Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Fascinating Medical Records

The clinic that I have been going to for the past few years just forwarded me a copy of my medical records so I can take them with me when we move. They are, of course, marked “confidential.” Does that mean that I should not be disclosing information to all of you readers? I don’t know, but looking through them has been interesting for me. A few things bring back sad memories – there is something rather stark and cold about the medical lingo describing events that were very difficult and personal for me. Other things I have found simply interesting or even rather amusing. Here are a few comments from different areas of my paperwork (followed by the thoughts I had when reading them):

1. (From my recent ultrasound): “The fetal anatomy including cerebral ventricle, 4 chamber heart, stomach, kidneys, bladder are unremarkable.” I assume this is good – that it means they appear normal and there is nothing to note, but “unremarkable”? What a word! Amazing. Spectacular. Miraculous. Remarkable! Those seem like more appropriate words!

2. (From my visit to a dermatologist in the clinic for severe eczema last pregnancy): “The patient is in good general health and denies other skin problems.” Does this mean that perhaps I was not telling the truth? That perhaps I did have other skin problems but chose to deny them?

3. (From the same dermatology exam – I can’t read this one with out chuckling away to myself): “In general, this is a well nourished, pleasant, fair-complected female, average frame, moderate dermatolheliosis.” Well, that is nice. I mean, it does say “pleasant” and “fair complected” (which my spell check doesn’t recognize as a word). Of course, I think of my “complexion” as my face and “fair” as beautiful . . . when I’m sure he was merely stating that my skin color is very far from tan. Still, nice to know that I appear “well nourished.”

4. (Same exam – it turns out dermatology records can be quite entertaining): “The patient is alert, oriented . . . . The examination was remarkable for the following findings . . . ." (It then lists some of my skin conditions). I’m glad to know I appeared alert and oriented. I so rarely do. And, there is that word again, “remarkable.” Obviously it is used differently in the medical world, but it seems odd that my rashy skin would be a case for using the word "remarkable" while the miracle of my baby’s creation wouldn’t warrant it.

9 comments:

BS and the Kids said...

OH, so very entertaining. I love medical language. Sometimes after I chart something I look back and read it and laugh. We don't always make the most sense. These are classic, and to think, only found in one record. It might be so fun to read someone who goes quite frequently and has even more severe problems.

jami said...

thanks for the medical giggles :)

Perla said...

oh that made me laugh. thanks so much! too bad i can't think of anything to post these days. maybe i should order my medical records...

Tia Juana said...

Just for the record .... or to add to it .... I think you are REMARKABLE for so many reasons! And all in very non-cow stomach ways!

Liz said...

It seems I had fallen behind on reading your posts, seven behind actually. I am falling out of the blogging world for now while my kids are on their two week break. I can't seem to be able to focus enough to write one single post. But, I enjoyed reading yours. It's my opinion that doctors are guessing half the time when they make their diagnosis, scary seeing that I am a nurse. I think that is why they lead up with things like that you are alert and oriented or that you are fare. They are just stalling and listing clues that may help them figure out exactly what your real problem is. :)

Mugsy said...

Now that was some fun reading! O and by the by, my cell phone is at the cabin. I left it in the freezer...? I know I know.... So I would totally be calling you but my home phone won't call long distance, so you may have to step away from your comfort zone and call my home. #208-547-4120
Now don't all of you other readers start calling me all at once.

Karen said...

I found your blog today. I am really enjoying reading about you. I once read through my medical records to discover that I talk too much. The Doctor actually recorded my "I have an adult to talk to" chit-chat.

Marilyn said...

You can always tell when I'm fed up with the world and utterly unable to manage reading ANYTHING that might make me the least bit annoyed...because that's when I'm HERE reading your archives. It cheers me up. And it's strange to think of you existing all this time, and me too in my own little world, not knowing anything about each other! But. This gave me a good happy laugh: "In general, this is a well nourished, pleasant, fair-complected female." Oh goodness!! I didn't even know they wrote such things! I almost never end up going to the doctor (being always pregnant instead) but I shudder to think what has been written about me somewhere!! It reminds me how I always worry about how I would be described by a reporter. "Nielson is a sallow, harried-looking woman"... or...better, but still bad...."she is a plump, comfortable woman with ample arms and tired eyes..." Haha. Horrifying to imagine. But I would take "pleasant and fair-complected " any day!! Who do these doctors think they are anyway?! Summing us up so smugly like that! haha.

Nancy said...

It's so funny when I see a comment pop up on an old post. I'm always slightly terrified like "oh no! What did I write back then? What will someone who knows me now think of me . . . after seeing my past??" Haha. But this was a fun post. And why did they just hand over my records anyway? Seems unusual. But I loved your descriptions! "A sallow, harried looking woman." HAhahaha! Oh my. I love it.

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