April 3, 2014

More About My Friend On Polypharmacy

The next day, I arrived just after my friend's wife had pulled into the driveway. She was starting to unload the groceries and I helped them. My friend said their son would be there shortly and there would be a lot to do with new software and a new laptop. No sooner said than the son was home. The next three hours were spent installing software and a new hard drive in his mother's computer. After that was completed, he set up the laptop.

The rest of the evening was spent talking about different software and the son set up a network for the three computers to access data from any computer. When I said I needed to leave, my friend wanted me to come the next day to teach his wife and him how to find reliable web sites. I said I had household tasks to be completed and that I could assist most evenings the following week. He asked if I could come Tuesday evening. His wife agreed and I said okay, as this would allow me some time to research.

On Tuesday, the wife had announced that she and her husband had taken time to look at the medications they were taking and were both going to talk to the pharmacist about potential conflicts and then if there were any found, they would need to have a talk with their doctors. My friend added that he had stopped taking a few supplements after they had spent time looking at the University of Oregon website I had given them. His wife continued that even she had stopped two of her supplements.

I then suggested that they both have tests done for those they were continuing to take to determine if there was a need. The wife said that after reading several of my blogs on metformin and vitamin B12, she was definitely asking for the test for vitamin B12 and vitamin D. By doing this, both would have a baseline for future reference and even if she did not think there were problems presently, they would know what to look for in the future. She said they had found some recent lab results and her husband was in need of a vitamin D supplement.

I then suggested they always ask for their lab results and look carefully at the results and the normal range recommended. She said that her husband's doctor seemed to give him a copy, but she had never asked and her doctor hadn't been giving her a copy. I asked her if she had a calendar with her appointments or a diary of her appointments. She said she had a diary.

I suggested that she write a form requesting the lab results for the prior two years. Address it to the doctor and then ask for the lab results by date or date range if unknown. Sign and date the notice and then go to the doctor's office and request a form to complete. Once completed ask if you can attach your list, but don't be upset if they ask you to transfer the information to their form. This is often a way to discourage you from asking. I continued that many offices will ask for a fee up front or before they give the information to you. They will require you to do this in person and you should obtain a copy of the request. Do not be surprised if they take the full 30 days.

I added that on the last day, always resubmit a copy of the request saying the date originally requested and that this is now 30 days later. Also, state that you are contacting the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and detailing their lack of action. If it takes this, you must have copies of all your actions and dates, carefully follow the instructions and submit your claim.

I could see we were running out of time and asked them to pull up the following links and bookmark or add them to favorites. The first is this link and the second is this link. They did and I reminded them that they contained excellent pointers and even if they were worried that they did not say diabetes, I would send them some links later. I stated that the two links also had other links and most would apply to diabetes even though they were about health in general.

My friend and I talked a little longer and the wife was reading in both links and politely interrupted. She said these sound as if we should not pay attention to bloggers. I said that is true as we are not medical professionals. I said we could only suggest items of interest and talk about our experiences. Then it depends on what you perceive as being reliable and often what you can find on other sources that are reliable that confirms what we suggest.  I added that is why I use links to let people do their own reading and if they agree, they will be more apt to follow my blog. 

Oh, she said, that is why you say “what works for me, may not work for you.” Yes, and when you see “your mileage may vary,” this means about the same, or that the results you receive may be different from the results I received. I said it is like selecting cars, each obtains different mileage per gallon of gas. The husband said as long as we can email you with questions, then we should be able to find answers.

I said yes, and excused myself and left.

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