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Fear of Flying

Posted Sep 25 2009 3:34pm
Usually I am a pretty calm traveler and with the exception of the months following 9/11, flying is usually not something that worries me. This past weekend I flew up to Boston for the day to celebrate the 86th birthday of Dr. Edward Gordon, my father and a recently (yes, recently) retired general surgeon. The flight to Boston on Sunday morning was fine. However, upon landing my brother Steve warned me that we may be staying for longer than just the day if the big storm brewing ended up slamming New England as predicted.

Well, the party was great and my parents enjoyed having two of their sons and a bunch of other relatives present. We headed off to the airport on Sunday afternoon and there were no standby seats available on the 5:30 pm flight to BWI. However, our 6:30 pm flight was scheduled for a 7 pm departure...still plenty of time to beat the storm to BWI. Then we heard the dreaded announcement : we had a plane and a pilot but no flight crew until 9 pm! So we watched helplessly as CNN described the monster storm bearing down on the I-95 corridor. Great.

We pulled away from the gate at 9:30 pm and had to wait for deicing to be completed. At 11 pm we were finally #2 for take off and just then all the lights came on in the cabin. The First Officer walked slowly back and forth. The Captain announced that this was just protocol to check for ice on the wings...not to worry. Heh, heh.

The sand trucks and snow plows made a nice path for us and we zipped down the runway. The plane lifted off and obviously made a safe landing at BWI 55 minutes later since here I am blogging about it. So what does this have to do with infertility? Not much but I actually do have a point. The checklist indicated that the First Officer needed to visually inspect the wings. He did so and we did fine. The flight that landed in the Hudson in New York came down safely because the crew followed protocols. In medicine, we need to follow protocols as well.

In fertility treatment we also need to follow a logical protocol. Check the tubes, check the sperm, check the hormones..etc etc. In the laboratory we check the patient's identity, double check the sperm donor's identity and confirm whose eggs go with whose sperm. These steps are crucial to a good program. Deviate from such procedures at you own peril. At Dominion each week we have a lab meeting to review past and upcoming patients in order to make sure that the plan makes sense for each patient. Your plan needs to reflect your needs. Make sure that you get a logical explanation of your plan...whether that means clomid/IUI or IVF. Remember that your RE is not trying to torture you by performing these tests, but just like the First Officer on Air Tran 800, he or she is just making sure that all bases are covered.

May all you flights be on time.
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