Routine Lab Testing
Living with psoriasis is hard. That goes without saying. Most of us feel like a blood pinata any time we have to go to the doctor. What do I mean by that? If you have a good doctor that doctor is going to require you have bloodwork done at each visit. At any given time, I donate at least 6 tubes of blood for testing. My doctor is doing a complete blood workup to check all the standard things like cholesterol, blood count and inflammatory markers. That is the result of having a good doctor that takes your treatment of psoriasis seriously. However, I have had other doctors that did not do the routine testing. Part of the problem at the time was I did not have the medical insurance or any way of paying for these tests. I did not realize how important those tests are because it was never explained to me why those tests should be done.
Needing routine bloodwork with no insurance
Not knowing in the past about how exams should go I never asked why the doctor chose not to draw blood. Actually, I counted it as a blessing because I hate getting stuck with needles. Even after all these years of giving myself shots of my biologic treatment I still do not like needles. During my first round of biologics, I was actually getting the biologic for free from the company. After six months of it not doing anything to help slow my psoriasis flare the doctor told me that he thought I should stop the biologic. He would leave the decision up to me since I could still get the biologic for another six months. However, he told me that they did not have the capability there at that clinic to follow-up with me like I needed to be. This is one of those times I had no health insurance.
What is the purpose of routine bloodwork?
I didn't really question it at the time why my doctor had made that statement. Okay, so he couldn't follow up with me properly. What was the big deal? The big deal is that without the bloodwork anything could be going on without me knowing until symptoms started presenting. Now that I have insurance I have to do blood work each time that I go to the doctor. Both my primary care doctor and my rheumatologist take blood samples. I finally asked my primary care doctor why they had to draw so many vials of blood. He preceded to explain to me what all he was testing for and why it was so important. It shows any infection that could potentially happen. It also shows anything else that could be going on with the body. This got me thinking. If my primary was checking all this then what was my Rheumatologist checking for? So on my next visit, I inquired as to the same. She told me that she was checking to see how much the biologic was storing in my system. She was also checking for inflammatory markers that would be an indication of psoriatic arthritis.
Why getting routine bloodwork done is important
Whether you are treating your psoriasis or not lab testing is a necessary evil. Think about it. You never go to the hospital emergency room without them doing blood work for most conditions. Your doctor should be doing blood work as well. It is important. If he/she is not doing blood work maybe you need to ask him/her why? Without it, you are not getting proper treatment for your psoriasis. I'm not trying to scare anyone. I always tell everyone that I talk to that you must be your own advocate when it comes to the treatment and care you receive. After all, it's your health. It's your right to good care. Have that talk with your doctor if he is not doing blood work. If the answer does not suit you then you might want to consider finding someone else. Someone who will take your care with the utmost seriousness. That is how important lab work is to your health.
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