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Thread: I spent the morning at the lab

  1. #1
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    Default I spent the morning at the lab

    On Friday last, I went out to the VA to have a routine blood draw, to get my creatnine checked prior to having another prostate MRI in a month.

    About an hour after I got home, my primary care doc's nurse assistant called. This is not usual. To call me at home, a couple hours before quitting time on a Friday. Not usual for them to call with lab results at all.

    She starts by telling me that my potassium is high, and that I need to return to the lab on Saturday, the next day, to have it checked again.

    Again, way not usual. There ensues a little polite back and forth about my making it today, Monday, instead of Saturday. She says the doc is okay with that.

    Then she starts asking me if I have a blood pressure cuff at home and can I take my BP now. So, yes we do, we bought one when my Wife's mom was in hospice at the grandkid's house across the street back during the first summer of the pandemic. It just happens to be within reach while I'm here at the computater reading the news of the day, Bilge-wise.

    Next, while she's waiting for me to hook myself up and get a reading, before she starts asking me about my meds, reads the short list, and asks whether I take them regularly and at the same time of day—yes, yes and yes, like clockwork—she launches into a series of questions about my having heart attack symptoms.

    "Are you having any chest pains?"

    "No."

    "Shortness of breath, any palpitations, dizziness or light-headedness?"

    "No. I feel good. Well, except I'm always a little short of breath due to my having COPD."

    "Your blood pressure has been high. Do you have a reading now?"

    "Oh, yeah. Ooh, one-seventy-four over ninety-something." Even I know that's freaking high. Immediately, as she's telling me to take it again, I'm already re-doing it. Same again, within a digit or two.

    "That's really high. Are you sure you are feeling alright?"

    "Yeah, I feel okay, but you know, maybe my BP is high right now because I'm getting a call from my doctor's office telling me that I might be having a heart attack..."

    "If you have any of these symptoms you need to come to the ER immediately. "

    Yeah, okay. So then we agree that I really am fine at the moment, and that I will go out to the lab again on Monday, and when I'm done getting the blood drawn, I should find her and we can have another chat. She'll take my BP and doublecheck that I'm still upright and everything.

    This is just a little unsettling.

    About this time my Wife comes in and takes my phone to put it on speaker so She can participate in the call, because that's what She does. We all three of us go over the same exchange, potassium is very high, BP is very high, come back to the lab on Monday morning, don't blow it off, take it easy in the mean time, and go straight to the ER if any heart attack happens. At least she didn't say to get my affairs in order.

    I spent the weekend super aware of every little tingle in my sixty-eight year old upper body. 'Is this a chest pain, it's very minor but it's right where my heart should be...? Am I dizzier than usual...?'

    So now this morning, I'm off to the lab again, and I half expect them to read the lab report, take my BP, get me a chest X-ray, and admit me with a plan to insert a stent or make a by-pass or something that involves invading my upper body with steel instruments. Or not.

    Hey, I got stuff to do, including digging a foot deep trench in the front yard, sixty feet, chock full of roots of the maple tree, to install a new water line from the meter in the box at the sidewalk, bypassing the worst of the maple in the center of the yard, to connect to the new main shut-off ball valve I just recently installed. I already got the lawn cut and the trench started, and now my Wife is now going to insist that we let someone else do the digging and chopping. But, but, I got my axe and my adze ready to do some damage. Circumscribing the tree's root system, so when the next high wind event happens the tree will fall on my car and insurance will get me a paint job.

    If it's not one thing, then it's another.
    Last edited by Jim Mahan; 03-27-2023 at 01:31 PM.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    yeah, let the ditch alone until this is resolved. That’s what my bp was before I got on meds. It was much higher than that when I went to the ER.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Pay attention to the signs and the docs, life is short and it can quickly get shorter. On the other hand that is about my normal blood pressure for the last few years and I take three different pills to lower it and a beta blocker to slow my heart rate down.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Glad you guys are alright. Along the same vein (so to speak), check out the last couple pages in Chris Stevens’ Skookum Maru thread upstairs in Building/Repair. He’s alright, but also had a close call.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    On Friday last, I went out to the VA to have a routine blood draw, to get my creatnine checked prior to having another prostate MRI in a month.

