Death By Paperwork

I hate filling out paperwork. I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, no one likes filling out paperwork, lady. And, yes, this is true. Filling out paperwork sucks. You know what sucks more than filling out plain old paperwork? Filling out medical paperwork. And no one hates filling out medical paperwork more than me.

It was cool in the beginning, when I was young. Name. Date of birth. Weight. Height. That was all I needed to jot down and I know all those things right off the top of my head. I didn’t have any medical issues, no surgery dates to remember. I didn’t take any prescription medication. I hadn’t ever had so much as an x-ray at that point. My symptoms checklist was a big long row of no after no after no after no. It was bliss.

Nowadays, things are a little more tricky. I take meds for my hypothyroidism and the dosages on those meds have changed at least four times in the last four years. I’ve been on two different oral chemos. I’ve had more than a dozen MRIs. I’ve been hospitalized a few times, for birthing babies, birthing a tumor, and one nasty stomach bug that caused me to be carted off in an ambulance and landed the rest of the family in the ER. Let’s just say, I’ve acquired a rich medical history.

Worse than just regular medical paperwork is new patient medical paperwork. This requires you to peel back all the layers of the onion and sweep behind the sofa to uncover every last ailment, medication, scan, blood draw, and vaccine you have ever had in the entire history of forever right down to the exact moment you were conceived.

And I hate it. I hate it because…..

It brings up all the shitty feelings I’ve had to deal with over the past few years. 

I hate it because…….

It reminds me of all the things that I forget to write down which makes me paranoid I’m going to have Alzheimer’s like my father. 

I hate it because……


But I was a good girl, and I filled out all my new patient paperwork before my first visit with the new doc. Here are some of the highlights, with maybe perhaps a few embellishments for the sake of humor because what’s the point of living if you can’t make fun of how messed up you are:

Name: Amy (if you didn’t get that joke, read this)

Surgical operations and dates: Two c-sections, can’t remember the dates but my kids are 21 and 11. You can figure it out from there. You may have noticed the concave hip during your examination of my feeble carcass. I had a tumor removed along with some leg muscle. That was in 2012. Oh, yeah, I always forget. I had my tonsils removed sometime after high school. Let’s see, I think I was 19 or so. I’m 44 now. Carry the one. Uh. I’m bad at math. It was sometime in the 90’s.

Family medical history: Heart attack, no. Colon Polyps, no. Osteoporosis, no. Asthma, no. Substance abuse, well, at my mother’s funeral my father bought all my siblings cases of beer and proceeded to tell them not to get “too drunk” so I’m going go with a hard yes on that one.

Number of cups of coffee per day: Whatever number you deem acceptable so we don’t have to have a discussion about how I consume too much caffeine.

Number of alcoholic drinks per day: Usually one glass of wine at the end of the day. At my going away party a few months back I did consume three glasses of wine in rapid succession after eating a dinner comprised solely of undercooked tater tots. I puked everything up before I went to bed that night and the next day drove 12 hours to North Carolina with a raging hangover, but don’t hold that against me, please.

Do you have any of these symptoms? 

  • Weight change – no
  • Double vision – no
  • Eye pain – no
  • Amp goes to eleven – sadly, no
  • Vertigo – no
  • Cooties – had a case as a child, all cleared up now
  • Mouth ulcers – no
  • Hot blooded – I’ve got a fever of 103
  • Swollen Ankles – no
  • Cough with bloody phlegm – I’m not British
  • Pox on your house – definitely. In fact, I think now you have a pox on your house too because you’ve been in contact with me.
  • Constipation – no
  • Painful urination – no
  • Brain cloud – every damn day
  • Vaginal dryness – no
  • Rashes – no
  • Depression – I can quit anytime I want, I swear
  • Hairy palms – not recently
  • Anxiety – no, why? Has someone told you I’m anxious? Cause I’m totally not anxious.
  • Hypochondria – definite possibility, let me check WebMD to be sure
  • Swollen glands – no
  • Rectal bleeding – if I say yes are you going to stick your finger up my butt? If so, no
  • The suds – only when I live in a pineapple under the sea

I do believe I’ve made as thorough and complete a record of my medical history as could possibly be done. If you don’t hear from me in the following weeks it’s quite possible my heart just gave out from the strain of having to remember the exact date I had my seventh MRI. Come to think of it, that might not be such a problem. Finally, someone else will have to deal with my paperwork.