Blood results confusion

I've just called my surgery to check the results of my monthly blood test for mtx. The receptionist told me ESR raised at 28 and liver function to be repeated. I asked what was wrong with the liver function and she didn't know. I asked when I should have the test repeated as I'm on monthly testing and she didn't know. Is it any wonder I have no faith in my medical care? I've asked her to get the GP to look at my results because I'm worried about this now but she said I probably won't hear back until Monday. Tried to call my rheumy nurse but an answer message said nobody is available until Monday. Now I'm all worried and especially so as I took another dose of mtx an hour ago unaware of any problems. Shouldn't the GP be monitoring results for such strong medication?

Paula x

23 Replies

  • Hello Paula,

    Hi Im Lisa, I firstly want to say, the receptionist was very wrong in giving you ANY result, she is not a doctor or a nurse, as to you asking more questions and her not having any answers should tell you enough. Please do not Worry, Make a new call on Monday to either a doctor or a nurse, I dont know how the laws are here in Uk, But I was a medical receptionist, when I lived in the States, we were forbidden to give ANY results to a patient, I in my opinion, I would make a complaint to either a nurse or doctor, As you see what the ramifications of an uneducated person in the field of medicine, has done to you, and then has the nerve to tell you that you wont hear back from anyone until Monday, I cant tell you what to do, But you have two choices, 1 ring back and insist on speaking to a nurse or Doctor, Or the receptionists supervisor, or 2, Wait until Monday, and take no notice of what she said, and wait to speak to a qualified person, and at that time I would also tell them what that phone call has done to you emotionally Hopefully someone will deal with her. and in the end u will get your answers.

    Good Luck



  • Well said Lisa,you have hit the nail right on the head. love

  • Thanks Sylvia, at Least Im useful for Something xx

  • You are always useful and don't you forget it my friend. love

  • Thanks Lisa, at my surgery patients are advised to ring between 2 and 4 for results and the person..I assume a receptionist always gives them over the phone. I was already concerned that it didn't appear these were being looked at by a GP but this has confirmed my fear really. I'm already struggling this week because my OH has been away working in Dubai and is due back tomorrow thankfully. I also learned my Aunt died on Wednesday. We weren't too close but it's still a shock. I think I'll go up there and get my results to look at myself. So stressed!

    Paula x

  • If there was anything to worry about Paula they would have been in touch. sending you cyber hugs.xxxxxx

  • Thanks Sylvi, it's not often I let this condition get the better of me but today was a difficult one. I suppose I'm still coming to terms and the thought of coping with change right now was a bit much.

    Thanks for the hug and back at you x

  • Hi Paula,

    I had raised liver ALT & AST (about 4 times the normal) and I didnt get informed for two weeks when I went for arranged consultation, I was very shocked as by that time I had taken two more doses of my MTX. This is the hospital too, my results then went down but not into normal range and then increased a little the next time, I've given up trying to get an answer from the hospital, will be glad when I go onto monthly testing at my GP (well hopefully they will be better).

    Try not to worry too much, hopefully on Monday you will get an answer, but I understand why you are anxious, so was I and to be honest I still am as I can only get to talk to the secretary.

    Good luck

    Mary x

  • Thanks Mary, I think I've just worked myself into a panic and got upset. My OH just this minute rang to say he's standing at the foot of the tallest building in the world in Dubai. He sounded so excited and happy and here was me putting on my happy voice and being excited for him. I really wanted to say "My bloods are bad" have a cry and talk about it but he's entitled to switch off and have fun. I'm going to ring the Dr's back at 4.30 and ask if I can have a better explanation. It's hard when it's all new isn't it?

    Paula x

  • Hi Paula,

    Yes all very scary and new, hope you get an answer today.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Mary x

  • Just phoned the surgery back and was advised the Dr had left the building and I wouldn't hear until Monday. I said that I was worried and couldn't wait all weekend so could she ask another Dr to look at it. She came back and said another Dr advised it was fine and to have my test done again in a month. Did this mean my liver function was raised or normal? She didn't know!! I'll go in and speak to the Dr next week. Got a cup of Green Tea and honey now as it looks healthy and I can't have booze.

    Paula x

  • Hello Paulywoo that does sound as though everything is ok and the receptionist give you very poor foodback.

    i wrote a similar blog a month ago - i got a phonecall from the receptionist to tell me to stop taking my naproxen immediately and she had made an appointment for me to come in and have a chat with the doctor. I was panic stricken for the weekend and it turned out that i was on too low of a dose of naproxen and should be on the higher one, honestly that could have been told to me over the phone.