    About an hour after I got home, my primary care doc's nurse assistant called. This is not usual. To call me at home, a couple hours before quitting time on a Friday. Not usual for them to call with lab results at all.

    She starts by telling me that my potassium is high, and that I need to return to the lab on Saturday, the next day, to have it checked again.

    Again, way not usual. There ensues a little polite back and forth about my making it today, Monday, instead of Saturday. She says the doc is okay with that.

    Then she starts asking me if I have a blood pressure cuff at home and can I take my BP now. So, yes we do, we bought one when my Wife's mom was in hospice at the grandkid's house across the street back during the first summer of the pandemic. It just happens to be within reach while I'm here at the computater reading the news of the day, Bilge-wise.

    Next, while she's waiting for me to hook myself up and get a reading, before she starts asking me about my meds, reads the short list, and asks whether I take them regularly and at the same time of day—yes, yes and yes, like clockwork—she launches into a series of questions about my having heart attack symptoms.

    "Are you having any chest pains?"

    "No."

    "Shortness of breath, any palpitations, dizziness or light-headedness?"

    "No. I feel good. Well, except I'm always a little short of breath due to my having COPD."

    "Your blood pressure has been high. Do you have a reading now?"

    "Oh, yeah. Ooh, one-seventy-four over ninety-something." Even I know that's freaking high. Immediately, as she's telling me to take it again, I'm already re-doing it. Same again, within a digit or two.

    "That's really high. Are you sure you are feeling alright?"

    "Yeah, I feel okay, but you know, maybe my BP is high right now because I'm getting a call from my doctor's office telling me that I might be having a heart attack..."

    "If you have any of these symptoms you need to come to the ER immediately. "

    Yeah, okay. So then we agree that I really am fine at the moment, and that I will go out to the lab again on Monday, and when I'm done getting the blood drawn, I should find her and we can have another chat. She'll take my BP and doublecheck that I'm still upright and everything.

    This is just a little unsettling.

    About this time my Wife comes in and takes my phone to put it on speaker so She can participate in the call, because that's what She does. We all three of us go over the same exchange, potassium is very high, BP is very high, come back to the lab on Monday morning, don't blow it off, take it easy in the mean time, and go straight to the ER if any heart attack happens. At least she didn't say to get my affairs in order.

    I spent the weekend super aware of every little tingle in my sixty-eight year old upper body. 'Is this a chest pain, it's very minor but it's right where my heart should be...? Am I dizzier than usual...?'

    So now this morning, I'm off to the lab again, and I half expect them to read the lab report, take my BP, get me a chest X-ray, and admit me with a plan to insert a stent or make a by-pass or something that involves invading my upper body with steel instruments. Or not.

    Hey, I got stuff to do, including digging a foot deep trench in the front yard, sixty feet, chock full of roots of the maple tree, to install a new water line from the meter in the box at the sidewalk, bypassing the worst of the maple in the center of the yard, to connect to the new main shut-off ball valve I just recently installed. I already got the lawn cut and the trench started, and now my Wife is now going to insist that we let someone else do the digging and chopping. But, but, I got my axe and my adze ready to do some damage. Circumscribing the tree's root system, so when the next high wind event happens the tree will fall on my car and insurance will get me a paint job.

    If it's not one thing, then it's another.
    I think I remember telling you firmly, quite a while back, NOT to get old. Din't I tell you that???
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Jim, as long as you pay attention when the "check engine" light comes on, sounds like you'll do fine.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  7. #7
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I think I remember telling you firmly, quite a while back, NOT to get old.
    There's only one way to do that. I don't recommend it.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    There's only one way to do that. I don't recommend it.
    Are you speaking from experience, or just rumors? <G>
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Trivia question: Who was the wag who said, "reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

