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  • Anonymous
    Post count: 93172

    Hi Colleen,
    I’m in an HMO, had RAI last Wed. and am scheduled for blood work in a month. Reason could be that my FP is treating me (HMO would not authorize a trip to an endo). Also could be that the scheduling of the blood work changes. Perhaps you can ask your endo what criteria is used to determine frequency of blood work as it seems to vary.
    Good luck,
    Claudia

    Anonymous
    Post count: 93172

    TO: Anyone who has had RAI treatment, “Does everyone get blood tests every 3 months? Also, are the blood tests done by the endo at the time you visit the doctor or one week before so he will have the results and you’ll have something more concrete to talk about. I’ve switched endo’s twice and they all do something different? I’ve always felt though that after RAI treatment, the first year you should be seen more than every three months. Alot can happen in three months before a visit. I wonder if having a health plan such as HMO has anything to do with having an app’t every 3 months? Do any of you out there have any other major health care that isn’t HMO that you see the endo more often?

    Anonymous
    Post count: 93172

    Hi Colleen! My endo didn’t do blood tests for several months after the RAI, but I had monthly appointments, and he ordered a blood test as soon as hypo signs started to appear. Re-checks were scheduled monthly, but even that is too long to go between visits when rapid changes are occuring. Several times I have insisted on being seen sooner (thanks to the good advice of Jake and Rachel), and that has resulted in getting replacement doses started/adjusted faster. I am outraged to think your health providers would potentially let you suffer with hypo symptoms for three months! When you feel like that, waiting even one DAY for an appointment is too long! I don’t know what rights people have in a HMO, but I hope you will use every tool at your disposal to be seen when you NEED to be seen, and not by the schedule of the HMO!
    Dianne N

    Anonymous
    Post count: 93172

    Seems like everyone’s endo has a different schedule for blood work. Mine
    gave me the written orders for a draw every 2 months. I can stop
    and have it drawn anywhere and they will send the results to the endo.
    He also gave me a written order for blood work in an emergency. It tells
    the lab to do the test STAT, give me the results, and call him. Since
    I’m on PTU, he didn’t want me in a situation where I couldn’t get the
    blood work done and get appropriate care if I got sick. Maybe you can get
    yours to do the same.

    As far as seeing him, I had a checkup after 4 weeks on PTU. My next
    visit isn’t for 1 year. BUT – he told me to call if any problems and
    what we couldn’t do over the phone, we would do in person.

    When we discussed treatment options, he left it up to me. He said if I
    was younger (I’m 47) he would want me to to the PTU. If older, he would
    want the RAI.

    He’s kind of a different doctor. He insists on being called by his first
    name and is open to questions, treatment options, etc. Since he takes
    care of a lot of diabetics, he is really into self-directed health care –
    he’ll help me with the options, but won’t make my decisions. He’s not
    into handholding at all. I like that even though it’s kind of scary.
    Right now I want someone to give me all the answers and guarantee them!

    One thing he did insist on was having my husband there when we made the
    PTU decision. He emphasized how much support I was going to need.

    He also emphasized that even though I would feel better in 4 – 6 weeks (and
    I do) and pretty much back to normal in 3 months – the symptoms would not
    resolve until 6 months. I’m guessing that is 6 months from start of PTU.

    I’m in a PPO, not HMO. Looks like in some cases there isn’t much
    difference!

    Just thought I’d put in my 2cents worth! Wish more of you had joined
    Dianne, Rachel and I in the chat room. I was laughing so hard I scared
    the cat. Thanks!! I needed that!!!

    Donna

    Anonymous
    Post count: 93172

    There are a couple of different approaches that doctors take to RAI that may explain the variation in times between bloodwork. Some endos give a dose of RAI that they hope will make you euthyroid: i.e., they don’t try to destroy the entire thyroid, leaving you some natural thyroid hormone production. Others, like mine, do not want to risk the return of hyperthyroid, and repeat RAI, and give a dose more designed to eliminate the thyroid completely. I’m in an HMO, but my endo told me to come in one month after RAI for blood work. I suspect that’s because I got a hefty dose of RAI and she expects hypo symptoms fairly soon. I have had email from a lady, however, who two years after RAI is still not clinically hypo. So, before you get upset that other people are getting bloodwork more frequently than you are, you might double check with your specific doctor to find out what, exactly, (s)he was trying to achieve with RAI.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 93172

    Hello everybody!

    It is my opinion that most doctors aren’t currently qualified to treat thyroid patients except endocrinologists that specialize in thyroid disease.

    Julie Utecht

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