Some weeks ago, my naturopath recommended that I get my ferritin levels checked at around week 34-35. Ferritin is the storage form of iron, and since I have had lowish iron levels in the past, she wants to make sure that I have enough to get through birth and post-partum successfully. (HINT: you lose a lot of blood when you give birth, and hence a lot of iron.) If my naturopath orders the tests, I have to pay for them, but if my GP or midwife does so, then they're covered, so we agreed I would ask Lillian for a requisition, which she happily gave me, and yesterday I was off to the SAT lab to get them done.
When I handed in the requisition, I asked if the lab could send a copy of my results to me directly in addition to sending them to my midwife. My naturopath had told me what numbers I ought to be looking for, so this way I could find out (and report to her) asap if I was in need of supplements. The receptionist told me that "the hospital doesn't do that" but if I went to the hospital directly I could ask for a copy of the results there. "When will the results be in?" I asked, and was told they'd be there by the afternoon.
So on the way home from work yesterday I went to the hospital. I waited around about 15 minutes before someone came to the desk to see me, which I didn't mind all that much. When someone finally arrived, I said, "I had some bloodwork done at the SAT Lab this morning, and they told me I could come here to pick up the results." The lab tech looked very surprised and skeptical. "Really? They told you that?" She went and talked to someone else in the back, then she came back to the desk and took my Care Card so she could look me up.
She then told me that a ferritin test is a "send-out" test - they send it to Vancouver, and thus the results wouldn't be in for a week. Frustrating that I'd wasted a trip over there, but this wasn't the part that filled me with moral outrage. No, the part that did that was what she said next - that even if the results were there, she couldn't give them to me unless the midwife had handwritten on the requisition form that I was allowed to have them.
That's right. I'm not allowed to know my own medical test results, because the hospital is afraid that if they told me, I might sue them.
It's my fucking blood, and it irks me something awful that I have no rights whatsoever to know what's in it (or not in it). Even more annoying is the fact that I know Lillian would find this rule ridiculous as well, and that if I'd ask her to grant me the holy permissions to see my own results, she would have happily done so (but I had no way of forseeing that this would be a problem, because it's so utterly ridiculous).
When did Canada become so litigious??
By the way it is snowing here today. I remember at the beginning of March when Mike, Lisa, and I were driving into Vancouver in stunningly beautiful sunshine and Lisa said, "March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion." She was so right.