Saturday, May 09, 2009

adventures in medical testing

So a couple of months ago, after getting my bone density checked and finding out that it is a little low, I was referred to an endocrinologist just so that we could make sure that there isn't any sort of strange thing going on that might be causing lowered bone density other than the fact that I'm female, white, and small. I met with the endocrinologist yesterday and really liked her. Once she found out where I worked and what I did, she spoke to me in terms that she knew I understood (that perhaps people that don't work in the medical research field may not) and I really appreciated that.

For the most part, chances are I may not have had enough of a calcium base due to my dislike of milk for a long time plus the fact that I have the being white, small and a woman strikes against me. But, just in case it is something else, she ordered a few tests.

Step one was to get 6 or 7 vials of blood taken at the hospital lab without causing some sort of incident. Last time I had blood taken, it was at the lab near where I work, it was the day before the buses went on strike so it was REALLY busy, there was only one lab technician because the other had called in sick, and I was fasting for the test. All of those factors lead to an unpleasant experience which had me saying "um, are you almost done, because I kind of feel like I'm going to pass out" and a lady yelling "ARE YOU GOING TO THROW UP? TELL US IF YOU ARE GOING TO THROW UP" across the lab for everyone to hear. I managed a weak "I don't feel like I'm going to throw up, just like I'm going to pass out...seriously, are you almost done cause things are starting to go black". Luckily I managed to stay with it and once she got me some water, a cold pack for my neck, and once I ate my granola bar, I was well enough to do the walk of shame through the busy waiting room knowing that I had added a good 10 minutes to their waiting time.

So, I was a little nervous about this one, especially considering that I've had a pretty bad cold this week so I haven't been feeling the greatest. But the lab tech was really nice and just talked to me the whole time (we even talked a little about the swine flu) and I finished up without a care in the world. That is, until she gave me the materials for my next test: a 24 hour urine collection. That's right, I have to collect all of my pee for 24 hours. And if I miss a "deposit", I'll have to start all over again. Here is what they've given me to do it:
Yup, I have to pee in a plastic bowl, then pour it into a giant jug (that holds about 4 litres of fluid). So I have to do it some day where I'm guaranteed not to pee anywhere other than home...and I have to remember to collect it. As someone who is really quite hydrated on most days, that's a lot of times to remember. I'm not really looking forward to it, but I suppose it will at least be a little funny.

The kicker? I have to keep the bottle in the fridge. Ew. (the enclosed instructions suggest that you keep the jug in a plastic bag for sanitary reasons. i plan to put an apple juice label on it and just leave it right in the front)
I suppose it could be worse though...it could be a 24 hour stool collection.

10 comments:

S said...

I'm also a small, white female who never liked milk. I have to say, you're not giving me much reason to have my bone density checked out! :)

lu said...

oh no! i can completely sympathise with your blood test experience, except i DID pass out and woke up to nurses yelling in my face. blech, i hate blood tests (except for when that woman in kenya gave me one who i wanted to hug afterwards).

and the collection of the pee would be a hassle, but i agree, rather comical. i hope that your bones are going to be aok, although i am now concerned about mine, also being small, white, and female!

k said...

The only reason I had to have my bones checked out is because of those two stress fractures in two years. They were an indication of potential bone issues. So unless you've had problems, you're probably ok until you're older...THEN you might have issues. So take your calcium and vitamin D now while there is time!

Heather said...

Definitely better than pooping in a bowl and then pouring it in a jug to keep in the fridge.

Kels said...

leaving an apple juice label on it would be truly amazing! god your post made me giggle and as one who has had the misfortune of providing a number two for the lab let me tell you that i think peeing in a cup is a nicer process than the alternative...
i did not however have to keep it in the fridge.

(had to have one after returning from India in case you are wondering)

k said...

Anyone care to hazard a guess as to just how much pee I collect by the end of the 24 hours?

Kirst said...

I could tell you how gross those poop tests are and just think about the lab people who have to deal with it. But I'll spare you the details. The pee not as bad to deal with.

lu said...

to diagnose a parasite, i had to drop my sample off at the clinic as well and the worst part of it all was that it was in front a packed waiting room that included some hot dude (but at least no one i knew!).

hmmmmm..... my guess is that you collected 2L.

Reverend Joyleaf said...

1.75 L

Runner Leana said...

24 hour collection? Wow...I'd have to do that on a weekend for sure..!! Hopefully everything is okay!!