    Another bit of more current trivia, when the tech this morning took my blood sample, as she was putting on the rubber band, she said to not clench my fist, contrary to what the tech said on Friday. Apparently clenching can make the potassium level read high. I'm good for now. They didn't even listen to my chest, let alone hook up an EKG. They gave me a new BP device to log it for two weeks prior to a telephone follow up call. I'm still gonna milk it to get someone else to dig my trench. Cuz I'm old, and I have to make at least a pro forma acknowlegement of the fact.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Glad you are getting their attention. Beats the alternative.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    I have serious “white coat” blood pressure syndrome. At home, my BP is in the 130s/70s range (I’m age 79). When they take it at the docs it’s WAY higher. (And yes, I’ve had my home meter calibrated). I don’t go to docs very often. A few weeks ago I went in for a UTI. They took my BP and panicked and sent me to the ER, saying no sense in talking about an infection if I’m having a heart attack. The ER gave me an EKG which they described as “pristine”, but they still kept me for most of the day for observation. But of course then I had to make another appt for the UTI.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    Trivia question: Who was the wag who said, "reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

    Another bit of more current trivia, when the tech this morning took my blood sample, as she was putting on the rubber band, she said to not clench my fist, contrary to what the tech said on Friday. Apparently clenching can make the potassium level read high. I'm good for now. They didn't even listen to my chest, let alone hook up an EKG. They gave me a new BP device to log it for two weeks prior to a telephone follow up call. I'm still gonna milk it to get someone else to dig my trench. Cuz I'm old, and I have to make at least a pro forma acknowlegement of the fact.
    Twain.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Sometimes it's frustrating. I called my Cardiologist this am to consult on the new medication the ER prescribed. I couldn't get passed the girl who answered. I had to make an appointment. She had to get data from the hospital. If I were younger I'd be pissed. I have little doubt, assuming this stays in place, the doc will tell me I should have called sooner.
    "Banning books in spite of the 1st amendment, but refusing to regulate guns in spite of "well regulated militia' being in the 2nd amendment makes no sense. Can't think of anyone ever shot by a book

  14. #14
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    Default Re: I sepnt the morning at the lab

    Please take care & do what the docs want.

    Today is my 70th birthday & I was already unhappy enough about that when at a family dinner to celebrate it last night, chewing became painful & after everyone left I curled into a ball dealing with really intense mouth pain.

    I spent 2 hours at the docs today, got some antibiotics for the abscess in my gum - that she punctured & drained, but will have to deal with a dentist to find the cause (this is not the first time). Of course our wonderful healthcare system doesn't cover dental...

    Happy f'n birthday...

    ETA: Sorry for whining - I do realize many folks have worse issues.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  15. #15
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    Default Re: I spent the morning at the lab

    Happy effn Birthday!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: I spent the morning at the lab

    I do realize many folks have worse issues.
    And you don't, so there's that.
    Worst pain ever, and I mean worse than major surgery, was when the effing Air Force dentist pulled all four of my wisdom teeth in one appointment. Gave me a bottle of tylenol three. Like six pills. I was through that in the first few hours, as soon as the local wore off. I remember it being like three full days before it was more or less back to less than suicide contemplating level of misery.

    Many happy returns, too. Seven decades is a milestone worth having a party.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: I spent the morning at the lab

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    And you don't, so there's that.
    Worst pain ever, and I mean worse than major surgery, was when the effing Air Force dentist pulled all four of my wisdom teeth in one appointment. Gave me a bottle of tylenol three. Like six pills. I was through that in the first few hours, as soon as the local wore off. I remember it being like three full days before it was more or less back to less than suicide contemplating level of misery.

    Many happy returns, too. Seven decades is a milestone worth having a party.
    I 'spose it is worth having one - but can't get psyched for it.

    This abscess was way worse than my 4 wisdom teeth being pulled at once. I will say that this pain was of shorter duration though.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I spent the morning at the lab

    I could feel my BP going up just reading this
    If he ever drinks the brew of 10 tanna leaves, he will become a monster the likes of which the world has never seen



  19. #19
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    Default Re: I spent the morning at the lab

    Anybody here NOT take anti biotic s every time a doctor farts?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: I spent the morning at the lab

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Anybody here NOT take anti biotic s every time a doctor farts?
    Yep. However, when an abscess squirts 1/2 a teaspoon of foul green pus into your mouth, antibiotics might be a good idea.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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