October 29, 2002

Yesterday morning I called No Name’s office and talked to his nurse.  I told her that I was feeling worse than I had been feeling on October 18th and that my blood pressure was going up.  She told me that No Name was writing exams and would not be in until today.  I must ask No Name why he is always writing exams.  She told me that she and another nurse would have a chat with him today, relay their concerns about my health and show him the information I had brought in last week.

The nurse called at 10:00 this morning and told me to come in at 1:40 this afternoon.  The nurse took my blood pressure as soon as I arrived at the clinic.  It was 182/100 which is up from Friday and much too high even for me.   To my surprise No Name showed some genuine concern about my blood pressure.  He seemed concerned as well about the double vision I have been experiencing these last two weeks, about the strange shapes I see in my peripheral vision, about the not sleeping at all side effect of the sleeping pills, about my loss of balance, about slurring my words, about the redness of my face, about the struggle I have to focus and about the return with a vengeance of the water retention.  My legs, feet, hands and face are very swollen.

No Name told me I had written a good outline of what I thought needed to be done.  He agreed that I needed to get some of the tests done that I had mentioned on my list.  No Name asked me if I would consider going to the hospital but I politely refused.  I told him that I had promised my grandson we would make tombstones after school today and I would not break my promise.  After looking at me aghast, I reassured him that the tombstones were for Halloween.  Quite frankly I have absolutely no faith in a hospital whose lab refuses to do any tests that involve anything more complicated than a sodium and potassium test. No Name ordered the following tests:

Gastrin – A test that measures the amount of gastrin in the blood.  Gastrin is the major hormone that regulates acid secretion in the stomach.

CEA – A blood test for CEA is often used as a tumor marker.

Calcitonin – A test that measures the amount of the hormone calcitonin in the blood.  This test will be sent to the Mayo Clinic.

Tryptase – Mast cell tryptase is a protease that is found in mast cell granules and secreted upon stimulation of the cell together with histamine.

CA-125 – for diagnosing Ovarian Cancer

5HIAA – This test measure the amount of 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels in the urine.  It is used to diagnose Carcinoid tumors.

24 hour urine for Catecholamines

24 hour urine for Creatinine clearance

24 hour urine for Protein

After my appointment with No Name, I stopped in at the clinic lab.  After a short discussion with the lab tech it was decided that I would go to the hospital for my tests.  I should have known better.  The lab techs at the hospital refused to do calcitonin, gastrin, tryptase, CA-125  and the 5HIAA.  They gave me their standard party line which is, “We do not perform such time consuming and complicated tests here at the hospital, and no, we never have inpatients that need these kinds of tests done!  This just reinforced my belief that I would need a tombstone if I actually checked into this hospital.

WeeWillyWooze, the director of the hospital lab has trained his lab techs very well.  They just say NO.

The hospital lab did the CEA test; gave me the wrong bottle and wrong instructions for the 5HIAA and sent me on my merry way.

After my blood test I hurried home to print out a copy of my province’s instructions on how a doctor can order DHEA from Health Canada.  I took this back to No Name’s office.  Hopefully he will read it; follow the simple instructions and order some DHEA for me.  I am quite sure I will have to wait until “pigs fly”.

My husband picked Grandson up at school at 3:30 PM and the three of us spent the rest of the afternoon until dinner time getting ready for Halloween.  The front yard looks quite scary; the tombstones turned out great, the skeletons and bones have a fresh “glow in the dark” spray on them.  The witches in the trees have been fitted with new batteries so they will howl appropriately.  The ghosts too have had their batteries replaced and the “woowoo’s” should be rather creepy.  The standing pumpkins and skeletons have had their lights checked and are casting the right shadows.  The bushes have been strung with skeleton and pumpkin lights.   The spot lights are working and casting just the right eerie spell over the whole front yard.   The huge 6 foot wide by 6 foot high pumpkin is ready to put out on the lawn tomorrow afternoon.  It lights up, has a pump attached and continuously fills with air.  Tomorrow night should be a lot of fun.

After all these sleepless nights I am beginning to wonder if a person can actually die from lack of sleep.  No Name and I actually agreed upon something.  He agreed with me that the sleeping pills had to go.  No Name did say he had never run into a patient before who had this kind of reaction to sleeping pills.  Oh well, I am a first I guess.

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