Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No Good Deed

During my IVF cycle (a year ago now), I ended up, as so many do, with more drugs than I needed. Specifically, I had an entire, unopened 900-unit vial of follistim left over, and the clinic wouldn't take it back. It sat in my fridge for almost a year, just in case we needed it.

As my due date approached and I started thinking that we may well actually have the baby, the presence of that vial started bugging me. If you haven't done IVF, then you should know that Follistim is very expensive. As in, hundreds (possibly a thousand) dollars for one little vial. I knew there were people out there who hadn't yet been as fortunate as we'd been, and who could really use what I had.

So, I posted a message on an IVF group to which I belong. I had extra drugs, whatever could I do with them? As expected, I soon heard from two women, both of whom were paying for IVF out of pocket and both of whom really, really wanted my follistim. I gave it to the first woman who responded. I would not, of course, be charging her for the drug, but we did agree that she'd reimburse me for my shipping costs, especially as it would need to be shipped overnight (Follistim needs to be refrigerated).

I lovingly packed up that Follistim box with several ice packs and a nice little note full of well-wishes, and sent it to the middle of nowhere (seriously, this woman lives so close to the back of beyond that the guy at the UPS store later called me to tell me he wasn't sure the town to which I was sending it even existed). Because she lived in a rural area and because I was shipping overnight, the shipping costs were exorbitant -- I'd been expecting to pay $20, $30 tops, but instead I spent over $70 to give her my drugs.

I tracked the package, and confirmed that she got it. She, in turn, told me she'd sent out the check. A few days later, she emailed me to tell me her envelope had been returned, so I re-sent her my address and she claimed to have remailed the check.

That was in mid-January. About two weeks later, I emailed her asking if maybe her check had been returned again, as I hadn't received it. She claimed it got lost in the mail, and that she'd send me a replacement via Fedex overnight. An entire month later, I still haven't received her check, and now she won't answer my emails. In the meantime, she continues to post to the IVF group -- my Follisitim worked for her, and she's now happily pregnant.

I have to say, at this point, I'm well and truly mad. I don't begrudge her the hundreds of dollars in drugs, but it really bothers me to have spent nearly $100 that I could have used on other things, and now she can't even be bothered to reimburse me. And for some reason, it's worse because her cycle worked. I think if she'd gotten a BFN, I would have let the issue slide completely, because why torment her? But she appears to be as happy as a clam right now, even as she fails to recognize the stranger who had a small part in making her happiness possible.

The mean, nasty part of me is tempted to call her out publicly, by posting to the group that I still haven't been paid. But what if she's telling the truth? What if, through no fault of her own (and as thoroughly farfetched as it seems), three separate checks sent by two different carriers have failed to make their way to me? Even more, what if she really is in financial dire straits, and the $70 that's an annoyance to me is her family's grocery money this week? I don't dare call her out without better information, but I'm still really mad. So I'm writing about it here, feeling angry and impotent and frustrated.

Any ideas? What would you do?


Rachel said...

Not being known for my social graces, I wouldn't dare to offer advice. But I certainly share in your frustration. After a gift like that, you'd think the woman would either reimburse you or at least be open enough to explain that she can't.

K said...

Had the same thing happen to me. Tried and tried to contact the person, to no avail. Wish I knew what to tell you..maybe private message her on that board?

Carrie said...

Hi! Thanks so much for the encouraging message. I so needed it! Maybe I shouldn't write Lefty off yet. ;) Really, thank you!

That is unfortunate. It is so upsetting when generosity goes unacknowledged! I would say chalk it up to a not-so-nice-person and move on if she won't get back to you. I don't know, but I guess being angry tends to make things worse for me. Just my two cents.