you get done telling her how you've been. She will also remind you that you are free to grab yourself a bottled water or have a cup of coffee while you wait, though your wait will likely never be longer than 5-10 minutes.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Parry at Positive Steps Fertility?
What makes a human a human? Without going too deeply into the question, a name. I met Dr. Parry and his staff at the opening ceremony of their new clinic. A month later, when I went in for a full consultation, they still remembered my name. Even on the phone, I can hear it in their voices, that I'm just another number dialed. They will call you by your name. They will remember details about you, like what name you have picked out or if you've changed your hair even the slightest, something my husband struggles to do, haha. The nurses are going to hug you or put an arm around you (if you're comfortable with that) and genuinely ask how you've been every time they see you. And when you get upsetting news or are disappointed, they're not going to rush you out the door. They're going to hold your hand, and answer your questions. They're going to stay on the phone with you while you cry. You don't do that for numbers. You do that for people.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Positive Steps Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Vickie Butler)
Mrs. Vicki is not just a nurse. She is your mother, your sister, your coach, your pastor, and that list can go on and on. But most of all, she is your friend. She genuinely cares about your well-being, and goes beyond meeting the standard for patient care. Mrs. Vicki returns all calls, even returning one of mine when she was on the other side of the country! She breaks things down for you, will let you cry as much as you need to, and most importantly, in my opinion, will not tell you what you want to hear just to avoid bad news. It's not easy looking into the face of a hopeful couple and giving less than awesome news, but she manages to do it in such a way that, even though you're disappointed, you understand and are thankful for having her to be the one to tell you. She's up front about options and chances, and if you're like me, you enjoy having hope, but not false hope. As your friend, Mrs. Vicki isn't going to give you false hope. She wants you to have faith, sure, but she also wants you to know exactly what you're up against. I cannot imagine fighting this uphill battle with stage IV Endometriosis with diminished ovarian reserve at 33 without her. Because I know she's going to be honest with me, while also still rooting for me and supporting my decisions.
How was your experience with Preston Parry at Positive Steps Fertility?
I can't imagine not having Dr. Parry as my doctor. I've had doctors in the past treat me like I was less than capable of understanding, brush me and concerns off, or even refuse to answer questions I've had. Dr. Parry does not do that. If you do struggle to understand something, he has no problem breaking it down for you, and it is never done in a demeaning or demoralizing way. He understands that it's a lot to take in at times, and doesn't mind slowing things down or breaking the information up into chunks, or however the patient is better able to understand. If you're concerned about something, he will listen to your concern, hear why you're concerned, and then be open to discussing it. I've obsessed over OPKs, basal body temperature, altering diets, and so on. He has heard every concern, and thoroughly discussed it with me. And not only that, he's up to date on his literature and research. If he tells you something probably isn't that big of factor or to not worry because this doesn't affect that as much as we think it does, or to do that instead of this, he has the current, peer-reviewed research to back it up. As far as asking questions, I have literally walked in with a list, on more than one occasion, and when I left, every one of those questions was answered. He utilizes his network of colleagues and peers, as well. If he *doesn't* have an answer for something, he will find it by accessing that network, because it's not a competition to him. It's not a business of making money or a name for himself. It's a business of building families.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Parry at Positive Steps Fertility?
Don't be afraid to ask questions, but more importantly than that, don't be afraid to let him fly the plane. That's the analogy he gave me during my consultation. Yes, passengers on a flight have certain responsibilities and things they can do to make the flight better, but it ultimately depends on the pilot. Relax, and let him fly. You are in amazing hands. And stay off of the forums when you do have a question. Even if you aren't an established patient of his, you can call with any question, any question whatsoever, and he will answer it for you. Online forums can cause more distress. Asking Dr. Parry puts you right at ease.
Describe the protocols Preston Parry used in your cycles at Positive Steps Fertility and their degree of success.
The very first thing we did was test my tubes for blockages. Dr. Parry has his own, patent pending, method (Parryscope) for this that does not use dyes. If you tend to have allergies to things like me, this method is a god send. First, he examines your pelvis, cervix, uterus, and ovaries via trans-vaginal ultrasound. After that, a hysteroscope is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. It was not nearly as uncomfortable as I had anticipated. I was able to stay relaxed throughout the entire procedure. After the camera is inserted, saline (rather than dye) is used to expand the uterus. The next step is to release air bubbles to see if they travel through the Fallopian tubes, indicating whether or not there is a blockage. The entire procedure takes maybe 15-20 minutes, and results are immediate; no waiting. The procedure is done in-house, and virtually pain free. I say that as someone with severe Endometriosis who usually has pain reactions to a typical pap smear.
After we determined that my tubes were clear, he set up a medication schedule. Since my right ovary was not working on its own, he gave me directions for taking Femara 2.5, which were 4 tablets on days 2 through 7 of my cycle. Then I was to come in for an ultrasound on day 9 or 10 to check my follicles. My very first checkup after starting the medication, I had two big, healthy follicles ready to go, even on my right ovary. While I did not conceive during that cycle, we were excited to know that we are on the right track.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Parry at Positive Steps Fertility.
A full consult for a new patient was (at the time I started using this clinic) $150. A consult typically lasts about an hour or more. The Parryscope test was/is $850. My fertility medication (Femara) at my local, independent pharmacy is roughly $12, and there's enough left over for the next month. Ultrasounds are $175. For 3 rounds of IUI (insemination) and 3 ultrasounds was/is $1,000. In vitro, including monitoring anesthesia, retrieval, and up to 4 transfers was/is $9,9950. They also work closely with credit unions/banks for those that may need to take out a loan to pay for treatment.