bloodwork debacle

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gardenlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 3103
   Posted 11/11/2008 4:21 AM (GMT -7)   
there are two reasons i don't go and get my bloodwork done as often as i ought to.

1. every tech, nurse, what have you in that office has NO art with a needle. None. This last week really took the cake, though. The entire inside of my elbow was swollen, achey and stiff, and the bruise was truly epic. i probably should have taken a pic. now i just look like a recovering junkie instead of an active one. and i'm not one to complain about needles or anything. and i know when you get stuck as often as i do, sometimes it's gonna get botched. but still. everyone who's seen this thing says its ridiculous.

2. every time i get blood done, i get a message on my phone, *and my parents*, that sounds like that nurse has heard the fourth horseman and the apocalypse is headed our way. gloom and doom, fire and brimstone. usually over something really small, too. last time my potassium was up literally by a couple decimal points. another time it was iron (which was a little low, but again, pretty typical in a 20-30-something female). another time it was blood sugar. every time the message; "there's something urgent about your bloodwork that we need to get on top of NOW." literally like i'm hemorrhaging or dying or something. then they call my parents. so, on top of dealing with her irritating self, now i have to peel mom off the ceiling because she stresses out about the message.

3. okay, so there's a third, little reason. every time i get one of these messages, i get wound up. not like mom, who just comes completely unglued. my rational mind says it's probably something small, something totally fixable, or even a fluke (not the wormy kind, god forbid!). Unfortunately my not-rational mind is much, much louder. So. I stay up all night waiting to call the doc first thing in the AM when they open. lack of sleep isn't something i handle as well as i did once upon a time, back in the day...

Okay. Background accomplished. I got one of those "the end of teh world is nigh" calls the other day. So I sat up all night, like i always do, and called them right away in the AM. (Just for general giggles, the betting pool was a bust. it wasnt' iron or sugar) here's the stats.

potassium 5.9 (norm 3.6-5.0)
chloride 114 (norm 110)
calcium 10.4 (norm 10.3)

and drum roll...neutrophiles. .9 (normal is 1.5-7.5). so they aren't actively in teh basement but they sure are looking at the door. this could be caused by remicade. i'm following up with my family doc this thursday, and remicade has been postponed until we get some stuff sorted out. they'd like to re-run the blood, but crap. i am not made of money! how far off could it be? (that's a serious question)

any thoughts? advice? suggestions? if i can't do remicade anymore, what are the options (i'm afraid i already know, but in case i missed something)?

oh. and the PA at my Remicade place says "stay away from sick people." well gee. if only he coulda come up wtih that advice a couple days sooner. wouldn't you know sunday i came down with a cold?
"Let me light my lamp,"
Says the star,
"And never debate
If it will help to remove the darkness."
-- Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore


Sniper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 6518
   Posted 11/11/2008 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I know,, the stay away from sick people really makes me laugh because the same doc that says this ,has me go to the hosipital each month for blood work, where I sit with all the ER patients. Guess I need to hold my breath.
A hint about blood work , if this is not the case already, have the nurse use a butterfly needle. They are very small and sharp and dont do half the damage as the blood draw needles . Vains dont collapse as much either.
I would tell the people that do your blood work that they are in violation of the HIPPA laws. IF they call and get your mom they should say only that they are calling with blood work results and give no details to her. That is how it is suppose to be done. That may put a bug in their behind but the thought of a lawsuit should stop them in their tracks.
Two weeks ago I had a kidney stone and had to go to the ER. They could not get into a vain and so they used my port. The nurses, two of them , took turns stabbing me. It took 7 tries to get the needle in the port. Six of which , they pressed so hard that the needle made a loud snap as it went in. My wife said she could hear it outside the room. When I had my remicade this week I asked the doc about it and she said that it sounds like they were punching through the back of the port, which is metal. This explains why the needles were too dull to go in a second time when they pulled them out. Needless to say, you would not want to trade nurses with us down here. Incompetence knows no bounds.
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.


AlwaysRosie
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 11/11/2008 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Garden Lady,

Sorry that was so brutal. I was told by a blood draw person that when I'm dehydrated it makes the blood draw more difficult. Sure enough, when I make sure to hydrate before my blood draws, they go WAY better. So that might help you too. I've seen other folks comment about this on the Lupus board too and it seems to help most of us.

