I wake, push the call bell and ask for water. The aide tells me to wait. I tell him that he had all night to refill my water cups. In a nursing home, the need for water is considered emergent. The patient is always supposed to have water at all times. I have two cups so they continually can keep one filled.

You know that the way to keep your little kid dry at night is to tell him “No water after supper—just one drink at bedtime,” but do you know how that works?

The posterior pituitary gland in the brain keeps a running tab on how much water is in the plasma that is flowing through it. When the water level gets low because there is no fresh water coming into the system then the gland sends an antidiuretic hormone (ADH) message down to the kidneys to tell them to conserve water, i.e., stop peeing it out. Basically, the ADH seals the system to maintain hydration; it regulates to keep a certain amount of water in the system by recycling it.

That’s how it works in healthy people: the posterior pituitary gland sends antidiuretic hormone to the kidneys to stop them from releasing water to be peed out as urine, and your kid wakes up dry in the morning. So I got diagnosed with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus consequent to lithium poisoning, and what did that mean? Arnie Moses explained it to me.

Dr. Moses has been an endocrinologist at Upstate Medical Center for about sixty years. Around 1991, when I was in one of his research studies, he was a world-class authority on diabetes insipidus. Moses admitted me to one of his research beds then they (a) had me urinate, (b) drew blood, and (c) gave me water to drink. They did this continually every fifteen minutes until I couldn’t stand it anymore. This test doesn’t sound terrible but, believe me, it was. I felt like I had wimped out but a nurse whispered that I’d lasted longer than any other subject.

Every time they drew blood it immediately was transported to a lab tech because what he was doing was measuring antidiuretic hormone. And what was confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt was that I was putting out a normal amount of ADH but my kidneys weren’t responding to it. If I had not been putting out enough ADH then I would have had neurogenic diabetes insipidus. As it was, I have nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

The kidneys have millions of tubules; lithium toxicity destroys them. Since it is the tubules that hold and release water, if they are damaged then so is your capacity to retain water. I am continually wasting water into urine because the tubules are destroyed and can’t respond to the ADH to stop the release of water.

Which I would have explained to that asshole, Dr. Falci, if he’d ever asked me. And which he might actually have put into his report, which is all that asshole, Dr. Lockwood, ever read. Doctors playing whisper-down-the-lane instead of interviewing their patients is the best reason I know for HealtheConnections to be shut down.

Under the guise of lowering costs by not repeating expensive tests and by making information available for fast treatment, HealtheConnections—as a part of a national program—is electronically collecting your information and putting it into the hands of people who never have laid eyes on you.

And there is no patient portal where you can get in to view your record or correct misinformation. That-asshole-Falci wrote that I probably have psychogenic diabetes insipidus, i.e., that I’m crazy, not medically damaged, and that lie by an incompetent psychiatrist is going to go around and around and around the system. I can’t stop it.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that your information is doing the same thing? Have you ever had reason to see the medical records from your doctor’s office or a hospital? Shock the shit right out of you. Trust me, the medical professionals who have been treating you do not see you the way you see you.

Do a little experiment: request your records from someplace you were treated five years ago. When you are surprised by what you see then get your records from one year ago. Compare them. Are the errors of five years ago still being carried forward? Ever wonder why you’re getting such crappy treatment? D’you suppose it has something to do with errors in the records that the new treating entity looks at before s/he looks at you?

You are not who you are; you are who the medical industry created you to be. Be afraid.

I was poisoned by a doctor who didn’t monitor medication, and therefore I suffered permanent kidney damage. By playing selective whisper-down-the-lane in medical records, Dr. Moses scientific testing has been dropped and replaced by that-asshole-Falci’s uneducated opinion.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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4 Responses to Whisper-Down-the-Medical-Records

  1. Get Smart says:

    Treatment may include modified antidiuretic hormone medications (often taken as a nasal spray), or medications that stimulate the production of the antidiuretic hormone. In addition, persons with diabetes insipidus must maintain adequate fluid intake to compensate for the excessive urinary output, and eat a low-sodium diet. Although children with the disease also need to drink plenty of fluids, care should be taken to monitor sodium intake in their fluids. Diabetes insipidus can be a temporary or a permanent condition, depending on what is causing the disease. Children with central diabetes insipidus, with proper management, can lead full, healthy lives. Children with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, can also lead relatively normal lives with proper medical care and management, especially if the medical care is started early.

    • annecwoodlen says:

      All of this is true, however, when nephrogenic diabetes insipidus occurs in adults because of bad psychiatrists prescribing lithium without monitoring it, then it does not play out so nicely.

  2. Silver Price says:

    There are two types of diabetes insipidus — central and nephrogenic. Central diabetes insipidus is a lack of ADH production and is due to damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus where ADH is produced. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is lack of response of the kidney to the fluid-conserving action of ADH. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus can be due to diseases of the kidney (such as polycystic kidney disease), certain drugs (such as lithium), and can also occur an inherited disorder.

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