HOSPITAL OBSERVATION October 22, 2008Posted by wmmbb in Life Experience.
In preparation for my visit with my kidney specialist it is standard to undergo blood tests. Hyperkalemia is a condition of abnormally high potassium readings.
Most foods it seems contain potassium, and some medications tend to produce the same effect, so it is necessary for me to take Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, more commonly known as Rosonium. I am living to a budget (sometimes) and the asking price for medications is noticeable, and Rosonium is far cheaper to purchase from the Hospital Pharmacy than the local Chemist. Then I am careful about what I eat, so I think that I am managing my potassium levels.
Of course, my blood potassium level was measured at 7.2 which is way outside the normal range. As soon as they had this reading the pathology lab contacted my local GP and my specialist, who subsequently called me. Sometimes there are readings in the readings because of the way in which the samples are treated. My GP suggested that I immediately have another sample taken. My specialist, on the other hand, told me to go to the emergency ward for observations.
I suppose there is a precautionary principle involved here. I should mention that I actually received treatment for my condition, which reduced the potassium reading. Hospitals are the only places where patients can be confined and subject to medical observation over a period of time. Medical practices, for example, do not have the space, the full range of resources, and are too busy, other than to recycle appointments.
Different people have different issues, for example, the elderly that live on their own. Hospitals are social and working environments, and I find that one of the benefits of staying in them is that you can learn about other people’s problems. At the same time, I learn how unprepared I am for staying in them for any length of time. There are whole issues of mutual dependence that have to be managed, for example, I had to lock the dogs indoors because of Dexter’s propensity to scale the fence, despite my efforts to forestall him.