What about the Medical Notes?
For the last three years I have wondered about my medical notes.
I remember briefly reading through them just before I left the hospital. I was not in the right frame of mind to take anything in.
When I went to my follow up appointment after I was discharged from the hospital, I was told that the hospital could not find my notes. However, the doctor was ‘pretty sure’ that I developed HELLP syndrome directly after giving birth.
Those who have read my previous posts will know that I feel like I had HELLP syndrome way before this. I suffered from visual problems, pain in my upper abdomen, swelling and high blood pressure for a few weeks before I was admitted to the hospital. Knowing what I know now, it makes me wonder. What happened? When did I develop it? Did they even monitor my platelets in pregnancy? When did the doctors officially diagnose it?
I need answers
I knew that there was only one way to get even close to finding out the truth. Get access to my medical notes.
I had come to a point in my blog where I had told the story up until the birth. The next stage a blurry mess in my foggy memories. I knew that in order to do the next chapter of my story justice, I had to find out more about what happened to me.
I have to admit I went through a range of emotions before I picked put the phone to put in the request.
Mostly, I was scared. I was scared these notes would bring back my flashbacks. Am I mentally strong enough for that?
I was worried I would read something that I didn’t know and it would completely throw me. As you will see from future blog posts about my hospital stay, communication was not exactly at its best and we were kept in the dark about my condition for most of my stay in high dependancy.
One day, a few months ago, I decided now or never! So I just did it. I picked up the phone. I made that call. My heart was racing, I could feel the panic and anxiety rising. I thought: this is crazy, it is only a phone call.
A kind lady answered the phone and as I started to speak I was muddling my words up. Does anyone else get this when they are anxious? They struggle to string a sentence together?
As it turns out it is a really easy process to get access to hospital notes. The lady emailed me a form, which I completed and sent back with a copy of my ID. I was given an invoice and paid a small fee (25 pounds for those that are interested). I waited. They had 40 days to get the notes to me.
That was, approximately, 40 days ago and last Friday I was sent an email to say the notes had been sent out.
This morning when I checked my postbox, I saw a white envelope. I knew straight away what it was and I instantly felt nervous.
I have to point out here, I was expecting a photocopy of my notes to be sent out to me. Instead I received a PDF copy on CD. A bit more high tech than I imagined.
I was shaking as I popped the CD into our CD drive. I entered the password and within seconds I was staring at my hospital notes. The ones I had carried around with me for nine months.
Will these hold the answers? Will they provide the closure that I so desperately need? Will they create more questions?
I cant tell you that now as I have not managed to get past the first few pages. Mainly due to little people being around. I want to be able to read these in peace. I don’t want to be disrupted. More importantly I may cry, I don’t really want the boys to see mummy all emotional and in tears. I may have to hold them close and never let go.
This weekend I will find the time. Then, I hope, I will be ready to start the next chapter of my story and properly do it justice.
Wish me luck.
Want to know more about Preeclampsia and HELLP? Visit the Preeclampsia Foundation Website.