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Actual Test Results?


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#1 KELLYB.

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:52 PM

Hello everyone!! I haven't posted in some time, still checking in though daily. So, I always see so many of you post your test results - like with the actual "numbers". I recently had my PFT'S & ECHO done, along with the full scale of blood tests. I told them that I would like all the results of the tests, having seen that so many people on here are so well informed about their results. Well, of course they said "oh sure, no problem". Two weeks later, nothing, so I called and left a message saying I would like results... I recieved a message back saying - The PFT'S came back with a noticable change, but nothing too concerning, the echo didn't show much of a difference since last years echo- any other questions, please feel free to call us back. So yeah, I do have questions. Problem is, I don't know exactly what they are!! I feel really silly saying that.

Do you all get actual copies of results? Do you ask specific questions about specific results? I seen a few threads about PA pressure? That is regarding an ECHO, right? If you all could inform me on how to go about asking the right questions, or getting actual "results" it would be much appreciated.

Everybody try to stay well out there :)

Thank you,

kellyb.

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 05:50 PM

Hi Kelly,

You ask some good questions! In order to get your test results, you need to go to their Medical Records (person or department) and sign a release asking for a copy of your medical records, and specifying which ones.

You may have to pay for them if you only want them for your own personal use. However, if you are collecting them for a consultation with other doctors, indicate that on the form, then the copies are usually free. It is a great idea for you to then make copies for your own records, before sharing them with any other doctors (sooner or later).

I've been completely astounded by some things in my medical records, from the sublime to the ridiculous. I've been credited with having a lovely manicure with red nail polish (which I know I didn't have at the time)....much to my dismay, one doctor said I had had a heart transplant, and refused to correct it when I pointed out the error, saying that it didn't really matter....and most of it I had to check online medical dictionaries to make any sense of it at all. I was very insulted when one doctor wrote "SOB!" in large letters, and only later did I learn that stood for "Shortness of Breath".

So prepare for an adventure as you wade through your records, and never hesitate to ask your doctor for more in-depth explanations when you want them.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

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#3 WestCoast1

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 06:03 PM

Hello Kellyb.,
I can't tell you much about PFT results, but I can say tell you a little about how to get your results.

When I get my results, I never ask the doctors office for them, I go straight to the source. If you had your blood drawn at a lab, than go there and sign the waiver to have your labs printed out for you or sent to your home.

Sometimes you won't be able to obtain these documents until after your doctor has seen and reviewed the results. If this is the case than just wait, usually no longer than two weeks, to get them. If it is a test such as an echo than this document will include your doctor's interpretation of the results. I am usually surprised at what the doctor puts on the results as opposed to what he tells me. This is all done with carefull thought, (we hope), so I do take it with a grain of salt.

I feel that it is very important for me to get and keep all of my records so that if I move or change doctors I will not have to unnecessarily repeat a bunch of tests...especially labs! My arms can't take much more!!!! :o

I hope that this will help you track down your actual results!
*WestCoast*

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#4 jefa

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 08:18 PM

If you start researching the various tests online and find tables listing 'normal' ranges, you can ask your doctor specific questions about the results. I started doing that and one of the interns asked me if I understood them. I said, "Well enough." Once I started asking regularly, my rheumatologist started routinely giving me more information. Now all of the lab results are computerised and can be accessed at the clinic. They always give me a printout when I ask. Then I take them home and look up everything I don't readily understand.

At my last rheumatology appointment my file hadn't arrived (because it was still at the GI clinic from my endoscopy) so the rheumatologist gave me a handwritten form report to take to my general practitioner. My husband and I were entertained for a good little while decoding all of the scribbles. It was fascinating.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#5 Sheryl

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:36 AM

You might have to pay for previous test results.
You shouldn't have to pay the day of a visit.
Usually, they make you xerox copies to take home with you if you ask on the day he explains the results. I have forgotten to get copies in the past and they don't offer them if you don't ask. Sheryl
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#6 relicmom1

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 02:26 AM

I agree with everyone. You need to ask for and get actual copies of your records. You need to keep up with these like you do (or should) your credit report. You need to make sure everything in them is accurate. If there's something in them that's incorrect, it could cost you alot. When you apply for insurance, or disability, those records will be requsted by the insurance co. or SS and decisions will be made based on the information in them. I don't know if any of you guys have seen the companies that will put your medical records on a zip drive that you keep with you and can be accessed by just pugging the thing into your copmuter. The idea for this is that you have all of your records with you in case of an emergency, an ER or Dr. can access and get your info in an instant. For folks like us, it could be lifesaving. Of course, like everything in this world, it costs. There's an initial fee and then a monthly fee to keep it updated. Once you get it, to update it, you notify the com that there's info that needs to be updated and once they get it into your file you just plug your zip drie into your internet hooked up computer and it automatically downloads the new info. If anyone would like the websites for these just let me know and I will send it to you.
Peace :)
Barbara aka relicmom1

#7 janey

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 02:59 AM

Kelly,
There are certain test results that are immediate. For instance, pfts, EKGs and my pacemakers checks. In these cases I always ask the technician performing the tests to print me out a copy. So far no one has refused. For other tests such as the ECHO, since it has to be analyzed, I always request a copy from my doctor during the doctor's visit. Again, no one has ever refused. Now my rheumatologist knows I'm going to want copies so he usually hands me my bloodtests and ECHO results when he walks in the room.

After readings Shelley's response, I may start asking for copies of the visit dictation. Sounds like that's where the misinformation can come from.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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#8 Sweet

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 11:19 AM

Hey Kelly,

Yes, I always ask for results. I have them faxed to my home. I'm a nurse, so I understand most of them. As far as questions go, the key is just asking and asking and asking until YOU feel you have a grip and understanding on what the test was for, what is normal and what were your results. If not normal, then ask what he/she plans to do about it.

Hope that helps.
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#9 Sarah C.

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 07:46 PM

If you wouldn't mind semding me tha names of a couple companies that provide that service, I would really appreciate it! Thanks so much

Sarah

#10 jefa

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 08:21 PM

I see you have been around since November, Sarah. Welcome to the forums, where I am sure you have already been finding lots of useful info. Glad you finally decided to post. Hope to hear more from you soon.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#11 Sweet

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:50 AM

Hi Sarah,

Welcome to the Sclero Forums!!! I really look forward to knowing you better. :)
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)