Describe your experience with Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine.
I found this clinic to be very timely. Only a handful of times did I have to wait longer than expected.
As a South Georgia patient having to commute, sometimes the weekend appointments to Jacksonville got tiring as it would monopolize the whole weekend. We had to cancel plans a few times because an early Sunday appointment would throw things for a loop. They would try and work with us as best they could, but if you are commuting, be prepared to be flexible.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
At the FIRM, I definitely felt like a human. Dr. Winslow never made me feel like a number; he knew our case and always gave us a practical plan. You always see a FIRM doctor at every appointment, even if Dr. Winslow was unavailable. The nursing staff is AMAZING. They know who you are and know you by name. They are quick to call back and talk through any concerns or questions.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
The nursing staff at the FIRM is absolutely amazing. They cheer with you when the news is good and they are so disappointed when it isn't either. Since we are based in South Georgia, we had two primary nurses - one in Jacksonville (where the procedures happened) and one in Tallahassee (where we had our usual check up scans). The head nurse Patty is so wonderful. They really take the time to explain everything to you and talk through any concerns or questions. After our second retrieval our sweet Tallahassee nurse Jamie called me to celebrate our 17 after she heard how it went! I cried leaving them the day of our last appointment.
How was your experience with Kevin Winslow?
We loved our experience with Dr. Winslow. He is a straightforward person, but my husband and I are too, so we all meshed well. Bedside manner wasn't hugely important to me compared to knowledge of our situation and a plan of attack. I liked that he has a practical nature and a way of explaining things to us that was easy to understand. I would bring in questions to our appointments when I had them, and he always took the time to answer any of my concerns.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Kevin Winslow?
If you have questions, write them down and bring to your appointment. He will take the time to answer them!
Describe the protocols Kevin Winslow used in your cycles and their degree of success.
We came to the FIRM and Dr. Winslow after having a miscarriage and extremely irregular cycles post miscarriage. It had almost taken a year to become pregnant, so the blow was a hard one, and then not being able to time anything after was super frustrating. Dr. Winslow first suggested we try timed cycles with assisted with Letrozole. I had to be put on a higher dosage of Letrozole as I wasn't responding as much as he would have liked - we tried this for three cycles before moving onto IUI using Letrozole. This resulted in a negative test, but we wanted to try it one more time. At the egg follicle check before planning the second IUI appointment, we learned I had stopped responding to the Letrozole. This is when we decided to move forward with IVF. I was 32 at the time and my AMH level came back .13, signaling to the doctors that I would be put on maximum dosages of the medication as I was would likely be a "poor responder." It was the antagonist protocol, using Gonal F, menapur and centritide, triggered with HCG. I went for 12 days and the cycle resulted in 5 embryos. Two made it to the blastocyst stage, and we opted to PGS screen them. One came back abnormal and one came back no DNA detected, meaning they didn't get a good enough sample to make the call. Dr. Winslow called to give us the less-than thrilling news and said we could transfer the blank embryo or we should consider doing a second cycle if we wanted more than one child, but he stressed both options were a good decision. We opted to do a second cycle after much thought (and prayers). Same protocol, same maximum dosage, but triggered with a Lupron + HCG mix. I also went the full 14 days and added Vitamin D in addition to my prenatals. This resulted in 17 eggs, and 7 made it to the blast stage! We were thrilled - and shocked! 4 came back normal, one no DNA, and two abnormal. We transferred 1 and I am currently expecting.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Kevin Winslow.
All in - including continuous travel to Jacksonville and Tallahaseee - we came in a bit over $40k for the two cycles, medication, PGS testing, embryo transfer, gas, hotel stay, etc. Because of my "poor responder" characteristic, this meant that I had to be on the max dosage of all medications and I was on them for a longer period of time. The medication expense what really added up for us. We got a tiny discount in medication but not much. Gonal F pens were about $800 a pop and I would go through 1 pen in 3 days, where as some women can extend that for 6. We hadn't planned on a second cycle, so our savings were about wiped out. It was worth it - but stressful.