When we moved here two years ago, I did what I do with every move. I give the new doc my old records so they can build on to those and instead of having files in all of these random locations, I have them all in one place. Granted, that's how the Army works. You carry your big fat record with you to each base, they build on to it, then it continues on with each move. With being so used to that way of doing things, I did the same thing after this move without hesitation. However, it didn't work out so well this time around. This was the first time I was provided care through civilian docs, and they obviously do things differently! According to this doc, once they receive any old records, they will not release those back. Yeah...no one told me that when I handed them over! They happily took them and the doctor said he'll add those to my file -- simple as that! Well, upon finding all of this out (today), I was informed that they will release records from visits with this present doc, but nothing past that. Well, great. Seeing as how I didn't end up seeing this doc more than twice in the last two years, that's pretty much worthless. Not to mention the fact that I'm not going to try and think back to all the previous docs I've seen, contact them, and try and retrieve records from them. Plus, I don't know why they would really want to keep my old records, prior to this doctor, after giving me the current ones. They serve no purpose to them. I guess it's not a HUGE loss since I do have a separate copy of Jake's records and those are probably the most important records from any doctor visits over the last 8 1/2 years, but it's still irritating.
Maybe this is nothing new to those in the medical field, but it was definitely news to me! Upon finding all of this out, I called my sister (who happens to be in pharmaceutical sales) to rant. I figured she'd be a bit more knowledgeable on the matter since she's in doctor's offices all day long. Maybe I was the moron who screwed up, and this is how it works across the board. After telling her the situation, I was comforted by the fact that she was surprised by their protocol, too. She said she would demand to speak with the office manager and demand my records. She recently had issues when trying to retrieve records herself, so she understood. I guess my frustrations were somewhat warranted! I'm still not sure if I'm going to go to the trouble of contacting the office manager, since I'm sure most of the records were for things like allergies and strep throat, etc., but we'll see. I think I'm just irritated about the principal. The fact that they won't give them to me makes me want to fight to get them -- though I'm sure I'll be fine without them...I just think it's good to have all of that together.
I think it's complete crap that they have so many stipulations when it comes to releasing records. Heck. My sister and I got to talking about how some clinics charge for records. Seriously. It does NOT cost you $35 to make a copy of a 10 page report from your records. That's how much an infertility clinic tried to charge me in '09 when I asked for my records from the one month that I saw them. My sister mentioned how she witnesses elderly people getting taken advantage of at health clinics all the time -- they need their records before transferring to a new doctor and have to pay crazy amounts for them. You'd think with as much as you pay to see these docs, they'd be able to print a few sheets of paper out for you on the house.
So anyways...after ranting and raving about the ridiculous situation, I continued to call the two other places that I needed to retrieve records from before we leave this town -- my OB for Liv and my REI. Luckily, that was smooth sailing. The medical records office for my OB didn't hesitate to print out any and all records from both my visits with Liv and all that our doc received about our pregnancy with Jacob (so yes, old records prior to this doc were given back). They called once they were done, and had them waiting for me -- free of charge. Then when it came to getting the records from my REI, she printed them on the spot -- couldn't have been any easier than that!
Since my REI is at the Army hospital, and I had that issue earlier in the day with not being able to retrieve past records from my PCM, I decided to ask the medical records office how far back they can go in the system -- I figured I may as well...I was already there! A majority of my records over the past 8 1/2 years are with Army docs (just at different bases), so they should be in the system regardless. She said that it will, of course, take 90 days to print such a large request, but they will go as far back as they see in the system and mail me everything possible from any visit associated with an Army doctor. So, depending on what's in their system here at Madigan, I might be able to regain most of what I lost with that crap civilian doc! I guess we'll see.
So that was the bad. The whole situation was just frustrating and was a good waste of my morning. Nevertheless, I do have all of Livy's records and my REI records now. Speaking of which...upon picking up Liv's records, I decided to read through them in the parking lot. As I neared the end of the 10 months worth of records, I noticed something interesting -- at least to me. Dr. Herman stated in all of his notes that Liv was stillborn at 37 weeks. I always stated that she was born at 36 weeks. That may not sound like much of a difference, but it does to me. To those out there that discredited our loss as not being AS bad because Liv wasn't "full term," there you have it...according to the medical world, she was full term! It may sound crazy to think that we actually received those kinds of comments, but I guess people find any way to try and downgrade a situation in attempts of finding some kind of comfort -- assuming that's what their intent was when opening their mouths...
After today's mess, I definitely learned my lesson. Any and all records will stay in our safe, and only copies of those will be given to any future doc. If I can avoid another headache like this, I'm going to!
Well, on to the good...I met with a close friend for lunch that I haven't seen since our guys got home from Afghanistan. It's crazy to think that we haven't hung out in nearly 2 1/2 months, but life gets so hectic when redeployment hits! In the past, my friends and I have always joked that we don't see each other except for when the guys are gone. When they're home, we're too busy spending quality time together as a family that months go by before we catch up again. Sadly, it definitely happens like that sometimes. Between the initial reintegration, block leave, and then simply getting back into the grind of a normal workday...time just flies. So now that all of that has calmed down, we finally met up. It was great to see her and catch up for a little while. Thanks to blogging and texting, we were pretty well updated on each other already. We ended up finding ourselves talking about our plans for the next year. They're at the vital mark where you debate whether or not to stay in the Army or get out, so that was a main part of our conversation -- that and our upcoming move, of course. If they stay in, they'll most likely be following us to Ft. Benning since our guys are on the same track for MCCC. So many factors go into deciding whether or not to get out or stay in -- it's not easy! I know the feeling all too well, since we actually DID get out for a short while. The decision's not easy, but here's hoping we see them in GA next year! :)