Earlier this week, I finally managed to receive a copy of my medical file from my former family doctor. (He retired late last year and I had been trying to secure my file for quite some time.)
The file made very interesting reading indeed.
For instance, the fluctuations in my weight over the years really blew my mind. And the sudden increases, to me, should have signalled concern on my doctor's part. The only notation I found -- and it really surprised me because never once in all our years of association did he use the term with me -- was back in 1987 when he indicated that he was treating me for "obesity."
Really? Me, obese?
That really does speak to how one remains in one's 25-year-old body forever after! (I was 37 years old back in 1987 and while I will admit to having had additional pounds on me at various times over the years, never would I have used the term obese to describe me. *Sigh*)
Anyway, that's not the point of this blog.
What really caught my attention was a report from the rheumatologist that I had been sent to back in 2009. He's the one who suggested I try Cesamet for my hip pain. That was a bad experiment if ever there was one. Read about my Cesamet withdrawal here.
In his report to my doctor he wondered if sleep apnea wasn't a contributing factor to my problems and recommended that a sleep study be performed.
That was in 2009. My doctor never acted on that recommendation.
Yet in 2011, when I raised the question of sleep apnea, I had to fight with him to order a sleep study.
I have upper airway resistance syndrome, which in effect causes obstructive sleep apnea if I sleep on my back.
Now, although I haven't been using my CPAP machine since January of this year (couldn't reconcile the dry mouth issue) I do have to start using it again. My new family doctor has recommended that I find a way to get used to it again because when I have the tummy tuck, I won't be able to sleep on my side for several weeks.
But, my point is that my doctor did not pursue a sleep study when it was recommended that he do so back in 2009. And he resisted my request for a study when I raised the topic in 2011.
So there ought to be a law: When a specialist writes a report to a doctor after having seen a referred patient, that patient should receive a copy of that report.
Automatically. Without having to ask for it.
One cannot advocate for one's health if one does not have all the facts.