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So frustrated

June 27, 2011

Okay, there’s a couple of posts about Audrey that I need to finish, and a post about my latest trip-planning obsession, but I’m going to do none of these because I’m so frustrated about my blood testing.

A little background: I’m on a blood thinner for the rest of my life, and need to monitor my levels regularly to make sure my red stuff isn’t too thick or too thin. Medications, certain foods and illness can throw perfectly good levels out of whack. My normal schedule is once every two weeks. Leaving work early, going to the lab and waiting for the blood draw every two weeks got old quickly. Less tangible but even more important w than the inconvenience was that the routine made me feel like something was always wrong with me.

So I got approved for doing home blood monitoring. It’s like glucose monitoring, but much more expensive. The company I use loans me the machine itself, which would cost up to $2,000 if bought outright, and serves as the third-party for reporting the results. My insurance, which is pretty good, picks up 80% of the cost of the test strips. Sounds great, except that my co-pay is about $100 for every 12 strips. So each test costs me over $8, compared with a 31 cent co-pay when I go to the lab for a blood draw.

Which brings me to my frustration. I recently had to test weekly because I was sick and on antibiotics. No big deal, I can handle that. However, the last two times I tested, I couldn’t get a good sample and used five strips last week before getting a valid sample. Tonight, I used two strips and still didn’t get a good sample, so I gave up.

The problem, to put it easily, is that my blood drop doesn’t stay in a drop form long enough, and starts to spread. So I’m just not sure that I can keep doing the home monitoring, and I don’t want to go back to running to the lab every two weeks.

Maybe it’s time to see a hematologist to see if a second opinion would allow me to go off the blood thinner.

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From → Rambling stories

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