The next time I say anything like, "I'm just a housewife", someone please smack me. Hard.
Turns out I'm a hell of a lot smarter than the guy I met with, and most of you are in fact, smarter than the guy I met with. Either that he was experiencing some sort of depressive, distracted, anxiety episode.
He did not remember why his staff had called me until I prompted him and asked him about the paper he was holding. (A note I wrote to a friend and was passed to him 9 months ago during leadership. I recognized my handwriting upside down from the other side of the desk.) I guess he finally found it in his pocket after all this time.
He had no memory of meeting me, until halfway through when I had finally repeated everything I had said the first time. Then he remembered a few things.
He took copious notes, and tried very hard to figure out what I was saying, but I have to admit, I still can't believe that I had to explain the precise mechanics of IVF and be quite so explicit about why it was better than simply giving women drugs and hoping they didn't have sextuplets. Literally, you need to picture this,
Me: "It's because the one thing government can't control is a couple going home and having sex against Doctors orders when they have too many eggs from hyperstimulation."
Me: "They have sex and they aren't supposed to!!"
P: "So what difference would free IVF make?"
Me: "Because if they have free IVF, they can retrieve all the eggs, make them into embryos with the sperm, and just transfer back one good embryo."
P: "Couldn't they still have sex and make sextuplets?"
Me: "No, the eggs are not in the woman then. They are in the lab. Sex won't matter anymore."
P: "Well, why can't we just order the Doctors not to transfer more than one or two embryos?"
Me: "Because each IVF with drugs costs anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000, and if the patient is paying, they will go to the U.S. if they can't get what they want here. We have to make it more attractive to stay here than go elsewhere."
P: "Well, why can't we just order the Doctors not to give drugs to these women?"
Me: "They need to sometimes just to get women to ovulate at all. They try not to mess it up. But sometimes it doesn't work the way we want it to."
P:"Well, why don't they just have sex. It seems to work. " Wry look at me, as he laughs a little.
Me: "Not if you are infertile." (Rigid plastic smile on my face.)
And yes, I still kept trying. Through all of this, he was extremely puzzled as to why he had never heard of all the differences in new research, new techniques, new treatments, and had no idea why the federal or provincial government wasn't doing more on this subject. In other words, if a fancy public health official or Doctor wasn't already on it, then obviously it must not exist. Except of course that they are are on it. Medical people try very hard, but seriously, they are the worst bunch of lobbyists and public communicators I've ever seen. They don't speak to each other, they are in a bunch of professional silos, they have no zero marketing and p.r. skills. And loads and loads of substance and brilliance and intelligence that no one will ever know about.
Unlike this guy, sigh....
Anyway, the one good thing to come out of this is that he has inspired me to get back up on my horse and try to lobby some more people. Hopefully people who have a clue what they are talking about it. Cause right now, I'm really disappointed it wasn't that productive.
I'm more disappointed though for underestimating myself. I can't keep doing that. I can help people, so why am I so willing to believe I can't? And how do blustering people like this guy get anywhere in public life while good people can't get their voices heard? I've spent years watching good and bad happen in politics, and I know the good guys outweigh the fools. I guess. Maybe they'll be more good politicians if women like us run someday, eh?