Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Waste of Time"

(by FM Static) Waste of Time - 3 Out of 4 Ain't Bad



I suppose the title is slightly deceiving, because my day wasn't a complete waste of time. But somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-5 hours of it was wasted, and it was all because of one little number that was miscoded. This really is an update on Christopher, but you have to hear all about our day first...

Apparently the wrong scans were ordered. I knew something was wrong when Christopher was done with his CT scan super early. Turns out they didn't have him drink barium, so he didn't have to wait the usual 45 minutes before they scanned him. Plus, they didn't scan as much of his body as they're supposed to. They usually scan his chest, abdomen & pelvis. This time, they only did his abdomen. I questioned this, but when Chris tried to call his oncologist's office nobody was in.

So we went on down to the MRI floor. Again, I knew something was wrong when the nurse taking him back questioned what they were looking for & kept looking at his chart. {For the record, it hasn't gotten any easier to answer, "Metastasis in the liver or lungs."} Now, I had originally questioned the MRI when I saw that one had been authorized, but I figured Dr L had requested it in order to get a little better look at things. Chris hasn't had an MRI since he was first diagnosed with cancer, so I thought maybe it was time for another one. I also thought that Dr L was trying to be thorough by having an MRI & CT, since insurance won't authorize a PET. Whatever the case was, I didn't care that it had been scheduled because I'm all about people being thorough.

Well, the nurse that questioned the MRI has worked here for 8 years, knows Dr L's procedures, and knew something looked wrong. He called Dr L's office, and Dr L's nurse asked who ordered the MRI. Umm...her, maybe? As it turns out, Chris wasn't supposed to get an MRI today. So she told us not to have it and instructed us to go ahead and go to our appointment with Dr L. It was originally scheduled for 1:00, but she said to come in at 11:00.

Good thing, since we didn't actually get to see him until 1:20. Nice.

Anyways, from a metastatic standpoint, his liver looks good. My understanding is that it would've been better if he had the barium as a contrast, but it is what it is. Up until Dr L reviewed the scans, we were under the impression that we were going to have to go through it all over again in a couple of weeks. But apparently he isn't concerned about Christopher's lungs right now. The liver is the first site of metastasis in 90% of the patients with mets, so I guess he isn't concerned with it spreading to the lungs? I don't know, and I have a hard time being completely confident in that mindset. But I don't know what else to do about it right now. The nurse apologized for her little miscode, though. I actually felt slightly better because of the simple fact that she accepted responsibility. It didn't fix anything, but I'm glad she didn't try to make excuses.

After meeting with Dr L, Chris ended up having to go back and get an MRI. Yep. They detected fatty infiltration of the liver, so Dr L thought he should go ahead and have the MRI after all. So we got to spend an additional 3 hours in the Medical Center today, and we'll hear back on the fatty liver stuff tomorrow. Apparently it's unrelated to cancer, but he still needs to get it under control. On the bright side, they'll get a better look at the liver now! So maybe I'll feel better about things after he gets those results.

So there you have it...I don't really know how to feel about it all. I'm glad it's over, but I'm not completely happy with the outcome. My friend Marcie referred to this as a "hanging chad" kind of day. I think that adequately describes it!

Amy

4 comments:

Messy Mom said...

I am sorry that it wasn't as cut and dry as you'd hoped and I really hate all of the hassle :(. We'll still be praying for you guys of course. On a much lighter note I told Jeremy about your blueberries back when you posted a pic. We've tried for years to do all kinds of berries without any success and we got one tiny blueberry one year and a bird ate it before it was even ripe, so there you have it. Everyone has their thing.

Brooke said...

i'm sorry things didn't go smoothy yesterday, i know you were worried and it would be difficult for this kinda half @$$ thing to set your mind at ease.

no matter what - God is still in control. hugs 'n love

Nichole said...

Amy,
I am so sorry about your day yesterday. I am praying for you guys today, and continue to pray for Chris's health. Love you all!
Nichole Bieber

Laura said...

Man, what a mess! I'm so sorry that they weren't more together. :(

PS - I owe you a guest post! I got sick yesterday and wasn't able to write it.