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.