After months of procrastinating, I was finally able to convince Abe to make a doctor’s appointment, just as a regular general check up, as one should generally do from time to time. He has very mild asthma, and needs to keep an inhaler on hand, the one he had was nearly empty.
Since we moved, it made sense to choose a doctor that was closer to us and one that offered convenient hours, due to our busy schedules. A little research, and we found one close and decided to give her a try.
He went to his appointment and got the refill for his inhaler. They took blood, which is normal, did a general check up, went over a brief history, and all seemed well. He liked the doctor well enough for how little he would ever see her.
Overall, it was pretty uneventful.
Until about a week later when we got a letter in the mail. I assumed it was thank you for visiting note that usually comes after visiting a new physician, and it was. But it also included his blood work results, and a paragraph stating that Abe had stage 3 kidney disease.
Just like that. A little sentence, hidden in the fluff of “thanks for coming” and the test results. Not a call, not a suggestion for more tests to confirm this very serious diagnosis, just BOOM.
What do you think I did when I read that?
Did you guess “Google the heck up out of stage 3 kidney disease”? Because that is exactly what I did. And then I sobbed. For hours. I was a hysterical mess. And Abe hadn’t even seen this diagnosis yet.
When Abe read the diagnosis, of course, he too was upset. He was just told he had a serious illness in an informal letter.
Shouldn’t the doctor have called to discuss this major diagnosis? Shouldn’t she have offered more testing and solutions instead of just dropping this major bomb on our family?
We sat in silence for a good while, and then we started brainstorming. I had mentioned that in a renal diet plan, (yes, I went so far as to start looking up renal diets and supplements, and anything else I possibly could, I was desperate! Abe is my world!) protein is greatly restricted. He thought for a moment and then wondered out loud if the protein powder he had been supplementing with could have raised his creatine levels, giving a false “high” reading on the blood work.
Back to Google I went, and do you know what? The protein powder he was using had a creatine boost in it! Further research showed that it was common for these supplements to give false high levels in blood work.
A glimmer of hope!
He stopped using the protein powder immediately and began drinking more water to help flush his kidneys. He also scheduled a repeat visit and requested a new blood test to recheck his levels.
I am very happy to say that his levels are completely NORMAL!! The doctor took back her stage 3 kidney disease diagnosis.
But should she have even diagnosed that in the first place?!
There are specific tests that should have been ordered, steps taken to verify her findings before giving out the death sentence. And perhaps a phone call was in order?
This whole ordeal caused a lot of stress and worry that was 100% avoidable. It is just another reminder that you cannot blindly accept everything that is said to you, even by doctors. You have to be an advocate for yourself and for your loved ones. Do your research, ask questions, and when things don’t add up, demand new tests and see different doctors.
Your doctor works for you, so you should be able to trust them to try and care for you to the best of their ability.
Apparently this doctor never heard the phrase, “do no harm”.
Stay healthy, friends. And I hope you never have this happen to you or your loved ones. What a terrifying experience, worrying about losing your soul mate!