Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Im in ur hospital, getin mah recordz

My Thyroid

Today I had an appointment with my family doctor. I can quit taking iron supplements now, which is good news. Iron supplements are rough on the digestive system.

During my appointment, I asked if the doctor's office had received the ultrasound of my thyroid.
Of course they hadn't.

I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I was already going to be late for work, and I was in the neighborhood, so I stopped by the hospital to get my own records.

After much debating, questioning and haggling, I left with a think envelope of notes from my hospital stay and a CD of my thyroid ultrasound. (Which included the picture above.)

I have no idea what the pictures mean. I assume that's actually my thyroid because it says so in the upper right hand corner. Tomorrow I'll take the CD to my endocrinologist during lunch.

I found lots of interesting stuff in my medical records. Here are some of the highlights:

-One doctor described me as Caucasian female. I'm half Hispanic, and I always wonder about the labels in these situations. I suspect they assumed I was white because I was with my (Anglo) Mom. I wonder if I would have been described as a Hispanic female if my Dad had been there instead of my Mom.
-The same doctor described me as an "obese lady." The word "obese" gets thrown around a lot in the records. I wish they would just say I'm fat. Obese sounds like an accusation rather than a statement of fact. Still, it sounds really funny in this instance, like a Jerry Lewis bit. And Obeselady1055 would make a good screen name. (1055 was my lipase level when I was admitted.)
-A "sedative drug warning" was given to me several times in the ER. I find the formal wording amusing, considering most of the people had cutesy ways of telling me the meds would knock me out. (Something along the lines of "This will make you a little goofy." or "This is some 'I don't care' medicine.")
-"I THINK I HAVE FOOD POISONING." I wonder if caps means the same things as quotes in medical records. This was the very first thing I said to the nurse at the front desk when I checked in. I'm impressed she got down a direct quote in between everything else she was doing.
-They also mention the seafood enchiladas I ate before I got sick several times. Yuck. I'm *still* trying not to think about those.
-I was described as "alert and oriented" at a point in the ER when I wasn't. (Or at least I wasn't by my standards.) Especially the alert part. I guess knowing that I was in the hospital because I was sick counts as oriented and alert. However, they basically had to wake me up to ask these questions. Also, I thought about 20 minutes had passed when they took me to my room, when it had actually been a couple of hours.

Maybe it's a good thing the medical records staff didn't bother to walk across the hall to get my ultrasound. (Radiology is literally across the hall.) Otherwise, I would have missed out on all the fun.

2 comments:

Lyndsey said...

there's a reason doctors don't like to give patients their records, even though a patient has every right to them. it's about keeping what I think about you (the patient) from ever coming into your eyes.

Interesting take on the word obese. Most in the medical world use obese instead of fat because no one wants to hurt a patient's feelings by just flat out saying they're fat.

and yes, I do still consider myself as an insider in both of those instances.

Katie said...

I also learned in nutrition that obese is a clinical term to describe someone '30 pounds or more overweight', so it's a little more specific I guess.

"Obese lady" does seem strange though. I would expect something like "obese 29 y/o female" or something less colloquial.