Back in September 2016, my gastroenterologist called me and had me decrease my Imuran dosage because my lymphocyte count was low, so instead of taking two pills a day, I would starting taking only one. I have bloodwork done every three months so that my doctor can keep an eye on how my body is reacting to the medication. After my next bloodwork results came back, she called again and told me my lymphocyte count was still low. I hadn’t experienced any negative side effects after decreasing the Imuran, so she told me stop taking the Imuran completely. At that point, I had been taking Imuran every day for almost four and half years, and Imuran is the only drug I was taking for my Crohn’s. I didn’t need to taper off at all, and I didn’t notice any side effects after stopping the Imuran.
Every couple of years, I go to see a rheumatologist, which is a doctor who basically specializes in bones. I don’t recall the exact circumstances about why I first went to see him, but I believe my family doctor referred me to him because the steroids I was taking to deal with my Crohn’s when I was first diagnosed have negative effects on your bones.
On my appointment card, it reminds me to book a bone density test two months prior to my appointment. My family doctor had already phoned me earlier this year and asked me to do a bone density test since I hadn’t had one in a while, so I had already done a test back in April. At the time, I knew I had an appointment coming up in September, so I asked the woman who administered the test if I needed to get another one before my appointment. She said OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) only covers bone density tests once a year, so I couldn’t have another test. I phoned the rheumatologist’s office to confirm that they received the results of the bone density test, and they said it wasn’t a problem I had done the test earlier than they had requested.
My gastroenterologist’s office called me the other week and left a message asking me to call back. I had something to do the next afternoon, and I decided I did not want to call my gastroenterologist first and then find out I’m dying and then not feel like doing the thing I had to do that afternoon, so I decided I’d call her after I finished my errand.
Still curious about why she might be calling, I checked my bloodwork online, and although this is only the second time I’ve gotten my results online, nothing seemed far out of the ordinary range to me.
I went to get my three months bloodwork done earlier this week. The last time I was there, the lab company had just been bought by a bigger company, so they were in the process of changing some things around. This time, before she did my bloodwork, she asked if I’d like to be able to view my results online. I’d heard a few months ago on the news that this was something some labs were offering now, and I thought it was kind of neat, so I said sure. She gave me a pamphlet with information about the service and a number that I could enter on the website to sign up.
I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist this past week. It was just a regular follow-up appointment that I go to every six months to make sure I’m still doing fine.
For once, I remembered before the appointment to check my medication to see if I needed a new prescription and to check my blood work requisition form to see if I needed a new one.
I do blood work every three months, and the requisition form expires about nine months after the first time I use it, so I get three uses out of each form. At the blood work lab, they are very picky, and they won’t let you go a week early, as I tried to do once; I need to wait at least 90 days since the last time I had blood work done before they can do it again. I get my blood work done on Saturday mornings, since that’s the only time my lab is open outside of my regular work hours. If it’s a holiday weekend, they’ll be closed on Saturday, so I’ll need to go the next weekend, and if that happens, my blood work form usually ends up being expired about a week before I’m supposed to have my blood work done for the third time.