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The girls are getting medical records together for Northwestern and Texas Tech, so I went to our family medical center two weeks ago to get copies of their records, for $10 each, mind you. Ali’s information was to be put on a specific form for the university and signed by her doctor. I was ready to provide a stamped, addressed envelope for them to mail them to me, but I was there accompanying Jenna to an appointment, and the medical center receptionist said Ali’s would be ready when we left. Jenna’s records, however, had been archived and she could pick up a copy in 2-3 days.

After Jenna’s 3pm doctor visit (which lasted well beyond expectations), I picked up the envelope containing the form, paid the $10, and then when leaving, discovered the university’s form was BLANK, but they had included an UNSIGNED digital copy of her records. This wasn’t what I asked for, but it would probably be accepted if the doctor would at least sign that, so I returned to the receptionist’s desk. She said I could personally go to the doctor’s office and get it signed, but when I went to do that, the doors between their office and the waiting room were open only to exiting patients and I’d have had to WAIT for someone on the inside to open it (if they would — it was already after 5pm)… and then WAIT AGAIN for him to be available to sign it.

Jenna was starving after fasting for her physical and had already scheduled a follow-up appointment for this last Monday, so she said she’d take the form with her to have the doctor sign it then. When he saw it, he noticed missing records so he wanted to review it and then mail it back to us. Today I got a call saying they didn’t have ANY record of Ali from 2002-2007 and that if she’d had one, she must have received her tetanus shot elsewhere. Where else would she have gotten it, and was she completely healthy and absent from their medical center for those five years?! I don’t think so. She did see specialists (that they referred us to!) for leg injuries during that time, but they wouldn’t have given her immunizations.

So, this afternoon I appealed to the school for help. I know her immunizations are current and they surely have her records, as they would not have admitted her without them. Then, I emailed my dear friend Teresa suggesting she move back to town and resume employment with the medical center. This has not been our first issue with patient records and nothing has been well organized there since she left. Getting medical records seems like a simple request, but for $10 and hours and hours of time, you can apparently get nothing that you ask and pay for.

Jenna now has her records, but hasn’t yet opened them. After that call, we’re afraid to.

Update: The school has come to my rescue and Ali informs me since she arrived home from school today that she may have gotten her tetanus booster at a CareNow facility — but that doesn’t excuse the missing chicken pox information and other miscellaneous issues in the past few years. If I didn’t personally appreciate my doctor so much and all he’s been through with us, I would no longer deal with that medical center.

I don’t know why this bothered me so. But, in fact, IT DID.

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