I got copies of my medical records from the hospital stay where the UC was diagnosed, and I read through them after kung fu–at least the parts I could understand.
It was not confidence-inspiring.
There were a lot of mistakes. They said I was bipolar when it should’ve been major depression. They said I was on meds I wasn’t on and left out meds I was on. They misstated when I had brain surgery–by THREE YEARS.
I was very sick and in excruciating pain, so I might not have communicated as clearly as I normally would–but I know I still communicated better than THAT.
The other thing is that every single record–by five different doctors, a PA, and an NP–stated prominently that I have an “extensive psychiatric history.” In all caps sometimes. Seriously. That’s not me being melodramatic.
Yeah, I have a psych history. Yeah, it should be mentioned in my chart. But do you really need to make it such a big deal? I had five myringotomies and an adenoidectomy, and that was mentioned once in my chart. I had a congenital neurovascular defect that required brain surgery, and that’s mentioned twice. A genetic defect that keeps my body from processing folic acid, which can cause (among other things) colorectal cancer–mentioned once.
But we gotta make sure we put PSYCH HISTORY on every page in big bold letters. We’d make them blink like a bad geocities site if we could do that in Microsoft Word. It’s very, very important for everyone to know that SHE HAS THE CRAZY, since that obviously has so much to do with the fact that her colon is trying to kill her.
And people say there’s no stigma around psychiatric illnesses anymore. They mentioned my psychiatric illness more times than they mentioned the fact that I was losing tons of blood or the fact that my blood pressure crashed down to 60/40. More than things that were medically relevant to why I was in the hospital.
It’s complete crap. And trust me, I know all about crap of both the literal and metaphorical varieties.