Maybe my blood is just supercharged…

I had to do some stress relief therapy today, it was good for me. It’s pretty simple, too:

I drew a large circle on a piece of paper.

I placed the piece of paper on the desk in front of me.

I pounded my head on the desk, using the center of the circle as my aiming point!

My head is killing me, but I am much less tense now….!

As you may remember, I had a bit of a problem a few weeks ago when my hospital lab was forced to stop doing the prothrombin test for me. My Cardiologist’s office in Atlanta found a local office that could do the test, but they refused… unless I became their patient full time, forever and ever. Finally we found another doctor’s office who was willing to do the test and fax my results to the Cardiologist in Atlanta.

In the meantime, the folks in Atlanta have been busy, and have helped me qualify for a device that can check my INR reading at home. I qualified a few weeks ago, but the paperwork has to be processed, and a nurse has to come to your home and give you training on how to use the machine.

So the young lady comes to the house today, and we go through the training. This is pretty simple – each bottle of test strips has a computer chip, and the chip must be plugged into the side of the machine to function. Once you insert the test strip, a number flashes on the screen. This number must match a number on bottle of test strips – one more safety check to make sure you are using the right strips and they have not expired. After the machine is satisfied with the chip and the test strip, you have two minutes to do the test before the machine… well, I don’t know what would happen. Maybe it calls a foul or something; the countdown timer certainly looked like a little scoreboard!

So I get the lancet, poke my finger, and get a good drop of blood on the strip. The machine hums and chirps and finally the screen reads:

ERROR CODE 5

Hm! That’s not what we expected to see. So I try again. Same result. If this thing is idiot proof, then it looks like I am an idiot.

The nurse runs a test on herself – and it works perfectly. So she gets on the phone with the supplier, and then with the manufacturer. The problem is me – my Hemocrit is higher than the upper range of the machine. So whenever I do the test, it freaks out. So no home testing for me, ti seems. The nurse apologizes and leaves, taking the unit with her. I get back on the phone with my doctors in Atlanta.

This story does have a happy ending, and with a little poetic justice, too. We manage to get an prothrombin test order for a doctor’s office that is right across the street from the people who refused to do my blood test last time… so when I walk out of the doctor’s office, I can stick my tongue out at them!

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5 Responses to “Maybe my blood is just supercharged…”

  1. Vanessa Says:

    What a total pain. I’m so glad you got this figured out.

  2. Awesome Mom Says:

    What a bummer. You may be able to use the Hemosense INR machine. That is the one my son Evan uses and we love it. It was such a hassle to find someone to do the test and then have to go in to get it done. The only advantage was that because Evan was so little at the time and it was an adult cardiology clinic all the nurses would go nuts over him because they were not used to treating little kids. He had quite the fan club.

  3. Laura Albovias Says:

    The machine was not calibrated for a super hero!

  4. Steve Says:

    Superhero? ME???? šŸ™‚

    Just because I walk around in tights and a cape….?

    (Laura is one of my best friends, for anyone who thinks I’ve gone crazy!)

  5. What do you think you are doing?!?! « Adventures of a Funky Heart! Says:

    […] “I’ve tried to use one of the home test machines, but my Hemocrit is so high that the machine just reads error code number 5. So they have to do the blood draw from my elbow joint.” […]

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