Pre-op bloodwork came back

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    So, the gallons of blood they took for my pre-op came back and I am hoping someone here (ahem, Lisa - Hound) can help me.

    High cholesterol
    High LDL
    Low Calcium (I take supplements!)
    Low red blood cell count
    Low white blood count
    Low hematcrit
    Low Hemoglobin
    High MCH (Does anyone know what that is???)
    High MONO (Anyone know what that is??)
    Low ABS Neutro (Again, anyone know what that is??)
    Low ABS Lymph (also, anyone know what that is??)

    Of course, I stupidly went on line to find out what this all means and it scares me. So, anyone educated in reading blood results, please help me. My Dr sent me to re-do the CBC part of the test and I had a chest xray that I am assuming came back okay. But Dr seems to be concerned about me being anemic going into the surgery. Oh yah - she said my iron and folate were fine so it's not iron related anemia. WTH is going on?

    Thank you!
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What kind of surgery are you scheduled for?

    Monocytes are white blood cells responsible for attacking foreign bacteria. So that could indicate you have an infection somewhere.

    There are several reasons why the other numbers could be low... so I wouldn't want to start speculating.

    Did you call the doctor to ask for an explanation of the report? Even if a nurse is the one to call you back, they should at least be able to give you their overall impression of what could be going on and why they need to run the labs again.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A high mono means you had mono at one time, even if you didn't know it. It never goes away and isn't serious. I have this.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Easy way to remember cholesterol (per my Dad):

    HDL - "Happy" cholesterol - can make overall cholesterol high, but not really a problem.
    LDL - "Lousy" cholesterol - something you need to really lower.

    That might help a LITTLE.

    Ditto what MWM said about the mono.

    Hemoglobin is a protein, basically necessary for blood to bond with oxygen.

    Hematocrit is the ratio of cells to volume of blood. Since you have low red and white, this makes sense.

    Low red blood cells - are you anemic by chance? Iron rich foods such as spinach and beans are good.

    OK, that's what I know...
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Did they give you the actual values or just the Low/High comments? Anemia is not uncommon in women - so I wouldn't worry about the low red/white/hemo counts -- especially if you menstruate.

    As far as the other results - the actual numbers are important and AFAIK - it's the HDL/LDL ratio that's most important with the cholesterol counts. Also matters if you were fasting or not fasting. My Cholesterol is high (218ish) but it's always been around that number since I first had it tested in 1987! And my hdl/ldl ratio is above idea so the the numbers that are "high" are not an issue. If you take any medication, it can also skew the results - my triglycerides are high but that's a common effect of a BCP that I take.

    Don't worry . IME - the Dr would have CALLED you with a plan and a "plan" if the results were noteworthy. But it's definitely worth a phone call to the office. Make sure they know you want the dr or nurse to call you to discuss the results of the blood tests so you don't play phone tag.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmmm what is the surgery for?

    And those are not good results. But the numbers would tell more than the just Low or High part, and numbers vary nowdays from lab to lab......which is why they now print Low or High next to the numbers.

    But I wouldn't freak out over them either. Looks like you've got some anemia going on. Easily corrected with an Iron supplement. Not sure why your calcium level would be low, especially if you're taking a supplement. Honestly though, you might want to start taking that iron before surgery as you could have some bleeding issues (which is one of the reasons for these pre-screens of blood work) doctor should write you a script as it will work better than OTC.

    I don't believe the high monos are just indicative of having "mono" itself. Those white cells elevate for other reasons too, not just for that specific thing.

    Not seeing anything horrible though. But I personally would put off surgery with both the hematocrit and hemoglobin low...........hemoglobin transports the O2 around the body, hematocrit is what causes blood to clot. I'd talk to doctor about the levels. I can give you "norms" but now days those can vary widely from lab to lab.
  7. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I get my iron from the pharmacist-no script needed but have to ask the pharmacist for the Ferrous Sulfate 325mg (which is what doctor recommended). I have had anemia for years-is common in mentruating females and is more common with autoimmune diseases. I have RA. Even with supplements my blood levels have never come back to normal. I do bruise easily and bleed long. Don't remember the other things in your work up.

    I would ask the dr. about all this-sounds like he/she doesn't feel good with surgery coming on. Good luck to you and hugs.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Okay, thank you all.

