OK, they call it a blood ‘test’, and there really are answers to be found in the process. But sometimes, looking over the results, I have to wonder what we’re proving. Last week’s answers were a mixed bag, with things I can’t interpret without Dr. Huggins’ help. Thankfully, that’s coming next week, and I’m looking forward to a phone consultation to make some of the answers make a little more sense. As I looked over the numbers that went up or down, I tried to recall some of the information I’d learned last fall, trying to decode eosinophils from basophils, and trying to remember what each one of them meant. Oddly enough, the one number I was most curious about, my current cholesterol number, was not included on the CBC. That left me with no easy standard to compare, and no real understanding.
Fortunately for me, Paul has made those arrangements for us to have that phone consultation with Doc next Tuesday, something I’m more than primed for. I’ve pulled out last year’s paperwork from Texas and began entering the new numbers into it as I tried to make sense of the information. I remember some of the reasons for what has changed, but not enough to see if what I’m looking at is better or worse. I so regret that failed blood test from May, which would at least have given me a more immediate comparison. Some numbers, I know for sure are better since last October, but some I can only wonder about. In general, I seem to be hitting the center on almost every one of the ranges listed as acceptable, which is at least better than being on the low side of all of those figures. My doctor’s written opinion was “This is completely normal.” And maybe it is for her, but she is not necessarily looking for the same things Dr. Huggins is. I mean, a 4.50 M/UL for a 4.20-5.40 acceptable range for the red blood count might be completely normal–but what does it mean to the bigger picture when compared to last year’s figures (4.54 in Dr. Huggins’ acceptable range of 4.9-5.5)? To me, this means I’ve gone down a bit instead of up, and that can’t be good. So this is where I’m struggling to grasp the deeper meanings, in a subject I have only one week’s background in from the Clinic. It’s not enough to know the variables and the acceptable ranges; I want to understand the true extent of the changes.
I am not the one who is able to understand what five months of baterial infection might have done to me, or to understand if this was where or how Doc wanted my numbers to go after taking the low-dose antibiotics. All that information is locked up in his head, and I have to say I’m most curious about what these numbers will mean to him. The answers are never simple, and I had to complicate matters by having a set-back that has put my recovery on the slower track. Needless to say, I’m looking for indications about something I might never be able to see or understand. So now instead I’ve decided to focus on changes that are more tangible: Like how my trips to the bathroom have lengthened to only once every four hours or so (even on a day when I’ve have decaf or tea), and the fact that though I’m not walking well, I feel strong mentally. I’m never sick, and sleep pretty well these days, and except for the not walking part, I am dealing with the difficult things in my life without letting them defeat me. All in all, those are results I’ll never see on paper.
But for me, that must mean at least a few things seem to be in MY acceptable range right now.