Today I’d like to discuss how we can all better handle the natural anxiety that we have when we’re waiting for test results. When you go to the doctor’s office, it’s only natural that some tests are going to be done, whether they’re blood tests, skin tests, even skin biopsies and sometimes X-rays. There’s no reason for you to assume that your results are going to be abnormal because, in fact, most test results are normal. When your doctor does screening blood tests, he’s doing it to demonstrate that your blood is normal, that you’re healthy. He’s not looking for a particular abnormal result. Let me give you another example of a test that’s done and how we handle waiting for results.
When I do a screening skin examination, I’m looking for early abnormal moles that have the potential to become dangerous in the future. I’m probably not going to find things on your body now that are bad or dangerous at this time. If I find something that fits into the category of having a higher risk than average of becoming a problem in the future, I’m going to remove it and I’m going to send it to the laboratory for a biopsy. And the laboratory is going to tell me, is this normal or abnormal. If it’s abnormal, it doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous now, it just means it fit into that category of possibly becoming dangerous in the future. And the lab will also tell me did I, in fact, remove the entire thing, which I usually do, so that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Fortunately in life, 90% of the things we worry about, never come to pass. A wise man once said that worrying is the interest we pay on trouble before it actually happens.
Let me give you two tips to help you through this process. First of all, try to make your appointments with your doctor early in the week. This way, if it takes a couple of days to get your test results, you won’t have to wait the additional days of the weekend. And second, if they say it’s going to take more than just a few days to get those test results, there’s no harm in asking can the results be obtained a little bit sooner.