Sharing the lessons along the way…


I am not great at math—basic math in particular.  I am aware of this limitation, however, so I trust those who are in professions that need math skills (any medical professional, for example) can do math better than me.

When the medical assistant told me the numbers for last week’s decrease, it meant nothing to me.  I presumed we were taking 10 percent of the original daily dose and that we would do that up to 10 times.

I think that was the plan, except that the last two times, she was apparently taking 10% off the most recent daily dose instead of off the original dose.  There is a handheld programmable thing that they use to change the doses, so how did this get so convoluted in five visits?

Confusing isn’t it?  Seriously.  It shouldn’t be at all.

Yesterday, there was confusion at the pump doctor appointment.  There was math involved, so I was confused when they were trying to explain how they were decreasing the dose.

The extent of the math I have done for the pump situation has been to compute the total dollars in copays by the time it is ready to be removed.  I trusted they would do simple percentages correctly.

It was a different medical assistant yesterday and she switched from talking in percentages to talking in microgram (mcg) numbers.2013-07-30 22.12.38

At first, I thought she said she had decreased me 30%, and I had a little freak out moment.  But it was only 30 mcg, then 40 mcg?  I sent her out to double-check, so the doctor came in to further clarify (ha!).

I wasn’t following their process, but apparently we are somewhat back on pace with the dose reductions.  At least that is what the pump doctor said when I left the office.

I was going to have to go home to do math, dammit.  I had no freaking clue when they were trying to explain that there had been a screw up.  They were explaining away a screw up.

By my earlier estimation, yesterday’s decrease should have me at 45% less than my original daily dose rate of 399.7 mcg, which should be 219.8 mcg.  My print out, after all of that confusion, says that I am getting 237.5 mcg per day.

I disliked having to go back to do math.

The decreases should be roughly 40 mcg, which seems like a no-brainer.  That is how it happened yesterday, but not the previous adjustment.  That is likely why I noticed less of a difference and why it took longer for anything to happen. It is good to at least know that.

So, we made up some of the difference yesterday.  I have no idea what that means, except that the ultimate removal date is getting closer.  It might mean that I will notice more today and earlier in the day.

It might not mean that.

My plan is still the same—Duke and I are going to work at HEP because it is Wednesday.  That is what we do on Wednesdays.

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