Lab Tests

LabRequisitionThe lab just phoned.  They need me back.

I’m so glad that I’ve learned to ask questions.  Even simple ones like, “Why?” 

They messed up one of the tests so need to re-draw me.  I’m okay with that admission.  I appreciate the honesty.  When I attain perfection, then I can get upset with other people not being perfect; I’m not there yet.  Sometimes lab tests have to be repeated, even with competent people doing the work.  There can be a bad batch of reagent, someone can accidentally drop a tube, the machine might malfunction…

Me:  I know you’re busy, but could you tell me which test?  Because one of them needs to be done fasting, and I just ate.
Lab: Uhh… Let’s see… Yes, it’s the fasting one that we need to repeat.  But it doesn’t have to be done fasting.  Some doctors want you to fast, but it isn’t always required for this test.
Me:  Well, when she ordered the test Wednesday, she said that I’d have to return on Thursday for the blood draw because the test required fasting.  I’m thinking that means she has a preference.
Lab: Let me call the doctor and ask.

 

Second Call

Lab: It’s Sally at the lab again.  I just talked to your doctor’s office, and she does want this test to be done fasting.
Me:  Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.

Twenty five little boxes marked on the order form, and the one test that needs to be repeated is the only one that requires fasting.  <sigh>

 

Argh!

I do not live next door to the lab!  I drove an hour last Wednesday to see the doctor, then an hour home.  I drove another hour Thursday to have labwork done.  Another hour to get home.  And now, I will need to make that trip again for tomorrow’s re-draw.  Six hours on the road – four of them unnecessary!  A simple heads-up when I made the initial doctor’s appointment would have been nice.  I would have skipped eating and saved a lot of driving time, a lot in fuel costs. 

What if I hadn’t asked?  I would have driven into town today for tests that would not have told the doctor what she wanted to know.  Either she’d have bad data, or I’d have to repeat the test yet again.

 

New Policy

From now on, I think I’ll just skip eating on days that I have a doctor’s appointment.  For years, I’ve skipped breakfast on the day of my physical.  I schedule the first appointment of the day with my doctor, have blood drawn, then go out to breakfast.  It works great.  Time to expand this policy to all doctor’s appointments.