Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Do you know what's in your medical records?

I thought to start this blog with information about my, my books and my passion for writing, but the strangest things pass through my mind lately, and today's topic is one of them.

Honestly, do you know what's in your medical records--what they say about you? Everyone has a right, and that's why I'm raising the question. I have fibromyalgia, also known as FMS. It's a painful, confusing condition and complicated even more by that fact that It seems that everything I've contracted since the diagnosis has been tied someway to it. Although, most of my aches and pains are related, I'm sure if I got an infected hangnail and the doctor opened my chart from, he would attribute the ailment to FMS. I worry what might slip through the cracks because of it. But...

The reason I bring this up... years ago, before I was diagnosed, I frequented the doctor with all kinds of complaints. Quite simply, there were days when everything hurt. FMS was not a known 'syndrome' at the time, so rather than find the root of the problem, he simply wrote "neurotic" inside my chart. I didn't always see the same physician, so any doctor opening my chart formed a preconceived notion that I was just a nut. Well, I may well be in many aspects, but not where my health is concerned.

Being the curious type, one day while left alone in the room, I opened my chart and snooped. Sure enough, there in big bold letters was that one word that chilled my heart, NEUROTIC. I was much younger at the time, and didn't have the confidence or courage that I have now, so I didn't confront him, instead, I lost faith in him and anyone connected with his practice because I knew how they viewed me.

Eventually, I switched to another health plan and went in to ask to have my files transferred. I finally grew a backbone and told him exactly how I felt. He apologize and admitted he never gave a thought to how it affected the perception of others, and he made sure that I had a clean, new folder to pass along. I other's found me neurotic after that, they had to form their own opinion. *smile*

So, there's nothing wrong with asking to see your chart. I've found other surprises inside, but I won't go into them today. I think we sometimes put more faith in our doctor's judgement than we should. Maybe you have a wonderful doctor, but for those of you who question the care you get... ask to see your record and check it out. You might be surprised what it tells others about you.

I just started this blog, so I hope you'll continue reading. God knows what I'll post, but therein lies the surprise. Right?

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