What the First Doctor Said - Feb 15 - Mar 4, 2008

So off to my doctor in Salt Lake City on Friday, after my return to home base. He took weight, temperature, blood pressure, blood, and urine. While I had no pink in the urine, they were easily able to detect blood with a simple dip strip. He poked me all over the abdomen, kidneys, bladder, spleen, whatever. No undue tenderness anywhere. Then we did the bend over and check the prostate - not fun for either of us. He said one side of the prostate is slightly bigger, but the whole thing is no bigger than an average teenager's. We did 20 minutes of Q&A, ruling out the vasectomy, gout, and other obvious things. He said we should do a renal and bladder ultrasound, which is a pretty low cost diagnostic, and look at the blood results.

The doc said I should get it done near my work and save a trip to their normal hospital in Salt Lake City. It turns out that the Davis (County) Hospital, a few blocks from work, took my insurance and had a really good contract rate. We scheduled the ultrasound for February 20, the following Wednesday, and I got a call early in the week that the blood work was all normal. The ultrasound is run by a tech, just like for pregnant women. The young lady was pleasant and professional. I asked her if she could see anything, and she said she wasn't allowed to say - a radiologist had to interpret the results. A few minutes later she asked why we were doing ultrasound rather than CT. I told her we were looking for big things. She said only the CT would show the smaller stuff like little stones. I said, "I guess I'll be back next week for the CT, then?" and she agreed, indicating to me that SHE didn't see anything.

The next week I was in the DC area all week, and had heard nothing. I called the doctor's office, and they said the hospital had not got back to them yet, but they would call. On Thursday when I was boarding a plane in Denver to return to Salt Lake, my cell rang. Having my carry on in one hand and my "personal item" (laptop bag) in the other, I could not access the phone until I was in the tiny Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ, also known as flying instruments of torture). Sure enough it was the doc's office requesting a call back, and they were now closed. The next day was February 29, leap day, and I could not get them to answer - must have taken the day off! Even though they are normally open on Fridays.

On Monday I went back to DC. While walking through Dulles to meet a coworker who was sharing my car, I made several calls. The doctor's office is staffed by very pleasant folks who are really not very competent. They had been calling St. Mark's, their normal hospital, for my results. Naturally St. Mark's had never heard of me. I told them no, it's the Davis Hospital. They called back and said that Davis had never heard of me, and provided a phone number. I dropped my bags in order to write it down and noted the alien area code. "What hospital is this?" I asked. "I Googled Davis Hospital and this came up." So apparently they had called Davis, California instead of Davis County, Utah. "Utah has only two area codes, and this isn't one of them," I explained. Clearly I had to handle it. I called the correct Davis Hospital and they had faxed the results 10 days earlier, to the wrong fax number. I provided the correct number, waited a bit, and called the doctor back. Closed for lunch. Jeez! All this done during a long walk through Dulles airport. If you ever wondered what all those people in airports talking on cell phones and looking annoyed were doing, now you know...

So I had lunch - a pressed Cuban sandwich, salad, and glass of Chardonnay. The sandwich came with a quarter of a fresh pineapple, probably just off a plane from Hawaii. For airport food it wasn't too bad. I finally verified that the doc's office had the data, and they would show it to him and call me back. They did, two days later. All clear, all normal. I felt this was good, as an ultrasound would show any big tumors or whatever. Little did I know. So poking, blood, and ultrasound all clear. Rule out infections and major issues. Still they had detected blood in the urine, but how big a deal could it be? The doc referred me to a specialist, having exhausted his toolkit on me. So they set me up with an appointment the following Wednesday in Salt Lake City with a Urologist.

1 comment:

jude black said...

Boy.......this sounds like MY story ........without the travel and pineapple directly from Hawaii...jajaja