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Picked Up Medical Records From Last Hospital Stay


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ARrrgghhhghhhghh!!! So I went to the hospital today to get a copy of my records from my last inpatient hospitalization. I looked over all my blood labs. It wasn't just low potassium and low cortisol. Here is what I found:

low potassium

high chloride (is that just from salt loading, as in NaCl? but it didn't flag sodium as high??)

high glucose (doesn't actually look awful, but lab flagged as high)

high osmolality

high TSH

low RBC

low Hgb

low Hct

low RBC Distrobution

low Grans, Elec.

high Lymphs, Elec.

high Monocytes, Elec.

AND chest x-ray 10/9/08 "comparison being made to an exam dated 3/3/08 . . . Bony structures demonstrate minor degenerative changes of the thoracic spine."

Okay, I know it said "minor" degenerative changes, but that is over only SEVEN months!!! Shouldn't some doc have seen that and been at least slightly concerned?! On top of which, I have no clue what half those blood levels up there mean (I guess I have my work cut out for me in terms of internet searches now), but I have to think at least a few of them might be important?? Or else why do they bother testing them in the first place? Am I only the only one who ever bothers to look at my test results?

I don't know why this surprises me. It totally shouldn't by now. I've been through this before. I'm just frustrated and it's all the more frustrating for the fact that the doctor's assessment that my chest pain was probably "anxiety" over the tachycardia. If you acknowledge the tachycardia, why can't that itself be causing me the pain?? Why do you have to say that I'm anxious and that's my problem?! Arrgghh!! And perhaps something in all that screwy labwork was contributing to my pain; wouldn't that have been worth exploring rather than making assumptions about my mental state?

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I just had blood work done about 2 weeks ago that came out all wrong too. My doctor went over it with me and said that something was wrong but that the blood work didn't point to anything obvious except that I needed to be closely monitored. I love my doctor because she isn't afraid to say she just doesn't know. In the past I've found that doctors would rather not mention it and watch to see if things change than to investigate when they really just don't know. I have made it very clear to my doctor that I always want to know all results, even if it isn't helpful. I read all of my labs and papers every time. I hope you figure out what's going on.


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Yes, I saw the INcompetent endocrinologist while I was there in the hospital, and that went nowhere fast. I'm scheduled to see a new endocrinologist/nephrologist on January 6th. I am wishin' and hopin' and prayin' that this will be a good doctor. I'm taking all of this with me, and all the other wacky labs I have since I first got sick with POTS, since I don't trust any of my records to make it there intact on their own (nor do I trust anyone to read them unless I'm sitting there watching and pointing out the numbers myself).

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Frustrating! Part of it depends on how high/low they were. Also, what meds etc you were on. You said this was during an inpatient visit, so they may have thought that for the circumstances that you were in that they were " normal" enough? Were you on many meds? Have an infection?

For the chest x-ray, was that comparing to x-rays that were performed in the same way with the same views? I wonder if it makes a difference btwn drs. reading the films? Did you ahave any trauma (car accident etc) in that time period or anything to hurt your back? Depending on the changes it may be a lot for 7 months, or it may be a minor difference, and more of a difference with the drs and what they were looking for.

I hope that you can find some answers soon and that it turns out that these things are minor in nature, so that you don't have any long term affects.


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I've discovered that mp GP han't always been truthful when I've asked about blood test results. So, last time I asked for a copy to take to the Neurologist I would soon see. Then she did point out two problems but couldn't say what they meant. The Neurologist knew exactly what they meant. From now on I'm going to ask for a copy of every test result.

Mary P

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I had a recent batch of blood work come back looking dismal ... what I saw thought was a note in there from the lab that said that there were broken red blood cells in the specimen -- which I later found can happen on a difficult draw or when the specimen sits around too long.

Here's a blurb fron the web of all the things that can go wrong with a blood test especially those in the hospital where we may already have an IV in our arm ...

"For instances, blood specimens may be contaminated with heparin if they're drawn from a line resulting in abnormal tests for blood clotting, similar to what's seen in patients on aspirin therapy. Blood specimens may be also diluted with saline during line draws or inadvertently put into the wrong type of test tube, causing diluted or contaminated test results. Difficult blood draws can cause the red blood cells to rupture, resulting in hemolyzed specimens. Hemolyzed specimens can interfere with liver function tests and potassium levels. Specimens that are improperly handled after blood draw, standing too long before being centrifuged, for instance, can cause falsely decreased blood sugar and high potassium levels. Many test results, for instance triglyceride levels, are falsely elevated when the patient doesn't fast for 8-12 hours. On the other hand, increased fasting, longer than 12 hours for instance, can cause the liver to produce more cholesterol, falsely increasing levels."


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I don't think it was a mistake in the blood draws because they weren't drawn from my IV (they were separate pokes each time--gee thanks!), and there were 4-5 separate draws for these tests over the course of 5 days. Only one of the tests was only run once (TSH). I didn't have any infection when I was in the hospital--I was in there for chest pain because of my tachycardia and they kept me because my POTS was haywire and they were running tests on me.

Considering how bad my daily level of symptoms are and how unresolved they are even with all the medicine I'm taking, I just think that no stone should be left unturned when things show up abnormal. It would be different if a person were feeling healthy and their blood levels were "off." I know doctors are used to just brushing that off if it's not too far away from the normal range. But if you're having all kinds of symptoms, why ignore something that could resolve at least part of the problem?

And certainly it's quite possible that the minor changes seen in my spine were just a fluke. But I would think the right thing to do would be to say, "hey, we noticed this and maybe we need to check on it again in X amount of time to make sure it's not a real problem." My concern is that I don't think anyone but the doc who interpreted the x-ray DID notice it. I don't think any of MY doctors actually read any of these reports.

Just got off the phone with SO's mom and feeling very ... not understood ... need to go distract myself with some happy music and get my mind on other things for a while.

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