The Tragic Optimist

health fair

Work sponsored a health fair today.  They gave flu shots, and had representatives from a variety of groups and organizations around to give you information about a variety of health-related benefits.  Plus there were door prizes, so that was a draw.  And I actually learned quite a bit of good stuff.  Like, who knew that our Employee Assistance Program, that provides confidential counseling, will also provide me with a list of pet sitters?  Certainly, I did not know that.  Nor did I know that my life insurance also provided travel assistance – should I get into an accident more than 100 miles from home, they would pay to fly Chris and Zoe out to visit me in the hospital.  I had no idea.  I hope to never use that service, but it’s good to know.

But before I hit the floor and visited the tables, and put my name in for the prizes, I got my flu vaccination.  This is where I learned about the differences between the flu shot and the flu nasal mist.  Turns out the mist, while hurting a lot less, is a live virus vaccine.  That means it’s not indicated for people with chronic conditions, women who are pregnant, or people who are in contact with other immune-suppressed people.  After verifying that a 2 year old does not qualify as immune-suppressed (I had recently read that the immune system is not fully functioning until around age 3, another argument in favor of extended breastfeeding, but I digress) I told the nurse to load my nose up with that living virus.  In case anyone was wondering, I was told that I was a very good sniffer.  And my arm doesn’t hurt.  So that’s good.

So then I wandered among the tables, learning all number of crazy things about the benefits that they never tell us about.  Well, not until today, that is.  And then I got to the health insurance table.  I had been told that the plan I’m on (the pay a co-pay, everything else is covered, no referrals necessary, no deductions, no nothing plan — the expensive one) would be going away some time soon, and I was wondering if that was the case.  But no, it looked like our 3 options were still there, and not much changed, except for the premiums and co-pays going up, of course.  I asked the man there if there were any changes to the coverage.  “No,” he says, “not really.  Well there were some legislative (?) changes that have to do with things like cycles of infertility treatment but as a man with two kids who doesn’t want more …”  I cut him off there.  “As someone who has gone through infertility treatments, I’d like to know what the change is,” I say. “Oh, it’s now 9.  Or 6,” he says, looking unsure. “I can’t remember.  As I said, if it had been 12 years ago, I might have paid attention, but now I just want my kids out of my house.”

I really am quite interested in what the changes are, but it was clear that I wasn’t going to get any more information from him.  And realizing how lucky I am to have any coverage, I told him that I really appreciated that they provided the coverage.  He continued to talk about how he kept dozing off during that part of the talk, how tough it was to have 2 kids, why you shouldn’t have two kids in different martial arts (makes for crazy fights, I guess).  Honestly, I was more flummoxed than upset.  I mean, who does that?  If you know someone has struggled to achieve something, you don’t talk flippantly about how much you don’t like that thing that they struggled for.  I’m used to awkward silences when the topic of infertility comes up, I wasn’t expecting or looking for sympathy, but just a little, I don’t know, tact?

I also got a reusable shopping bag.  So that’s good.

1 Comment

  1. Andie

    That strikes me as one of those “unreal” kind of scenes that happen, but you really can’t fathom it. I’m impressed with you being so direct about the IF thing – it’s something I still struggle with discussing, though I’m doing better.

    Your apple & oatmeal recipes will be making an appearance in my home asap! Yummmm!

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