Friday, July 10, 2009

WHITE ON RICE: Get Your Test Results from your Doctors

Are you one of the people who still believe your doctor is always looking out for you? Naaah... really? They try, but the docs and their staff are overwhelmed. I've been in a lot of waiting rooms in the past two years. I bet it is safe to say that in the course of an 8-hour day, doctors see at least 2 patients an hour, or at least 16 patients a day x 5 days. That's 80 people just like you, trying to get help or get treatment. That's a lot of lab work, insurance filing, appointment calls, and processing to keep up. It all repeats the next Monday, too, and the Monday after that, and the Monday after that.

I wanted to share this link about a study posted in USA Today that found many patients do not get a call from the doctor regarding abnormal test results. These results get stuck on someone's desk or filed away in a patient's chart.

If you do not ask for your test results, this could be you.
If you do not take an active role in your healthcare, this could be you.

What can you do?
I always ask the doctor how long it will take to receive the test results.
I then ask the lab tech that draws my blood how long it will take to process the labs.

If they say 4 days, I set a reminder in my iPhone calendar to call on day 5. I ask the staffer to fax me a copy, or I tell them I will be by to pick it up at a specific time and day.

If they say 2 weeks, I set a reminder in my calendar and call on day 15. I ask the staffer to fax me a copy, or I tell them I will be by to pick it up at a specific time and day.

ALWAYS. As I have said numerous times on this blog, if you do not care about your own health, why would anyone else?

~Moxie Melissa

NAPS: The Search for the Ultimate Afternoon Delight

I started napping for the first time since my pituitary surgery four weeks ago. It started this past Tuesday, when I dropped my dose of hydrocortisone from 25/10 to 20/10. With my sweet Elena at my mom's house, I stayed in bed all morning, thanks to meals and meds from my work-at-home-today-because-he's-working-Saturday-night hubbie.

I love a good nap. I hope you get a good one, too.


Thanks to the MaryO and her Cushing's & Cancer blog for sharing this entry originally posted on the MS Brass and Ivory blog. This made me smile.

The steroid taper finished up this past Sunday, but instead of finding some new energy, I've been caught in a fog of fatigue. Without too much choice in the matter, I've drifted off to the land of comatose and nod for hours during the past three days. As I know many of you have been in the same place far more often than either of us would like, I thought you might enjoy the following poem taken from Falling Up by Shel Silverstein, a well-loved book which sits in the waiting room of my music studio.

The Nap Taker
No--I did not take a nap--
The nap--took--me
Off the bed and out the window
Far beyond the sea,
To a land where sleepy heads
Read only comic books
And lock their naps in iron safes
So that they can't get took.

And soon as I came to that land,
I also came to grief.
The people pointed at me, shouting,
"Where's the nap, you thief?"
They took me to the courthouse.
The judge put on his cap.
He said, "My child, you are on trial
For taking someone's nap.

"Yes, all you selfish children,
You think just of yourselves
And don't care if the nap you take
Belongs to someone else.
It happens that the nap you took
Without a thought or care
Belongs to Bonnie Bowlingbrook,
Who's sitting' cryin' there.

"She hasn't slept in quite some time--
Just see her eyelids flap.
She's tired and drowsy--cranky too,
'Cause guess who took her nap?"
The jury cried, "You're guilty, yes,
You're guilty as can be,
But just return the nap you took
And we might set you free."

"I did not take that nap," I cried.
"I give my solemn vow,
And if I took it by mistake
I do not have it now."
"Oh fiddle-fudge," cried out the judge,
"Your record looks quite sour.
Last night I see you stole a kiss,
Last week you took a shower,

"You beat your eggs, you've whipped your cream,
At work you punched the clock,
You've even killed an hour or two,
We've heard you darn your socks,
We know you shot a basketball,
You've stolen second base,
And we can see you're guilty
From the sleep that's on your face.

Go lie down on your blanket now
And cry your guilty tears.
I sentence you to one long nap
For ninety million years.
And when the other children see
This nap that never ends,
No child will ever dare to take
Somebody's nap again.


I found this in a stack of papers. I can't find who wrote this? Was it Linda or Kate or MaryO? If you know, please tell me. I want to give the kind soul credit for this piece of advice.

6. You do not to test positive on every single test, or test positive on every type of test, to have Cushing's. There is susbstantial variation in how we present with this disease, and in which tests will identify the excess cortisol in our bodies. DO NOT LET A SINGLE NEGATIVE RESULT ON ANY ONE TEST, OR A NEGATIVE RESULT ON A PARTICULAR TYPE OF TEST, PREVENT YOU FROM AGGRESSIVELY PURSUING A CUSHING'S DIAGNOSIS IF THERE IS STRONG SUSPICION. For example, for an individual to have proven Cushing's without ever having a positive on a ufc or dexamethasone suppression test.

Yes, this applies to me. I never had a high UFC or abnormal dex test.