LEGO Brand Retail
May 272010
 

Of course when they called and told me my blood work was back and everything was okay except I had a high SED rate, I had no idea what that could mean and they did not explain it to me either. Thank goodness for WebMD.com (maybe), where I got an explanation even if it wasn’t exactly promising.

From WebMD.com…

Sedimentation Rate

The sedimentation rate (sed rate) blood test measures how quickly red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle in a test tube in one hour. The more red cells that fall to the bottom of the test tube in one hour, the higher the sed rate.

When inflammation is present in the body, certain proteins cause red blood cells to stick together and fall more quickly than normal to the bottom of the tube. These proteins are produced by the liver and the immune system under many abnormal conditions, such as an infection, an autoimmune disease, or cancer.

There are many possible causes of a high sedimentation rate. For this reason, a sed rate is done with other tests to confirm a diagnosis. After a diagnosis has been made, a sed rate can be done to help check on the disease or see how well treatment is working.
Why It Is Done

A sedimentation rate (sed rate) test is done to:

* Find out if inflammation is present.
* Check on the progress of a disease.
* See how well a treatment is working.

High sedimentation rates may be caused by:

And their definition of autoimmune wasn’t very promising either….

Autoimmune disease

The immune system is the body’s defense against foreign substances, such as bacteria or viruses, that may be harmful. An autoimmune disease is an abnormal condition that occurs when a person’s immune system attacks its own tissues as though they were foreign substances.

* Normally, when a foreign substance enters the body, the immune system creates special cells to attack and destroy the foreign substance. These cells include antibodies and white blood cells (lymphocytes).
* In a person with an autoimmune disease, the immune system recognizes some of the person’s own tissues as foreign substances. The body makes antibodies and other cells that attack and destroy these tissues. This process often leads to inflammation and eventually, if it continues, scarring and destruction of the organs that are made up of those tissues.

Why the body attacks its own cells is not known. Autoimmune diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and Sjogren’s syndrome. Certain types of diabetes and thyroid disease are related to autoimmune reactions. People who have autoimmune diseases are at an increased risk for infections.

Dec 282008
 

Like the night before I fell asleep on the sofa, but I had a little help from the vicodin I took to ward off the headache I had for the past two days of crying. Although, just like the night before I got very little sleep.

I awakened with a sore throat and joked at the hospital that my Yugoslavia (uvula) was swollen (it was).

The doctor was repeating the test today to see if there was any improvement. Giving false hope to our family that any improvement would be a good thing. She could not have come back from this stroke. If she did she would have been on a ventilator and she did not want that. We had come to terms with what we were going to have to do at some point that day. Now we just had to let the rest of the family know so they could say their goodbyes.

The doctors came out to confirm what we had already known. She was not getting any blood to her brain. They then asked that my Dad, my sister and myself meet with them to discuss what would happen next.

When we went with them we were presented with a representative from the Gift of Life program asking if we would consider donating Mom’s liver to help save the lives of others. Mom being a recipient of a kidney (from her nephew — a living donor) she was always an advocate for organ donation. We did not have to think too long before all agreeing that mom would have wanted to help someone else and the only reason her DNR contradicted her driver’s license was because she most likely thought none of her parts would be good enough for anyone to use. We agreed to allow the liver donation. We did not know that this gift would prolong her agony and ours. We were promised it would be over by midnight they just had to confirm death and find a recipient. It drug on and on (and would have been longer and worse if we would have allowed them to take all the tissue they wanted — the gift of life is an amazing thing but allowing this to happen to your own loved one is another thing).

Mom was officially pronounced brain dead at 11:04pm, but they had to keep her on the ventilator until they found a recipient. By 3am we finally had to make them stop we just could not prolong the inevitable any longer. Nor could my sister and I stand to see our dad go through anymore of this emotional torture. We asked that they stop looking and remove the ventilator. Mom was finally at peace at 3:40am surrounded by those who loved her; my sister, my dad, our pastor and me.

We were at peace as well. Knowing her suffering was over then we could have closure. Not knowing when or where they would take her liver was too much to bear.

Dr. Chon stopped by tell us that organ donation was a very good thing to do and also try to explain to us why Mom died. He thinks it started as a very bad sinus infection, which would have caused the headache and vomiting. Being immunosurpressed it spread quickly. The stress of the infection then caused her blood pressure to rise therefore causing the stroke. Although we will never know a definitive answer this wraps up the last 72+ hours somewhat.

Mar 272008
 

Why aren’t people in the medical field more compassionate? When people are sick they need to feel some compassion from the people they are entrusting to make them well again. My mom had some bad experiences when she had her recent stay in the hospital and so did I after my auto accident.

Just today I called my family doctor to set up an appointment to have my legs checked. I am having an awful lot of swelling in them at night when I get home from work. Besides that I also wanted to see the other doctor in the practice since I don’t exact feel like I have gotten the best of care from my primary physician on this case.

Well the person who answered the phone was very short with me and would not let me get a word in edgewise. I understand they might be busy but please take the time to fully listen to the person before jumping down there throat or to conclusions about them or their problems. I wasn’t even going to be allowed to see the other doctor once I finally got the chance to request them.

Doctors need to listen to their patients and they need to hire nurses that will do the same. It is all about the customer service and both hospitals and doctors need to learn that.

At this point I am locked into this office as my primary physician with my insurance so I guess my first steps are to find out how to go about changing that then go and find a new doctor, one who might actually care about their patients if there are any out there.