December 17, 2012

The Case of the Dissappearing Records

Disability Tip of the Day: Save hard copies of everything concerning medical records.  This is particularly important if a potentially disabling illness has been diagnosed.

The downside of our digital age is that after ten years computer medical records are expunged. This can be a problem if you find yourself some day in the position of having to apply for disability. For many serious illnesses that require ongoing care, the record stays fresh. But what happens if a person goes into a remission and doesn’t see a specialist for a long period of time? Or perhaps a patient dropped out of the mainstream for a while and went with alternative medical practitioners who were not in the system. What if the specialist who originally made a diagnosis is no longer in practice? What if a doctor has switched practices and records were lost in transit?
These are all problems that I’ve confronted in the course of my disability and in the long hike through the disability compensation process.  In gathering a medical history I found for reasons listed above and more, that much of my official history had vanished. So what to do? One can get rediagnosed, but that can be quite problematic for something that requires invasive procedures that have to be done under anesthesia - like IC - or for illusive illnesses that manifest themselves sporadically. A history can be pieced together through insurance records (at least theoretically), and specialists can add the diagnosis back to the records on another doctor’s word. But none of this is a good as holding fast to the original paperwork.

Moving on from paperwork to works on paper, I’m continuing to slowly expand my drawing collection. The work above is another drawing based on a painting I saw ages ago in a church in Rome. Those were the days! I’m glad I traveled as much as I did when I could. Should have done more!

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