Describe your experience with Piedmont Reproductive Endocrinology Group.
Alma is the front desk coordinator and she will be your main point of contact. Make friends with her.
The clinic is always clean and had very relaxing music playing, usually something along the lines of light rock. There are several things that they do throughout the year, such as Christmas wishes, where you can bring a wish written and put into a clear ornament and it will hang on their Christmas tree for good luck. They are very inclusive.
All around the office there are pictures and thank-you cards from successful patients and their new bundles of joy. Make sure you make them one.
The one weakness that we ever experienced, we made well-known to the clinic and they handled the situation. We were in the beginnijng stages and were discussing treatment options with one of the nurses and she said something along the lines Of, "you should take mijne for a day. You wouldn't want to be here and sure wouldn't want twins." I left in tears and my husband was furious because she was working in an office where literally EVERYBODY's point there was to get pregnant, and she made snide comments about her own child and how we wouldn't want one after that. We brought it to the attention of the staff and though she is no longer employed, that comment sticks with me.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
I had previously seen another doctor at PREG as well as an RE in another location close by. With the first doctor at PREG (Dr. Nichols), I was slightly younger and my husband (who at the time was my boyfriend) worked 12-hour shifts 7am-7pm so most of the time, he was unable to accompany me. Though he and I had been together for 4-5 years, I felt as though I wasn't taken seriously by Dr. Nichols. He would not discuss anythi mg with me without my partner present and constantly stated we would talk more when my partner was able to be there. I felt patronized.
With the second doctor at a different facility, I met with him only once before he called me over the weekend to inform me, in his exact words, that I was "too fat to get pregnant naturally" and that if I were willing to go on the program he and his wife were on, he would consider IVF for me.
Dr. Payne was different. I went back to PREG and stated I wanted to be seen by any doctor other than Nichols, and they obliged. Dr. Payne took the time to get to know my husband and I together and separate since we had to go for different thimgs throughout the procedure. He was also frank with us when we asked about our chances, how everything could go, what his plan was, etc. He was an open book and even though he told us realistically our chances, he remained optimistic that we would be pregnant successfully.
When we saw our first heartbeat, there were two and he told us that though it was exciting, there was still a chance of an early miscarriage for one or both. We did end up losing one of the twins and he comforted us but took great care in making sure the one we did have was healthy and stable to the best of his ability.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nurses were absolutely amazing. They knew us by name and we felt more like a family. They always included both me and my husband in everything that was discussed, they allowed us to be together if one of us was uncomfortable, they laughed with us... They were amazing during this time!
How was your experience with John Payne?
Dr. Payne was very upfront from the beginning of the experience. I am overweight and he let me know that, no, I didn't have to lose weight, but if I did, it would be healthier. I never felt pressured to lose weight or that he wouldn't perform the procedure.
When he learned my husband was a large part of the problem, he did everything he could to make sure we understood his condition. He was born without his vas defrens, meaning that he had no pathway for the sperm to get out. There were multiple semen analyses done in order to make sure there were no unnecessary procedures done.
He took extra care to explain what would happen with the procedure my husband had to remove the sperm because it was my husband's first surgery and he was nervous. He also had nurses come to the waiting room to inform me of how things were going.
The only thing I was not 100% satisfied with was that, though we did have an absolutely amazing experience and would choose him every time, he always felt a bit rushed. Im not sure if that was just his peraonality, always going, or if the facility had multiple patients scheduled around a certain time, but he always seemed to give us all the information we needed and asked for in a quick manner.
Now don't mistake that as he didn't stay if we needed him. If we had additional questions, he stayed and answered them. It didn't appear to bother him, he never seemed unhappy to have to stay longer with us, and he never sent someone else in to answer our questions. He was just constantly moving with purpose.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of John Payne?
Come in with a list of questions and a pen. This is for any doctor you see at PREG but especially Payne. He answers your questions quickly and moves on to the next topic so if you have a list of questions when you go in, you can make sure those questions are answered (write what he says next to the question for easy reference!) And you can also wrote down other questions that arise while he is talking if you don't want to interrupt him and go back to those questions at the end. Basically just make sure anything you wanted to know, you have written down.
Describe the protocols John Payne used in your cycles and their degree of success.
I don't remember specifics. I know I was on birth control for a few weeks to trick my body into having a period (they are extremely irregular-- I could have one every month or not have one for 2 years). Once I had my period, I began injections for egg retrieval and growth. I then took estrogen, estrace, and progesterone to keep the embryo happy in my uterus.
Without specifics, I remember taking lupron, gonal-f, the estrogen and estrace, progesterone-in-oil, and some other pills throughout the cycle.
Describe the costs associated with your care under John Payne.
My insurance covered a good bit thankfully, but that isn't always the case. We paid out-Of-pocket for our medications (about 4500) as well as for each ultrasound (usually between 150-300). We also paid a portion of the actual cost which totaled about 7000 after insurance. We had financing to cover this.