Sniper is right about those messages. Ask your doctors office(s) NOT to leave detailed messages for you. They should just ask that you return the call. If you have a cell phone, then have them call you directly instead of leaving messages on the home phone. Then your mom wouldn't be involved at all until you are ready to involve her.

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

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Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 11/11/2008 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I have that rational/irrational mind too. The thing that has helped me a ton is to call home and check my messages. I always call home a few times a day from work and check to see if there is anything that needs to be handled before the end of business. This is especially helpful on those days when you know that results are due in. And as a Mom, I am always worried that there is some kid emergency too. But most answering machines have a remote access code so that you can call from work or your cell phone. If you make it a habit to call at 4:30 that will give you a half an hour to get in touch with your doctor to find out what is going on and you won't be up all night. It isn't a a flawless plan, but it works most of the time.
Suzanne

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


gardenlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 3103
   Posted 11/11/2008 9:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Actually, I would rather they leave me a detailed message than "there's something wrong with your bloodwork that needs to get handled NOW." (this is the message she leaves regardless of what's wrong with the bloodwork. i could be a hair anemic and the sky WOULD be falling) At least then it isn't totally up to my wide, wonderful imagination what could be wrong. And they don't leave details with my folks -- they leave the same 'the world is ending' vague message with them, an Mom's imagination is even wilder than mine. Hence the problem! (eye roll) And, beyond that...the results were in the next day, so I really wasn't expecting that call. I thought it would be the end of that week at the earliest. I'd have been stuck up all night this time around anyway.

I think I'm going to talk to them -- I don't know quite what to do, though. I want my folks to remain an emergency contact, but it's like they're using the emergency contact as a secondary contact, which is really annoying. I thought emergency meant that, ya know, if I keel over in the office and have to be taken to the hospital, they call the emergency contact. Lab results from a blood draw where I walked in and out again on my own power shouldn't qualify as an emergency.

This whole thing is making me want to whack my head on something really hard. It's like I'm surrounded. I've got a gastro that scolds me for not going in for my blood work (rightfully so), when I do go in for blood work, it's a total hatchet job. Then I get what we've affectionately come to know as "the call," from Nurse Chicken-Little. Then my parents get the message from Nurse Chicken-Little. Next thing I know, I'm short on sleep, everyone is running around like an idiot, usually over something miniscule, and I'm in the middle of it trying to keep my cool and really assess the situation for what it is. Then I have to peel Mom off the ceiling and explain it to her. And I have to call the nurse and make sure that everything on their end is cool. And somewhere in all this, I'm supposed to get my own stuff done so that we can keep a roof over our heads and eat and what?

Here's the fun part from today. I called my primary doc's office to see if they had the results faxed over yet. Nurse Chicken-Little, for all her squawking and demanding that I see my primary, after I talked to her Friday, still hasn't faxed the results to my primary. In that vein, (no pun intended), just what the devil are me and the primary supposed to discuss when he doesn't have anything to GO ON? Because the very same person who acted like my labs signalled the apocalypse hasn't feed a sheet of paper through a machine with a phone number punched in.

Okay. Deep breath. Coming down from the rant.

Anyone had trouble with neutrophils before? And what did you do about it? That's the main thing here. THe minerals...meh. whee. those will right themselves, I think. It's those buggered little neutrophils that are nagging me. So what's the score?
"Let me light my lamp,"
Says the star,
"And never debate
If it will help to remove the darkness."
-- Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore


gardenlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 3103
   Posted 11/12/2008 4:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Uhhh. I think we found the culprit on the minerals. Feels like a kidney stone sneaking up on me. Literally. I totally thought I was in the clear -- didn't get my annual one in Sept./Oct. Now, today, I get the back spasm, the itchy-weirdness, and that pinchy-gotta-go stuff that can only mean one thing. Now if we can get those white cells sorted out...it'll be game on!
"Let me light my lamp,"
Says the star,
"And never debate
If it will help to remove the darkness."
-- Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/12/2008 5:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Sniper, Hippa and Butterfly needles.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

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