    My surgery is scheduled for January 9th for a total knee replacement (lots of bleeding, a transfusion is not uncommom).

    My iron and folate levels are fine - so iron supplements will not change anything.

    Low RBC and WBC can be indicative of an autoimmuno deficiency based on what I've read so far and, being an asthmatic, it would not be surprising if that were the cause. Plus, I do take a couple of medications that may skew things. However, I am concerned about this.

    Cholesterol I should be able to handle with diet (and once I heal from the knee replacement, movement). I would not take medications for that as the levels aren't through the roof high (total 216, LDL 141 - controllable).

    My Dr isn't concerned about the cholesterol - she feels that once I've healed I can begin exercising and for now I can cut fats and sugars out of the diet, no biggie. She is concerned with the anemia mostly because it is not caused by an iron deficiency - so she had me redo that part of the test. I am hoping the numbers are better this time around; we did use a different lab. The first test was a fasting test as it was very comprehensive, but this second one didn't need to be fasting as it won't change the CBC.

    Thanks again!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo....on the calcium....I dont know the kind of calcium you take but the low calcium could be caused by the type you take. Caltrate is one of the better ones because it absorbs better into the body and they now make it in a chewable that is even better to get it into the body. I love it. I have to take RX vitamin D and I take the chewable caltrate. Well actually I get the walmart brand of caltrate. They taste like fruit chews. But if you really like chocolate, caltrate does come in a chocolate truffle flavor.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    HNR -

    DF is doing excellent since his knee replacment -

    A few things you may ask about - because we found these INTERESTING - after the fact.

    1.) The blood transfusion - HE would have given his OWN blood in advance - or I would have gotten his family to do it. (I can't I have thalassemia - it's just a funky anemia)

    2.) Ask BEFORE they take you to your room if there is a ROWING machine for your leg. If there is a cooler for your leg, and if there is an inflation machine for both legs for blood clots. The rowing machine was the best thing in the world. It looked like a row boat of sorts and they put DF's leg in it - it sat in the bed with him and it moved his leg in such a motion - away, up a bit, back to him, down - (repeat) it kept it from getting stiff all night. The ice machine was a cooler that sat on the floor - and had hoses that ran to a pad on his knee. The bucket/cooler was filled with ice; plugged in, and ran constantly to keep the incision cold while the row boat thing moved. He said it was WONDERFUL. When they took the row boat off the next day? They put the inflation socks on.

    3.) CHECK OUT your rehab place (if you intend to go) BEFORE you go. Check out the nurses, the shower, the food, the type of food. Oh and while your'e at it? Check out the menu at the hospital too - and while you feel GOOD - pick out your meals NOW - because trust me - They start shoving pain killers in you and the last thing you want is to be picking out - soup or salad, pie or cake - and you will be on a low sodium/low sugar diet. Low sugar because -

    4.) the shock of knee surgery will more than likely (we were told) cause you to be a temporary diabetic? DF was given finger pricks 3 x a day and given shots of insulin twice a day the entire time he was in the hospital AND the rehab horror house. (Thats why I said if you are going to rehab - check it out before you aren't up to snuff)

    5.) They will be giving you - a potty - a walker, a wheel chair. Well they did DF anyway. We had NO idea what to do with the potty - but figured we better hang on to it until the other knee is done.

    6.) THE HOME SHOWER - Ahhhhh yes. GET YOURSELF a good shower seat. and Get yourself or make sure your bath mat is like new or at the least SUPER STUCK to the bath floor.

    7.) Get a set of those pincers - Ace Hardware sells really nice ones. You can't bend over to get anything.

    8.) LONG shoe horn - really handy.

    9.) Gauze, Saline, Tape - You'll be doing this at home on your own to wash out the wound - Check with a home health pharmacy for the long gauze.......get the saline at DOLLAR GENERAL (least expensive) as well as the tape. - get this stuff before you go in - and I'm telling you the nurses will NOT leave you with jack. Can't blame them - but we thought Medicare would cover something - NOPE....nada.

    10.) For getting in and out of the car...YOU WILL BE A PASSENGER - there is a foot strap for pulling your leg in and out - try it - or make one. DF didn't like his -

    11.) RELIGIOUSLY do your exercises....and listen to your PT. (We were told if you don't WANT to go to rehab you don't have to) YOu can go home. DF has Medicare.

    12.) Smoking decreases the healing time of incisions.

