I’m angry. I’ve tried to be patient. Now, i’m pissed off.
My last inpatient stay was in Feb. 2013. On 7/10/13 I called the hospital and requested a copy of my records. According to the hospital, since I’ve requested the entire record, they had to send the request “upstairs to be approved.” OK. Once approved, they would send an authorization form for me to sign.
On 9/10/13, with no word or form from them, I called the hospital again. They told me that I should have gotten the auth. form by now, but, no matter, they would send the form out that day. True to their word, the form arrived and on 9/14/13 I mailed it back.
So, today, I called the hospital and was told that they had sent the record to an independent company for copying and they gave me the order number. When I called the copying company I was told that the hospital only sent them “an abstract”, not the entire record as clearly requested. Now, the request has to go back to the hospital for approval (again) for the ENTIRE record.
I have a bad feeling. I’m worried they aren’t going to release my records to me. I may be wrong. All the other times I’ve been inpatient (elsewhere, however) I’ve been able to get the majority of my medical record sent to me. They have occasionally omitted certain documents like a forensic evaluation or the proceedings from a commitment hearing. OK, I can live with that.
I’m a medical person by history and by nature. I want to read the records. There are often some insights to be gained from looking back to a bad time in my life. It helps me to try and make sense of confusing times.
I’m particularly interested in my records because I usually have more ECT during each hospitalization and my memory loss makes it hard to remember exactly what happened. This past time, I have no idea what happened for the first 3 weeks and can only recall “waking up” in the 4th week. I don’t even remember giving consent for further ECT. I don’t know what meds. were given or therapies I may or may not have attended. I was on 1:1 obs. up to the minute I left the building and I have no idea why. I don’t know what was given as my diagnosis or co-morbidities – probably the same old thing – but I want to know.
Why wouldn’t they release my record to me? Is there a valid reason not to do so? If I had ANY other medical illness would they even hesitate to release it? I don’t think so. If they decide to withhold my records i’m afraid i’ll have a meltdown or blow up over it. Not pretty or maybe even an “appropriate” reaction, but I can feel it coming on.
So, right now, I’m mad. I want the records and I want them now. I’m tired of being patient. It gives me a headache.