Wednesday, March 27, 2013

That was stupid (on my part)

They (the all knowing all powerful they) insist that patients should get and keep all of their medical test results. They say its the smart thing to do. So being smart, yesterday I went off to get a copy of my CT scan results so I can read it myself and obey 'them'.

Now I'm sorry I did.

I know the value of having a doctor interpret the results but the ER doctor had already told me no injuries, just some arthritis in my neck.

I also know that some things show up on test results that the radiologists comment on but aren't really important and can be ignored.

But now I want to call my doctor to find out if I should be concerned. Both tests, the head CT and the neck CT, conclude with no acute findings with chronic findings as noted. Acute means no injuries. Chronic means never going to go away.

I had a spine MRI about four years ago and will attempt to dig out the results which are buried in my folder of medical test results later today. I do not believe that MRI reported any chronic findings with my neck or cervical spine.

My concern is where the CT test results say things like:

"There is mild prominence of extra-axial volume loss" when they talk about my brain.  Is my brain shrinking?

"There is minimal degenerative anterolisthesis at C3/4 and minimal degenerative retrolisthesis at C4/C5. A C4/C5 there is minimal narrowing of the central canal due to broad-based disc osteophyte. There is moderate narrowing of the bony right neural foramen due to disc and uncovertebral joint degeneration."

My concerns are:
  1. If these are chronic are they going to get worse or stay the same?
  2. Why did they happen?
  3. Should I be concerned? Which I guess is my main question.

As far as the ER doctor was concerned, I was not injured in the accident but I don't think he cares about the other stuff. Nothing against him as its not part of his job.

I will call my PCP and see if I can talk to her about this and find out if I should be concerned or if I should make an appointment. I was stupid. I should have ignored the report until my next appointment.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Yes, please....don't read anymore results....for your own peace of mind. Folks go to school for years to understand how to interpret x-rays & CT scans & MRIs & the like. They note *everything* they see...not just the presence or absence of what they were looking for to begin with.

Like my Mama (RIP) used to say...don't go looking for trouble...or you may find it.

File that copy of your report in the trash under "C" for CRAP...not cancer.

My favorite line from my Mom, when sitting in her doctor's cubicle after an exam:

Dr: Mrs. XXX, I see on your x-ray that you have severe curvature of the spine. We call that scoliosis.

My Mom: Dr. XXX, don't worry...your x-ray will look the same when you get to be my age.

And she picked up her purse, grabbed her walker, and out the door she tottled, with me close behind....grinning.

:-D

Read an Enquirer instead of your CT report...much more entertaining.

Love & hugs from an RN who hates the medical establishment--I'm too jaded, I guess.

--Andrea
XOXOXO