Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vitamin D[3]

After our last bloodwork, the folks in North Carolina at the surgery where we had our bariatric surgeries went into Panic Mode about our Vitamin D levels. They called with some pretty extreme directions: go back onto a double-sized megadose (50,000 units not once but twice a week), plus a daily regular dose (2,000 units a day, though they made a point of that being D3), plus sending Siobhan to an endocrinologist.

This was a big surprise. Our new doctor had gone over those results with us and wasn't alarmed at all. Admittedly, she's not a bariatric surgeon, but she described my D levels as "low normal" and Siobhan's as just below low-normal. In both cases, they were higher than they'd been back when we were originally put onto the single megadose (50,000 units once a week). So why the big fuss?

We figured it out. They'd put us onto the 50,000 a week dosage, and after a while, when our levels were getting back up, they took us off it and told us to go to a regular, non-prescription level of 2,000 a day. However, they seem to have forgotten they changed it. So when they saw our levels dropping back to low-normal, they thought we were still on the megadose, in which case a drop would be alarming.

You'd think that once we reminded them that they'd dropped us to the 2,000 unit dose, they'd retract their panicked reaction and just put us back onto the 50,000 unit dose. But, for no reason we can determine, they didn't. Even after acknowledging how they'd gotten mixed up, they simply kept us on the huge dose (50,000 twice a week, plus 2,000 a day, which seems really arbitrary). The only thing they withdrew is the need to see an endocrinologist.

Can't make much sense of it, but I'm not about to argue when it's only vitamin D, so it's not like we're dealing with bad side effects, seriously alarmed about what it might be doing to our bodies, or paying a lot for it. So easier to just do the super-duper-mega-dose and live with it. It does mean we have to ride herd on the North Carolina crew a bit more closely to make sure they don't get themselves confused again, though. This mistake was fairly benign, and one assumes if they were prescribing something riskier they'd be more careful, but it's still not confidence-raising to have mixups like this (or at least like what it seems to be -- maybe they've got some reason they're not bothering to explain) in our medical care.

Incidentally, I went to the store to buy some Vitamin D3, only to find the regular Vitamin D I had been taking already was D3. Oh well, it won't go to waste.

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