Saturday, April 14, 2012

IF is like a video game

I read Mel's analogy post a few weeks back, and it's been floating around my brain.

And then this past week I was faced with what to do about my PIO shot the night my husband was going to be away. Previously I've had my next door neighbor (a doctor) do the shot on the single occasion I've needed an IM shot without my husband around.

But instead of having her do it, I decided I could do it myself. After all, I know it's not a painful shot, it's just awkward, but there's no reason I shouldn't be able to do it.

So I did. And it was easy (and yes, a little awkward, and also, man it takes a lot more effort to inject progesterone in ethyl oleate through a 25g needle than any of my subcutaneous injections in my belly...)

And it got me thinking... Infertility is like a video game where no skill is involved, just luck.


Oh, and there are no save points. Only the final result matters. Getting part way there doesn't mean you get to start there the next time you try.

Some people waltz through the game and win easily and never have any set backs, and don't think twice about it.

Other people keep trying and for no obvious reason can't make any progress.

But, as with video games, we can track achievements that you collect along the way, not just the win/loss result at the end.

Here are the IF achievements I've come up with. I'm sure you can come up with others - post them in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

Fearless Pincushion was the last achievement I needed. Now I've collected them all, and Monday I'll find out if this time I won or lost.


Willing Pincushion = received injections as part of fertility treatment
Brave Pincushion = self-injected subcutaneous injections as part of fertility treatment
Fearless Pincushion = self-injected PIO or other fleshy-part-of-your-back-hip injections
Clumsy Pincushion = accidentally stuck a needle in some of your body you didn't mean to

Beginner Sharpshooter = done 10 injections
Intermediate Sharpshooter = done 50 injections
Advanced Sharpshooter = done 100 injections
Master Sharpshooter = done 500 injections
Sharpshooter Instructor = know all the local places to drop off a full sharps container

Bronze Voodoo Doll = done 2 injections in a session
Silver Voodoo Doll = done 3 injections in a session
Gold Voodoo Doll = done 4 injections in a session
Platinum Voodoo Doll = done 5+ injections in a session
Embarrassed Voodoo Doll = accidentally had to do an extra injection because you forgot to mix the saline with the powder

Junior Explorer = self-injecting in a public bathroom (airport, restroom)
Social Explorer = going into a single stall public bathroom with a partner to get a PIO shot
Dive Explorer = self-injecting in a filthy public bathroom that requires covering everything with paper towels
Senior Explorer = self-injecting in the front seat of your car while parked on a public street
Neighborly Explorer = self-injecting at a friend's house
Ninja Explorer = self-injecting while on vacation with people who don't know
(This category initially brainstormed by Dead Cow Girl.)


  1. Hey There!

    Just wanted you to know I'm praying for you. -Jen

    1. Thank you! I'll know in about 18 hours...

  2. I loved this post! I laughed! Since this is my first IVF cycle I am only a Brave Pincushion, just shy of Intermediate Sharp Shooter, and a Bronze Voodoo. Tonight is my first IM. I'm sooo glad you said it doesn't hurt!!

  3. This is great! So true!!! Thinking of you...

  4. Awesome list! I have one for you, but I can't think of the appropriate name. It's for the Explorer category, though. Maybe Professional Explorer? Self-injecting at work. I have many achievements in that category!

    Much luck...I hope you've beaten the game.

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