IVF Diary Part 8: Health Checkup and EKG

This is Part 8 of the IVF Diary series. I’ll be keeping a diary of all important IVF days, starting from when we first chose to undergo infertility treatment in Prague. Click here to read all other IVF diary posts.

On Day 10, just after my second ultrasound, my IVF coordinator booked an appointment with a doctor for me to have an EKG done. They want to make sure your heart can handle the anesthetics to keep the mortality rate of a simple elective procedure such as egg retrieval as low as possible. She also handed me the results of the blood work I’d done a couple of days prior. I thought I’d be tested for 16 things but it turns out there were about 30 tests!


The Soviet Drill Sergeant

On we go to the EKG doctor! Our coordinator gave us thorough instructions on how to get there by tram. Once we had a chance to look the directions ourselves though (courtesy of our dear friend Google Maps), we realized it was literally 2 blocks from the clinic. Two blocks! I’ll gladly walk 5 minutes in a beautiful city like Prague while saving 48 CZK ($2.20, the cost of 2 tram tickets) in the process. Yes, public transit is dirt cheap!

After an arduous trek, we finally reached our destination. Or at least, Google maps said we were there. Ah, there’s the “Poliklinika” sign, that must be it!

Spot the doctor’s office

We walked up two or three flights of stairs and saw a sign with the doctor’s name on it. We’re in the right place!

In high spirits we walked through the waiting area, which was nothing more than a narrow hallway with some chairs against the wall, looking for a receptionist or nurse. Before we could blink a woman wearing white scrubs appeared out of nowhere and started yelled something in Czech in our direction. She must’ve been at it a good 30 seconds or more. We just stood there. Flabbergasted. Uuh, what is happening? As quick as she appeared she stormed off again.

This is how I would imagine an old Soviet doctors office would be. Wait in line! No bull-shit! Who do you think you are? Get back in line!

Needless to say, we didn’t understand a word of her tirade. What was she saying? Was she even hollering at us? She mostly looked at the scruffy guy standing behind us, so we sort of assumed it wasn’t directed at us.


Anyway, our best guess was that she was “kindly suggesting” everybody wait their turn in line, so we took a seat way in the back. We were 30 minutes early so we didn’t think much of it, but 10 minutes went by, then another 10, and another, and then another. We weren’t called.

The line moved, albeit very slowly. There were at least 5 more people in front of us and it was already past our scheduled appointment time! The same woman who yelled at us 45 minutes ago suddenly made a reappearance. This time, we were being a good girl and boy and sat in line waiting our turn.

I got the, if I may say so, brilliant idea to wave around my IVF-clinic provided map print-out and referral note. I figured, maybe this lady is my doctor, and if she sees this paper I’m waving around, maybe she’ll pick us out of the line-up! Pretty stupid, right?

Miraculously, it worked!

She said: “Oh my, are you a patient from the IVF clinic? I’m so sorry I made you wait! You can come right on in!”

Apparently, she made several announcements (yelled out into the hallway) that she was looking for me. Except: it was in Czech. And the IVF clinic never told her my name. Clearly, that didn’t work.



More Than Just an EKG?

I proceeded to her office and before I got half a foot in the door she said: “No, your husband too”. Hmm, I thought this was all just for a simple EKG? What does she need Mr. Frugalcrib for? Is this the moment where, completely out of the blue, they make him get a prostate exam?

No. It was not.

In fact, I still don’t know why he had to be there. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t care if he’s in the room with me. But it felt a bit as if women weren’t allowed to see the doctor by themselves. As if they need their husband in the room. I’m probably way off base here though 😉

Anyway, she asked some general health questions and looked over all my bloodwork. Next, I had to undress (like, all the way down to my undies and then my bra had to go as well) for a simple EKG. She then sprayed some water on me (yup) and attached electrodes eeeeverywhere. Let’s just say it was an interesting experience.

In the end, the doc did turn out to be really friendly and professional.


Long story short: All looks good, I can undergo anesthesia!

Click here to read Part 9 of my IVF diary.

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