Monday, February 07, 2005


Halfway through my day in the NICU today, I remembered that I was supposed to get a call about my FASTER trial test results today. I guess somewhere between running between the kid on ECMO and trying to draw blood from an arm the size of my index finger, I just plum forgot about it. I thought that the genetics people might have left a message on my cell phone, but no dice. Then I called home to check our answering machine. Again, zilch. It was 4:00pm by this point. I wanted my test results and I wanted them now.

So at this point, I figured I should just call my doctor's office. That's what regular people do, right? Call their doctor for test results? I'm speculating here. (I have to admit that the first thing I actually did was log onto the patient information system and try to look up the results myself. Unfortunately, I think the lab is a send-out, so it wasn't listed with my other blood tests.) What I neglected to remember, however, is that nothing, nothing is straightforward at [University Hospital]. After calling my OB's office, I got shuttled around to not one, not two, but six different departments, all either denying involvement with the FASTER trial (bad) or just not picking up the phone at all (worse). Don't people answer their phones at work anymore? How would you all feel if I didn't answer when you paged me? Furthermore, do not mess with a resident in working in the NICU by not calling with her prenatal testing results on the day you said you were going to, because I'm staring at kids on ventilators with malformed skulls and screwed up hearts and imagining them all to be my fetus and it's SCREWING WITH MY MIND.

So for lack of any better solution, I just walked down to the genetics department myself. That's usually the way to get things done as a resident, I've found--just plant yourself in front of the people responsible (be it the lab supervisor, the x-ray tech, the pharmacist or what have you) and do not leave until they help you. Unfortunately, it didn't work this time. They said that the FASTER trial was handled by another office. Of course.

Anyway, to cut to the chase--the FASTER office just called me at home. I guess they work late over there. And what they said is that from the results of the blood tests and the ultrasound, we were in the lowest risk category for Down's, Trisomy 18 and spina bifida. Nice work, Cletus! Keep doing this well on your tests and you'll be heading to med school yet!

Now to commence worrying about our anatomy scan in three weeks.

Currently reading: "Just Another Kid." You can tell that she wrote this one after she moved to Wales, because no Midwesterner says "bloody hell," and certainly no American kid tattles on her brother because he "wee'd" in his bed.

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