As vitally important as getting your labs drawn – is taking responsibility for the return of those labs. BE CERTAIN TO OBTAIN A HARD COPY OF ALL LABS DRAWN AFTER YOUR WLS. (Please note that the lab order includes a note directing the lab to return hard copy to you – However, often you will still need to remind them to follow through with this direction.) Not only that, but you must personally take responsibility for knowing what is going on with your labs. You MUST track your results.
If you have a spreadsheet program and are up to creating a document to track your results – wonderful! If you would prefer to borrow the Microsoft Excel template we have put together, then you may – of course – do so. Here’s a link: post-op labs template.
Please note that there are three worksheets in this template. The first is an expanded listing of post-op lab value returns. The second worksheet is a summary that Dr. Baltasar prefers to see – it pulls data from the first, expanded worksheet. The third worksheet is a place to list your vitamins, supplements, and medications. Please be certain to include pertinent information on the third worksheet as to start dates on supplements – it helps us know how to advise you after lab results are returned.
This format is a descending order of labs – i.e., the most recent labs are in the column closest to the left margin. Please note that you can go to the Header and Footer to personalize the document with your own information.
As for the body of the spreadsheet – keep in mind that you won’t have ALL of these labs drawn every time. You might have labs drawn for completely different reasons during the course of your post-op life – I, personally, have just recorded every single result of any lab here on the spreadsheet. It’s been a good thing to take responsibility for that for myself. Afterall – it’s me who has to live this surgery in real life – I have a pretty obvious vested interest!
You’ll note that a result will turn blue if a value is high and red if it is low – it’s set up to do that to draw your attention. Sometimes we want values to be high, sometimes low isn’t a bad thing. The really important thing is to make sure that you understand that – and if you don’t – to be in contact with someone who does and can help you toward that goal.
A great web site that can help you understand your labs a bit is www.labtestsonline.org – you can enter a test name and learn all sorts of great stuff about what it means and why. DO keep in mind, that post-op labs that might raise fears in a normie – can be perfectly normal for us! It’s so important to know what your labs mean! If you have questions about your lab returns or need help with interpretation, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org