Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Be careful of what you ask for

So I have been bugging my doctor's office for all my test results. Now yes they are by right available to me on request, my doctor doesn't always send them out. Sometimes they just call and say its normal and that's it. My doctor also has sometimes said 'oh is normal, don't worry' and implies that I need to remember that new technology shows us all sorts of normal things that can sound scary but are nothing to worry about. (I think she has figured out I have a tendency to worry.)

Recently I have been feeling deprived and left out of the loop and insisted I get all my reports of recent tests. This is clearly a case of be careful of what you ask for. Because now I have to figure out what they mean. Things like ultrasounds and mammograms and xrays a nice radiologist sums up the results in a nice tidy little fashion and says things like 'no change from last time', 'negative', or 'no follow up needed'.

But then there are all the other tests - mostly blood work - which give the results and the normal range and if you are out of normal range, they indicate this with an asterisk so you can conveniently see them. So now what do they mean? If you are out of normal range, is it cause for concern? Is it enough of a difference? Is this consistent? I even have two blood tests taking two months apart to compare. So what if one is out of range but the other is fine? Is the second reading the important one? Eeeekkkk!!! I have no idea!

What am I supposed to do? 1. Go to medical school to learn how to read these. No, too busy. 2. Go on the internet to scare myself silly. No, I'm too smart for that - most of the time. 3. Ignore them. (If you ignore weird things, maybe they will go away - or at least that's my theory.) 4. Make a list of concerns on out of range results and bring them up to the doctor at my next set of blood tests in November? I think I will go with option 4 for now. But at anytime I am feeling stupid I will be sure to switch to option 2 to stress myself out and sometimes go to option 3 with the stress kicks in. But overall I think I am glad to have them. Its my body and I need to keep on top of what's going on.

Yesterday I survived another two job work day - 8-1 and then 145-615. Today I only work 8-1 but then have lots to do. The big thing is call about the cat at 3pm. I called yesterday and was told yes they need to keep him for another day because his sugar levels are too high but he's eating (and nothing gets between him and his food dish which is a very good sign - you can throw a party around him eating his canned food and he won't notice until he's done.) This makes me happy.

Now I am going to be late again. I have to learn this internet/work balance thing again. Too much time wasting on line.

1 comment:

Debby said...

I have tried so hard to understand all these tests, but the fact is, I don't. That's why it's so important to be able to trust your 'team'. There is no way to digest it all on your own, as a layperson.