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New Reading of the Nuclear Bone Scan: Credibility is Everything

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Notes on foot scan 2nd opinionToday, I got a gift. A friend obtained a second reading of my nuclear bone scan. The 4-page report was sent to me in a PDF as an authorized second opinion.

The radiologist did not agree with the findings of the first report and the differences were not subtle. Instead of quoting it at length, I’ve decided to reproduce the report here for you, removing anything which identifies the doctors. Also included on that PDF is the original report from the first so-called reading of the scan.

The new radiologist agreed that the times for my scans were short, producing lower quality images. This raises questions regarding insurance payment for the scans and the matter of what my scans would look like if they’d been performed correctly.

Credibility, timing, and nuclear bone scans

So many important issues are raised by what has happened to me in the last few weeks. One of them is the nature of the relationship between patients and doctors. Trust and credibility are essential elements.

I spoke with a friend yesterday who disagrees with her current doctor about something significant. She worries that she might need to find another doctor, repeatedly saying she feels too “fragile” to go through that process. Having experienced Doc Space Heater and Dr. DIP and others who either told me that “I don’t look like I have RA” or that my fickle CRP proves I’m in remission, I knew exactly what she meant.

How do you prove that you can’t put your arms over your head if a doctor says, “You’re not trying hard enough,” as has been said to children suffering with JRA?

How do you prove daily fevers, joint pain, and fatigue if the doctor doubts you?

Why do we have to bring photos of swelling? Why isn’t it trusted when we describe it?

How do you answer a new doctor who calls your DMARDs unnecessary? Read Ann’s answers to that – she’s one of my heroes in this.

One thing I’m doing to prepare myself for this process is re-reading Elizabeth Cohen’s book The Empowered Patient. I’ll report on what I learn and how I use it. The image is a quote from chapter one.

3 rules from Elizabeth Cohen Empowered Patient

Bonus nuclear bone scan link: Nuclear bone scans can be done in 2 or 3 phases to demonstrate clear distinctions between RA, gout, and OA. Timing appears to be very important in the nuclear bone scan process. Thanks to an empowered patient who educated me about these methods.

Important: I am grateful for supporting prayers. Like most people with RA, I’m dealing with other health problems. Dealing with this bone scan and finding a good rheumatologist are high priorities. The timing was not good: I had to go to Jacksonville, speak publicly, and fulfill other commitments while keeping this “secret.” There are some big things just round the corner; and I want you to know that I’m okay. This is not consuming me. I trust that God will work it for the best.

Recommended reading

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under RA Education, Reality Check. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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