    13 - The doctor said something about honey for healing the scar - but DF likes his wound......Oh lord. So we never looked into it. I don't remember what kind or anything.

    14.) DO NOT take ANY Of YOUR current medications to the hospital - (we did thinking it would help costs - nope)

    If you have any other ??? You'd like me to ask DF - he said he'd be glad to help. He's going in Tuesday for eye surgery. He's was so excited about getting the other leg done and us getting out and about and last week found out he's going blind - so he's kinda down in the dumps. Hopefully they've caught the degeneration in time to help him with one eye. So we're hopeful.

    OH YEAH _ and did they give you the PRESCRUB stuff for you to wash your legs with at home for three days so that you would NOT - NO WAY - NO HOW get M.R.S.A.? It's wonderful. They sent DF home with three little sponges that look like they are soaked in betadine or something - and he had to scrub his entire body for three days with them - pretty wild. Even the morning of the surgery. But NO MRSA.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Three days? as in 24 hours x 3? (at that rate, probably don't need anaesthesia...)
    or... 12 hours x 3?
    Sorry. The various pictures that quote above conjures up to a tired brain... are insane (like me).
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  12. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    umm, I believe the calcium is measuring calcium in your blood--which wouldn't be affected very much if at all by calcium supplements. Your body controls calcium levels quite closely. Which is different than calcium needed to build bones (probably related, but you can't do a blood test to check to see if you are getting enough calcium.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    One thing I can tell you about is rehab. Boy do I know rehab. It is one reason I am putting off getting my knees done. I simply dont have the mental energy to put myself back into what I can only remember now as PTSD. I would probably have been a much harder patient if I had been in my right mind which I am now. It was hell then. I could only imagine what it would be now. I remember it feeling like people were torturing me and I had no choice in the matter. Having to be strapped to tilt tables and tilted up and my body falling forward against the straps because I simply couldnt put weight on my legs. Learning to bicycle my arms to get the feeling back in them so I could use them again but it taking forever. the completely and utterly helpless feeling of having to wait for someone to come feed me or take me to the bathroom or dress me. Trying to stand for 5 then 10 seconds for a drink of diet coke. I remember when I walked the link of the parallel bars. I thought I was gonna die it was so hard. Then I got the clots in my lungs and my leg and ended up back in the regular hospital and had to start all over again.

    No...I am not in a rush to do all that again. The one thing they taught me that has never left me is how to get in a car. Butt first. I never put my foot in the car first anymore. I open the door and stick my butt in on the seat and then turn to put my feet in the car.
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Janet, I recall my sister telling me that the rehab is grueling the first week or two, but that you MUST do it. So, I guess I will be taking pain killers those first couple of weeks. I'm ready if it means I will be able to walk without pain next Spring.

    Star, thanks for all the notes. I attended a pre-replacement surgery class with H a couple of weeks ago and it went over all that information. However, the pincer thing sounds useful - think I will pick one up! I been instructed to bathe with the Hibicleanse stuff the night before and the morning of the surgery and I'm not allowed to use a razor to shave, ugh. What would be the point anyway?? I will have the rowing machine and the inflatable socks and the ice thingy. They will send me home with a walker and a cane, though I already have a cane and shower chair, so I'm all set there. I will NOT be at a rehab center - I go straight home on day 4 and will have in home care for about two weeks. They gave me a list of items to purchase beforehand and I've already gotten some, but still have a few left. I want to buy mens flannel shorts because all my casual comfy pants and pj pants would be too slim to go over the knee with a bandage on it. I picked up the tylenol, the apsirin, the stool softener (ew), and some other stuff. I think I'm going to set myself up in the spare room for the first couple of weeks. My room is tight with our giant bed and I don't want to keep H upu all night. Plus, it's closer to the bathroom, lol. I will have H helping me at home for the first 4 days and then only at night. My friend is taking a few days off work to stay with me during the day and another friend said she would do the same. Just to be there, help me get around, cook and clean, etc. I will have to just bite the urge to start doing things around the house too soon...I hate a messy house and it's always messy if I'm not picking up and putting away every day. H is messy...even easy child gets angry with him for leaving **** everywhere he goes, like a trail. LOL...

    Thanks for the tips!
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Second CBC came back fine - all levels within normal range. I'm so relieved!
  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That's good news! Must've been a fluke.