January 30, 2004

The telephone conversation I had with a lab technician at the local hospital this morning was a complete farce. I called to make arrangements to have the tests done that No Name had ordered on Monday.  I gave the technician a run down of the tests that had been ordered. I then asked her to please give me a list of the dietary restrictions for each of the tests. The lab technician told me that were no dietary restrictions, that they didn’t do these tests and that I would have to go to the city to have these tests done.  I told her that was ridiculous since No Name was my doctor, that he had ordered the tests and that I lived in the community. I told her that the city labs only did tests ordered by doctors in the city. I knew this because I had tried to have tests, ordered by No Name, done in the city. I went on to tell her that the lab she worked in was the hospital lab in the only hospital in the community and they must certainly be capable of doing these tests.

I finally got to speak to her supervisor. When the lab technician passed my call on to her supervisor I heard her say sarcastically; “This woman wants to talk to you and she is very irate.” Silly woman, she should hear me when I am irate! The supervisor informed me after a 10 minute wait on the phone that yes there were dietary restrictions.  I had to ask her to please give me the list. The superior then went on to say that the tests were too complicated and involved for their hospital lab.  Heaven help anyone who is an inpatient at this hospital!  She said she would have to call my doctor.

No Name’s office called me 30 minutes later and told me that the hospital would do the 24 hour urine cortisol, the plasma cortisol at 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM and the 24 hour urine creatinine. The hospital lab refused to do the metanephrine and catecholamine tests because they did not know how to do a fractionated metanephrine test. This latest experience makes me wonder if I want any tests done by this hospital lab. I was told that No Name had contacted a hypertension specialist in the city and this specialist would do the metanephrine and catecholamine tests when I saw him.

I will be receiving a call from the office of the hypertension specialist and they will give me the date of my appointment at that time.  Quite frankly I am surprised that anyone survives a stay at the local hospital. I know that the hospital lab has made errors with quite a few of my earlier tests but after talking to the lab technicians this morning their incompetence surprises even me.

My blood pressure has been fluctuating all day today.  After the debacle with the new blood pressure meds on Tuesday, I resumed taking Inhibace 5mg. once a day. This morning my blood pressure was 189/110 but at 5:00 PM it was 100/63. Since Tuesday it has gone as high as 220/110 and as low as 90/53. These highs and lows take place in a matter of a few hours. I am quite sure it is the sudden drops that are making me so tired that I have been falling asleep at the keyboard.

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