Dinner at the Turkish Cafe

Monday December 11, 2006

The group was just a small one - me, Trudie, Rosemary and Felicity - which was actually quite good as it was easy for everyone to talk.

And talk we did! I'm positive these four almost-strangers would have looked like lifelong friends to anyone else in the restaurant. I think the lovely wine Felicity brought along might have helped the flow of conversation. :)

We all agree the best part of the whole night was simply being in the company of other women who understood what we were talking about. I don't know about you, but I always feel a certain amount of reserve talking about early menopause or HRT or IVF with friends and relatives as they just don't "get" it. Monday night was the first time I really began to appreciate what this support group has to offer - understanding, learning from each other's experiences and, of course, a good laugh!

We also discussed a few things about the group, so I thought I'd list these below for you to have a think about.

1. We'd like to get together more!

Maybe once a month or every couple of months, depending on how keen people are. Going out for dinner each time could get pricey, but we could also try morning/afternoon tea at someone's house.

2. Our page on NZORD.org is up and running!

Great news and a great little page, thanks Trudie for sorting out the logistics! Please go and check it out. You can even google us!

Trudie has been in contact with the organisation and is now looking at beginning the process of establishing our own web page early next year.

If anyone is keen to help out in ANY aspect of this process, she'd love to hear from you - and you don't have to be in Auckland.

3. The Annual Get-together

We talked about having it in winter next year to make the most of off-peak rates for accommodation etc. We'll invite speakers to come and share their expertise on topics of interest to us and use the time to get to know each other a bit better.

Perhaps on the final morning we could also have a chat about what we all want from the group - eg. info sharing, support, awareness to the medical community and general population etc.

Waiwera was one idea as it's a nice setting and provides other facilities if you've had enough talking for a while. That's just one idea, please share your thoughts.

4. Contacting GPs

Too many times women have to wait too long for a diagnosis of POF. Following the lead of the International Premature Ovarian Failure Association, we'd like to get pro-active and send a document to all NZ GPs asking them to consider POF a possibility earlier rather than later in their diagnosis. We'll also include contact details for the support group.

Unless we want to pay for it, we can't obtain an address list of GPs, so we're doing it ourselves from the phone book. We've almost completed the Auckland list but the task is bigger than we imagined - the Auckland list alone contains 294 entries so far!

Having said that, and probably put you right off, does anyone in another region want to start a list of their own?
A mail drop would be cheaper than post so, we we’re wondering, do we have any volunteers out there willing to visit the GPs in their area?

We've contacted the Royal NZ College of GPs and they've suggested they may be able to put an article in one of the publications they send out to members, so fingers crossed that works out as that would save a lot of time and energy!

5. Fundraising

Not really a pressing issue, but to make gatherings bigger or more regular or to help pay for costs of guest speakers, it might be a good idea to look at some sort of fundraising in the future - e.g. movie nights, selling chocolate etc. Any other ideas?

Felicity works in an accounting firm and told us that, due to new laws coming in next year, we need to become a registered charitable trust with our own bank account to receive money from anywhere. NZORD can help us open an account through their organisation if/when we get to this stage.

Well, that's the end of the list.

But basically, if we do nothing except continue the emails and get together as people feel ready, we'll be doing a great job of supporting each other. These were just a few sideline topics we got chatting about. I think it was the chatting itself that really helped.