Waiting for Results
Faced with our imagination’s world of “what if,” it’s natural to want to know your results immediately once you’ve taken a test or undergone a procedure. Sometimes, that’s possible. But in most cases, the results need additional analysis or interpretation.
The hematology laboratory, for example, is likely to subject your blood samples to a variety of tests, some of which may take days to complete; specialized radiologists may interpret your echocardiogram, MRI or CT scan; an electrophysiologist may evaluate your heart rhythms. Those specialists will forward their reports to your doctor, who may take some additional time to consider how to use the information in planning your treatment.
Handling the Uncertainty
When you’re scheduled for a test, ask when and from whom you will receive the results. If possible, make an appointment to discuss those results with your doctor. Knowing when you’ll be notified can eliminate at least one source of anxiety.
If you’re apprehensive about what your results are going to reveal, talk to your doctor or nursing staff. They’ll be able to suggest techniques or medications that will help to relieve the stress and anxiety of waiting and wondering without harming your heart.
Date Last Modified: January 21, 2011
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