My husband recently told me that I obsess about health stuff, to which I huffily replied, “I do not!”  From my perspective, I don’t obsess;  but if there’s a problem, I want to know about it thoroughly, especially any natural treatments of said problem, because chances are extremely slim that a regular doctor is going to communicate (or even know!) what that would be.  I also like to know the cause of various health problems.  I like to know what I can do about it, and then set myself to doing it.  And, it’s often helpful to find people with the same problem, for exchange of information, and the support of someone who has walked for a while on the road that’s new to me.  One can’t know all that stuff without some thought and digging and time.  And, since I not only spend that thought, digging, and time on myself, but also my five children, as things pop up, which they inevitably do, I guess that does end up being a lot of effort spent on health issues.

I recently had an appointment with a new doctor;  it went well;  I was really pleased with her.  It was a “new patient” appointment, where we discussed my health history and such.  It’s been a long time (about six years!) since I’ve seen a general/family practitioner, and about twelve years since I’ve had a physical, though as I’ve had five children in that interim, I’ve often seen my OB/GYN, so it’s not like I’ve been bereft of medical care for a decade.

Most of the “physical” stuff, my doctor planned on covering during my follow-up appointment, which is in another couple of weeks.  But, as there were a few lab tests she ordered up right away.  Included among them, as I requested, were my various cholesterol numbers.  There were five or six other things she was trying to discover, through my bodily fluids, but I was particularly interested in the cholesterol test because, if I don’t fill out a health assessment for our insurance by the 17th of this month, including those numbers and my blood pressure, our rates will increase by 15%.

So, I called the doctor’s office today, to see if they would fax or e-mail the lab results to me, both for personal interest, for our insurance, and so that I could have the results in hand when I go see a different doctor, later this week.

I fully expected them to comply.  However, I received a return phone call from my doctor’s medical assistant, who said, “Dr. McDonald wants to wait and go over the results with you when you next come in, and she’ll give you a copy then.  And, we’ll fax a copy to [other doctor].”

I paused.  My suspicion antennae perked up.  “Well, I at least need the cholesterol numbers,” and I explained why.

She put me on hold.  Upon coming back, she said, “OK.  The doctor says I can give those to you.”

And, she did.

I’ve never had my cholesterol checked, and for whatever reason, I thought I’d have really good numbers, which I did.

Total:  151
LDL:  69
HDL:  75
Triglycerides:  44

Also, thanks to my mom, who actually has too-low blood pressure, mine is great:  112/64, which puts me in the “athlete” range, which I am not;  I just have the blood pressure of an athlete.

That was all good to know.  But, still.

I find myself wondering why they wouldn’t send the lab results over to me.  I have asked numerous doctors, over the years, for numerous lab results to be faxed to me — not just the results, but a copy of the lab report — and I’ve never been denied or deferred.

I’m trying not to obsess.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on July 8, 2009, in Medical Stuff, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. That does seem strange. I can’t say that I know from experience whether or not they usually give them but it seems rather foolish that they would deny you – they are YOURS to decide what to do with!

  2. I’ve found that at least in MI, I have to ask for a copy of lab results to be sent to me as the Dr is writing out the lab order. They can mark a spot on the form saying that its okay to release them. Then if you remind them at the lab, usually you will get them. However, if that’s not marked, then it is treated as insider info and all the HIPPA laws go into effect. Next time tell the Dr that you need a copy asap to submit and to request the lab send you a copy as soon as testing is complete.

    • Yeah, I did sign a HIPA document at both my doctor’s and the lab. But, even with HIPA, they should be free to release the info to me; I don’t think it’s a privacy thing, or they wouldn’t have even told me my cholesterol numbers over the phone! I think it’s likely that they found something that they want to discuss with me in person. But, you’re right — I should have asked for a copy when the doctor wrote up the lab aquisition sheet and/or at the lab itself, which I have done in the past, and will not neglect to do in the future!!!!!

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