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26 May 2004 @ 09:59 pm
Docotor stuff  
I would say that this is a misleading headline, but both interpretations could be considered valid:
"Ashcroft: 'Clear and present danger to America'"
I know that i and a lot of my LJ friends have been saying that about Ashcroft for a long time :)

I was originaly going to go to Sears to get the shaver parts, then to the doctor/lab thing to give blood samples, and then back her to have dinner with Kialyn. However kialyn said she couldn't do dinner tonight after all, so i ended up having lunch with her (well, being there while she had lunch, since i was supposed to be fasting =) and shifting everything else later.

Well, on the plus side, if the lab/doctor is upset that i waited three weeks between the apointment and the labwork, i haven't heard anything about it yet.

Other than that i'm kind of annoyed by my HMO. I asked the doctor for a full set of STD tests, and he left several things off. He left off AIDS and i think one other thing because i happened to mention that i'd donated blood medium recently. Last i heard the Red Cross discouraged people from relying on their screening process as an STD test, but i didn't feel like arguing with him.

Later i looked at the form, and it only had one set of tests marked, and it only listed two or three things, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and maybe one other that i'm forgetting about now (i should have thought to photocopy the form while i still had it.) I already knew their explanation for AIDS, but i called them up to ask why they hadn't included herpes, and they said they never test for herpes unless the person is experiencing the symptoms so they can take samples, because the blood test gives a false positive for chicken pox. Looking around on the web later showed that they're either incompetent or too cheap to buy a decent test.

I'm also a little concerned that there were at least four checkboxes on the form, but they only took one vial of blood and a urine sample. I guess they're using each sample for more than one test, which is strange because when i donate blood they always take one vial of blood for every test they're going to do.

So now i need to go to Planned Parenthood or something similar to get the herpes test, and the AIDS test if i'm going to be good. Or i can be evil and just go donate blood at the Red Cross again. I should also check online to see if there are any other STDs i should get checked for that the HMO decided really weren't that important =P

There were only two pluses to the whole thing. Giving the blood sample didn't hurt as much as i was expecting, maybe they use smaller needles than the Red Cross since they're not trying to get as much out. And since i drove down to Fullerton for this i stopped by the Jamba Juice on the way back :)

Oh, and the replacement parts _do_ fit my shaver, and it works a _lot_ better now. So i'm now without the four or so days worth of beard i'd accumulated, although Kialyn thought i looked kind of interesting with it or something =P
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Leora: ouroborosleora on May 26th, 2004 10:10 pm (UTC)
I think some tests can be combined and others they don't use the same blood for. Not sure. I know that I usually got measures on four or five things when I got my thyroid tests and the most vials they ever used were three.

But the rest of it seems rather blech.

Maybe get a new doctor? It's so much better when you're comfortable with and trust your doctor.
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 27th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
Well technically this person wasn't my doctor. My PPO is someone else entirely, this was just who they set me up with when i called to make an apointment.
Usquebausqueba on May 26th, 2004 11:07 pm (UTC)
I'm not really familiar with HMOs but it very well might have been an economic consideration. Since they're contracted with your insurance company, I'm not sure you could tell them, "Run the tests. If they aren't covered, I'll pay for it" and they could do it. Other than your copayment, they may not be *able* to accept money from you. If the tests are expensive and they don't get reimbursed, they wouldn't want to do them.

This is only based on what I do know of HMOs, which is limited.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on May 27th, 2004 04:48 am (UTC)
They won't test for herpes unless there are active lesions. There's no blood antibody test, because it'd come back false positive for chicken pox, aka herpes zoster.
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 27th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
As far as i can tell, you're wrong.


According to what i've read, the old tests could not tell between the various kinds of herpes viruses, but the new tests not only don't confuse it with chicken pox, they can even tell HSV 1 from HSV 2 with a fair amount of accuracy.

So perhaps the at my HMO doctors aren't incompetent, maybe there's a plot in the medical schools of the nation to teach students incorrect information =P
Usquebausqueba on May 27th, 2004 11:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the tests CAN be done without active lesions. We do STD blood tests at work from time to time. Chicken pox is varicella zoster virus, BTW. C.pox and what you get when you're an adult (shingles aka 'herpes zoster') manifest differently. Same virus, tho. A long boring story.

Problems can arise, tho if a person already has cold sores, or they know they have been exposed to herpes, but then they have suspicious genital lesions. *Then* it becomes important to get a scraping or a sample of the fluid in the blisters to determine if it's herpes or *other*. It could be lots of stuff.
Dalton Grahamdaltong on May 27th, 2004 11:36 am (UTC)
Herpes is a pain. The CDC has a reasonable page on it. Fluid from the sore is best, but as you suspected, there are blood tests.

In doing research a while back, I found out that about 3 out of 4 women get over HSV2 (genital) in a couple of years. It may be dormant and doing asymptomatic shedding at that point, but it doesn't seem like it. It's much rarer for a male to get a blood test for it, especially when there aren't any symptoms, but it is doable. You may have to pay PP to get it done.

A large majority of the population has HSV1 (oral); I'm pretty sure the number is around 90%. You can get tested for that, but that's even harder to convince them to do because it's so prevalent. There are, however, some people who worry about it.

Sometimes the HIV test is tricky because they have to get a signed release form in order to test you. Perhaps someone forgot to get the form done and they just decided it was too much bother. Quite negligent, IMO. I hate that it's so hard to get tested for the full battery of STDs. We're trying to be responsible, dammit!

Syphilis might be the third thing they tested.

Anyway, good on you for doing the work and research to get tested thoroughly.
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 27th, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, i think syphilis might have been either the third thing on the list they did check for, or the second thing he said he wasn't having me checked for because the Red Cross would have done it for the blood drive.

And it wasn't that they forgot to have me sign the form, the doctor specifically said while i was in the office with him that he wasn't going to have an HIV test done for me because the Red Cross would have done it already.
Dalton Graham: sleepydaltong on May 27th, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC)

That's just such bad form. Ugh.
Usquebausqueba on May 28th, 2004 12:05 am (UTC)
Herpes is a pain.
Oral herpes is a pain too. Not as bad as genital herpes, but still.. it can hurt like an SOB.

In doing research a while back, I found out that about 3 out of 4 women get over HSV2 (genital) in a couple of years.
It's not so much "getting over it" but it may go dormant. It NEVER goes away. For most of our patients, it's an ongoing thing :/.

It may be dormant and doing asymptomatic shedding at that point, but it doesn't seem like it.
Certain antivirals have been shown to decrease asymptomatic shedding.