“Less than 10% chance of success”
So we travelled over to Istanbul see the specialist at the IVF clinic. We stayed at my wife’s family home on the outskirts of the city. I asked my wife that when we go to the clinic could we go alone as her sister and Mother normally tend to tag along whenever anything medical is being considered in the family. I asked as I really didn’t want to have to do my “business” knowing the sister and Mother-in-law were in the waiting room knowing what I was doing, call me old fashioned but hey I needed to have my mind on other things and this was something private for just myself and my wife.
We had an appointment already booked before we left the UK and on the morning of it I was waiting for my good lady to be ready and noticed her sister seemed to be getting ready to go out also. I asked where was she going and my wife replied that she insisted that she was coming with us, I wasn’t impressed but I was assured that the appointment was just a preliminary meeting to discuss the procedure So I left it at that.
We arrived at the clinic, which was just off Taksim Square, scene of recent demonstrations and water cannons still evident. The building was very modern and on entering I noticed straight away a few men outside smoking and my mind concluded that they had probably completed their usefulness. Turkey as you may know is a secular country, and long may it continue to be, so I wasn’t too surprised to see women from all parts of its society and religions in and around the reception area. We checked in and were told to wait in the coffee shop area until we were called. Women are the same all over the world and they love a gossip and listening in to others conversations and it wasn’t long before my wife and her sister were whispering to each other and translating to me the life stories of other hopeful women in the waiting area, the men were either reading newspapers or making their excuses and going out for another cigarette.
After about 45 minutes we were called in and again the sister tagged along much to my dismay but I didn’t say anything as this was going to be just a prelim appointment, wasn’t it? Just outside the doctors office was a wall filled with photographs of babies, a very impressive mural to his and the clinics success. We were greeted by a smiling middle aged man who looked like a jovial and less threatening version of Saddam Hussain. His English was very good and he started to explain to us both (in English much to the annoyance of the sister in law) what the procedure entailed. Even if the couple were younger than us, healthier than us and had everything required for IVF (ie plenty of eggs and swimmers) then the success rate was just over 20%. For us, with the problems both my wife and I had explained to him, the chance of success was less than 10%. Now I’m not a gambling man but I knew those odds were not good.
The doctor started to speak in Turkish to my wife and I could see her sister beginning to smirk slightly and looking at me, then the translation……it seemed that I was expected to make a deposit (and I don’t mean a down payment) there and then and before I could say I had a headache or can we have a romantic kebab first, the doctor leaned over his desk and said in slightly sleezy Del Boy Turkish voice “We have dvd’s to suit every need” followed by a wink! (and I did mean wink).
So I was led away from the smirking sister-in-law and my apologetic looking wife to an hotel like room without a bed or window but consisted of an armchair (slightly threadbare) and fairly modern flatscreen TV, with some dvd’s to the side and a shower room. The Manuel like attendant showed me in and left me with a couple of towels and a plastic container with a screw lid. I said I’ll never fill that up in one go, but this went on deaf ears as he couldn’t speak a word of sarcasm.
Then I was on my own….
To be continued……in the meantime here’s a photo of a frogman wearing cricket gear. This was the first photograph I took as a freelance and sold it to the local paper that had made me redundant a few days before…..it’s suppose to signify the start of the cricket season and the usual weather problems associated with that sport.