Monday, December 21, 2009

Know Before You Go

There are some things that are important to know before you have medical studies done. For instance, with my CT scan done today, it was important to know what my baseline kidney labs were looking like since they were going to give me IV contrast which can shut sick kidneys down. I've not had a BUN or creatinine level done in a couple of years, so I had no idea what was going on with my kidneys.

On Friday, I had this blood work drawn at the hospital. When I arrived today for my CT scan, I told the check in clerk she needed to pull up those lab results for the CT tech. Well, she didn't. As the tech was sticking me to start my IV, I asked what my creatinine level was. She told me she had no idea and that it didn't matter in an outpatient setting. What? I told her I thought it did matter and until she looked the result up in the computer, we weren't going any further. She said, and I quote, "I've been doing this for 25 years and there has never been a problem with this."

Oh really?

I told her my doc thought it was important to know what that blood work was, which was why she wrote the prescription in the first place.

I know I was snippy about it, but I only have two kidneys and would like to keep them healthy. What this outpatient tech does not know, is what happens to patients after she's done with them. I've seen kidneys shut down from CT contrast. Perhaps she hasn't.

I guess my point, and I do think I have one, is it's important to educate yourself before you consent and submit to procedures. If the doctor wants blood work before any kind of testing, ask why--be your own advocate.

Well, what's done is done. My kidneys, at least lab wise, were healthy before the CT and I've been drowning them in water ever since. I kind of wish I could see the reconstruction CT they did. It's supposed to provide a 3-D view of my innards. The 1,000 images taken today will be reconstructed to look like the photo at the top. How cool is that?

I find it's kind of beautiful, but then I'm a nerd. I would.

Photo: Google Images


SkippyMom said...

I know you said this was a study - but the one thing I learned [the hard way] was never, ever go to the doctor by myself, even when I was pregnant.

Nurses and doctors can be bullies and won't listen to what I [us] want and I find that off putting. I know I don't have medical degrees, per se, but I have comprable education [degrees] and I hate when I ask a question or want something done differently. Heaven forbid you ask for a second opinion.

My final OB/GYN that delivered Wallene? Almost killed us both and that is not an exaggeration - and it wasn't an "oops" - it was gross negligence on her part no matter how many times I told her a certain part of my medical history.

I will never go to the doctor alone, ever again.

Brenda said...

Glad to hear all is well. I would not have known what you knew in this situation.

Jadekitty said...

I agree that we tend to let medical personnel play God with our poor bodies. I've learned to take someone with me, b/c when in pain, I don't care. Just make it stop, is normally how I feel.
Hope after all this testing they have some answers for you.

Lisa L said...

one of my kids had a CT done with contrast at age 12. and no, chemistries weren't done. omg. and she had an enlarged kidney. (as per results of the scan...)

Anonymous said...

Oh I hope everything is okay. I agree those techs just push one, only wanting to get the patients done and out. They don't know what a medical history is.

Miss 376 said...

I find them fascinating too. My eldest had a brain scan when he was little, I would have loved to have seen it. Hope you are on the mend and everything clears up soon

Poetikat said...


My best wishes to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas!


sapphireblue said...

You and I work in the medical field, so we know what goes on. I feel bad for the elderly who really don't understand the test or what risks are involved.

Having said that, I am guilty of not asking enough questions or making demands. I'm always afraid to bother anyone, but after our pregnancy loss where I felt that the OB on-duty doctor didn't take my bleeding seriously, I will not be passive about my healthcare anymore. If I would have been demanding, would it have helped? We'll never know, but next time I get pregnant, I'll make darn sure I receive the care I paid good money for.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thanks for the info. Rudee! I have no problem standing up for myself. But where do you look up the latest studies don on a certain scan?
Glad you are alright now!