Friday, October 12, 2007

They've Decided I Didn't Exist...

... before the age of eight. This story will be one more in support of getting your medical records as early in your life as possible. I highly recommend it. Adults... this means now. Parents... this means get your child's now.

Anyway, so here's the story. Yesterday I had finally received my medical records. In looking at them, I discovered there are no records there for the time before I was married. No big deal. My previous doctor still has an office so I called over there and sure enough I could pick up my records today. Great!!! I knew as soon as I picked it up, something was missing. It was just way to light. So what's missing?

You see, here's the story. My first pediatrician was a wonderful doctor. I saw him through my struggles with tonsillitis, both allergic reactions (penicillin and codeine), my problem with anesthesia, the early history of shaking issues, etc. Unfortunately, he decided to retire. My records were transferred to another doctor. We were with the second doctor for two years... during which he attempted to kill me three times prompting my mom to change doctors again. All of my records were supposed to be transferred to my new doctor. He said they were. Mom believed him. So what's the problem?

Well, apparently his idea of sending my records was to write a one page summary giving my birth weight, immunization history, and a barely legible note that I had an anesthesia disorder when I had a T&A on 11/81. (Tonsil and adenoid) This was all he sent to my doctor. None of the records about my allergies. Nothing about the two neurologists I was sent to about my shaking. No history of why I had surgery and what the outcome was. NOTHING. Now I can understand sending a simple summary such as this for a child whose worst problem is an ear infection but not for a child whom probably had a thicker record than a 20 year old!!!

So anyway, all my medical history prior to my 8th birthday is now gone. (I haven't fully given up but I'm guessing it's been long destroyed even if I can find the doctor all the records were transferred to when he retired.) I don't know that there would be anything in those records that could shed some light but I can't help but feel like a part of me is missing without them. That small chunk of my life that now can only be recalled by my family and that's assuming their memories are up to it. I now may never know if my shaking disorder as a child was in any way related to my tumor. I guess there's worse things... it just really sucks right now.

So again, I plead to those of you out there... Get your records in order now. Contact your doctors while you know where your records are. If you have kids, get them a file started. It just might save a lot of headache some day.

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