    Enjoy the green tea and honey, i am supping some peppermint.

  • Yes Mads I think I recall your Naproxen fiasco. I wish some medical staff would think before they speak. I've not tried peppermint tea as I have this thought it'll be like mouthwash lol, is it nice?

  • Peppermint tea is nice but may need sweetening so add a spoon of hunny. When I went to Betty's of Harrogate, a lovely traditional Tea Shop, I tried some of their mint tea with honey and it was fab and now I'm hooked. X

  • This sounds good - I'm off to get some now. x

  • I like it, i think it has a warmer taste than green tea. I like most herb teas but not a big fan of the fruit teas - love camomille at night time. Have cut out all caffeine and as we are not allowed alcohol i have now become a taster of teas.

    That has been a horrible day for you all and all.

  • Hi Paula,

    I can understand that this sort of muddle just makes you fret, and worry, and so on. And yes, you will need to get your GP's surgery to sort themselves out so that you don't have such a performance all the time. But, don't worry! yes your bloods are raised, but probably not to any dangerous degree (ESR can go Into to the hundreds....). So really try not to let it get to you over the weekend, and return to the battle next week. lots of us have little blips up and down from time to time, and normally it sorts itself out. pollyx

  • Hi Polly, I've had much higher ESR too, thats one reason I was so confused when she said it was raised at 28? She obviously had no idea what she was talking about and was totally unaware of my condition or treatment. I'm going to ask the Dr what the procedure is and say how much stress this caused. It's just been a difficult week and I was feeling stressed already. I think this just flipped a swich and I went into meltdown lol. Feeling much better now though so thank you all for the great advice and warm words x x

  • Although I find it frustrating not to be given the actual results by the receptionist, I do think it is the best policy for them ONLY to be able to give you "what the doctor has said about your blood results". This means you know that the results have been seen, the doctor has made a comment (OK, as expected, repeat in two days ....I've had a lot of the latter recently). A non-medical person is not able to interpret the results.

    I always have a look myself when I go in for the repeat test as, by now, I have a pretty good idea what is going on. If it's complicated then I discuss it in an appointment with the GP but that always means a wait, until she's alarmed when she will ring me up and ask me to do something more urgently.

  • Hello Paula.e

    Try not to worry about these results. Your blood results can be influenced by various things going on in your body. It may have been the specimen that was inadequate or clotted

    The receptionist was wrong in giving you the results, only if the doctor had checked them 1st, then she should have given you the doctors instructions.

    Be guided by how your body feels and it won't be long till Monday.

    Enjoy having your husband home, that is always a bonus.

    I am remembering today. That I climbed to the Top of the Aquaduct in Segovia only last Friday.... now I'm here having had surgery and on the road to recovery. Oh..... the difference a week can make.

    Hugs coming your way.


  • Thanks for the advice Carole, it's certainly been an eventful week for you and I hope you're feeling better after your op. My body actually feels ok apart from annoying recurring spots in my nose. Andy is due home at 2pm..Yay! I'm secretly hoping he may also have a nice present for me :-) If not I can at least sit back and get him to cook dinner tonight lol. I hope you have a good weekend with your OH too. Thanks for the hugs

    Paula x

  • Hi Paula,

    I've got out of the habit of phoning about my bloods unless I feel there is something going on and want to double check.

    I did phone about the last test though which included cholesterol as I had been getting palpitations.

    The receptionist said, very casually, oh yes, you cholesterol is very high and the GP has left a note for you to make an appointment to see her.

    I wonder whether they would have got round to telling me this had I not was already several days after the results were due in. It reminded me that you can't always assume that no news is good news.

    My last practise had a mtx blood test booklet that I took with me for every test. The nurse filled in the results of the last test then (a month later). It was interesting to have a history of the way my bloods seemed to go and where my norm lay. It may be worth asking whether they have one either at the docs or at rheumy clinic.

    Glad your OH is due back - hope he brings something expensive.....



  • Thanks Judy, I do have a Methotrexate book which is held on reception at my surgery. I'll go in to check it on Monday and if any of the results are alarming I'll make an appointment to see the GP. I'm a worrier by nature and don't trust anything to chance so I always call the surgery to check my results are ok. By the way I got a lovely present...a Kindle Touch!! I've uploaded a couple of books already and it's fab. No more struggling to hold heavy books with my sore fingers. Hope you've had your high choleserol sorted out?

    Paula x

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