Read the previous entries:
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Next, Dr. Martinez turned to Oneal. She ordered a seminalysis, and I think a testosterone count of some sort.
When she saw the results, she looked grim. She said Oneal had a low sperm count, and that we might have to consider in vitro fertilization, or even a sperm donor. Our faces fell.
Dr. Martinez admitted that male fertility was not her specialty, so she referred us to a urologist at UST Hospital. We made an appointment, and we brought him all of Oneal’s previous tests. We told him how long we’d been trying to get pregnant, our medical history, the tests Dr. Martinez had done on me.
This new doctor ordered new tests, even specifying the lab in Makati where we should have the seminalysis done. He examined Oneal too, and he found varicoceles.
After seeing the new test results, and examining Oneal again, the urologist made a pronouncement: he was recommending surgery. He explained what varicoceles are, yet again, and what kind of procedure was necessary. But he couldn’t say with any certainty whether or not the surgery would improve our chances of getting pregnant. And he didn’t seem to have any other ideas for improving our situation.
Oneal checked with his healthcare provider at the office, to see if their health insurance would cover the surgery. Alas, they said they would not, so we would have to pay for it out of our own pockets. The urologist estimated it would cost around Php 50,000–clearly not an amount we could easily spend. It seemed terribly exorbitant, especially for something that the doctor himself wasn’t even sure would work!
I don’t remember anymore how many times we went to see that doctor. Oneal says we saw him at least three times at his clinic in UST, and once at Chinese General Hospital. All I remember is that it didn’t feel right.
Going to see that doctor felt like going into some purgatory and waiting for a sentence to be handed down to us. His office in UST Hospital was in the far corner of a cramped lower level, where it felt like decay was hiding just under the haphazardly arranged benches. It was always crowded, the other patients looking unhappy but resigned to their fates. It did not feel like a place for healing and hope.
I don’t even remember what his other office looked like. Oneal says it was worse.
So we decided to get a second opinion.