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  • RAFH
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Medical Records
I have recently found out there is an entry into my medical records that is highly pejorative.  It basically states I have a history of drug abuse. This entry was authored by a doctor that saw me one time for 15 minutes, primarily on the basis of previous notes by my original doctor of 19 month previous when I first entered the system. The reason for the visit was I had terrible pain and inflammation in my left shoulder. The doctor examined me and then prescribed Oxycodone, 6mg per 8 hours with 15 limit, so basically 5 days worth.

The resulting entry from this doctor, that I had a "history of drug abuse", remember, only a one time 15 minute visit, was primarily based upon the rather incomplete notes from my doctor at the time of my establishment with the health agency some 19 months previous per my own statements at the time, which mentioned my use of Methodone between 1999 and 2009 , but failed to include any reference to the Pain Management Program I was involved in nor the names of the doctors that recommended and administered that Pain Management Program. which I was very emphatic about. This was not some adventure on my part.

The questionable entry was under the "Problems" category in my basic record (which does not include the doctor's notes) and stated "Has a history drug abuse."

In the real world, YES, I did take regular doses of methodone for 10 years. It was for pain management. It was per the recommendation of and under the supervision of a noted pain management doctor, certified by the DEA. And the primary consultant for the HMO I was a member of at the time for Pain Management.  Upon his retirement, apparently his book sold well enough, I was transferred to another doctor and he continued the Program until I voluntarily withdrew in 2008. This was due to my finding a exercise regimen that didn't cause more pain and seemed to relieve the pain I was experiencing. Over the next 9 months I withdrew from the methadone and finally quite totally. I have never since taken methadone and it's been a long while since I wanted to.

Anybody want to question me on this, start taking methodone and then after a year or so, tell me what it's like to quit. Otherwise, fuck off.

I guess at this point, I should explain, I've had a life of pain, culminating when I was 25 with a 12,000 volt experience. Not good. Supposedly I am lucky I survived it. I agree. But it did take it's toll. I've since avoided all pain at every option. But while I'm seriously allergic to the shit, I have little to no regard for those that wince at a shot. Just bend over and take it. It's just a shot. Try 12,000 volts and then shut the fuck up. If you've been there, I have no need of explaining, if you haven't, no explanation will suffice. You folks simple can not imagine.

So, apparently this doctor used the Bluffoonic Method of reading, for nuggets only. And, without consulting the doctor who wrote those notes or myself, decided upon 15 minute visit and her interpretation of a previous doctor's notes, that I was a former drug abuser.

I have complained to the company that employed this doctor, but with no effective result. They maintain the entry is valid. 'But they have offered to amend MY record with the notation: under remission". As though I am still a drug addict and might at any moment revert to my previous "history of drug abuse".

My efforts to date have included a complaint to the HMO which was, predicatably, denied.

Without comment. Other than they would consider adding the comment "under remission".

All of which is bullshit. I do not have a "history of drug abuse", any more than most of you.
I need some support and I need references to people that will take this on.


The second most cause of death in the US is doctors and the medical profession. Should this be allowed to continue?
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #1
Doctors have a vastly overinflated sense of their personal value in many cases. While there are exceptions, I imagine the nature of the job makes it hard to avoid.

I had a doctor give me what amounted to an unlimited prescription for Vicodin and muscle relaxers when I was a teenager for a torn muscle in my shoulder. I was still in my apprenticeship as a butcher so i couldn't take time off so for two weeks I took up to ten pills a day to manage the pain at work. When my shoulder got better, I tossed the leftover pills I had because I didn't need them. Next day walking around i felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. Doubled me right over. Then diarrhea and vomiting. Called the doctor and said wtf? He said, well, we need to taper off. I declined because now the pills looked like the devil.

All in all, I took them for 2 weeks and withdrew for 3 weeks. To this day the various codones make me violently ill. I have been slightly tolerant of Dilaudid but even they make me itch all over.

Consequently, being prone to freak accidents, I have a bunch of pills in my medicine drawer, probably enough to get someone addicted. It's always a balancing act. How much pain is worth the stomach ache. Oh, if I take the pills, which I have for broken ribs and other catastrophic mishaps, I have to take them with another pill which is both the anti nausea pill and coincidentally an opiate potentiator.. so I go to sleep but with a tummy ache.

Anyway, my medical records have a 2 line entry for that episode and neither mention my last call to the doctor or the quantity of drugs he prescribed.
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #2
I suspect you'll need to get a lawyer to write him a letter about this to get him to recant.

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #3
I suspect you'll need to get a lawyer to write him a letter about this to get him to recant.

And the letter may need an "out".
As in "the note was written as a result of incomplete or inaccurate information previously on file".
Or someway for the doc to save face.

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #4
..........
I guess at this point, I should explain, I've had a life of pain, culminating when I was 25 with a 12,000 volt experience. Not good. Supposedly I am lucky I survived it..........
Sorry to hear you have this medical record issue, I wonder how it will affect your coverage or treatment options?  I don't have any helpful suggestions about this situation, but.....

If you don't mind, can you say more about the 12,000 volt experience?  This could be a story not many people can tell.

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #5
The amperage is an important piece of that story I bet.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #6
The amperage is an important piece of that story I bet.

And the contact points.
i.e. were the kidneys between the applied voltage and where the body was grounded?

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #7
Using an incredibly painful experience with a car coil as a guide, you are grounded wherever you are within a short distance from a grounding material. I burned a hole in the back of my hand where the arc came out and jumped to the manifold. And that is not much in the way of amperage at all.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #8
And that short distance varies a lot based on humidity.

  • MikeB
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #9
Yes guys, sustained voltage like that will kill quickly   Was hoping RAFH might have an alternate story...water contact?

I've had ignition shocks but the most painful by far was as a young teen when I had been swimming for an hour, skin soaked, and got out to turn the filter motor off.  Stood in mud, reached into the timeclock box and contacted 120V AC.  Felt a violent buzz throwing me back, left gasping in fear.  Took significant current because of the wet skin and good grounding in mud.

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #10
I'm sorry RAHF, I don't have any links or helpful advice.

But that really, really sucks. :( It seems we fight doctors to define the narrative of our health, more than we receive benefits of their care. The system doesn't serve us.

  • Faid
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #11
I find it strange that no one seems to even question the doctor's diagnosis of 'abuse'. I don't know much about the terminology used around the world, but maybe the doctor refers to iatrogenic abuse- that is, you were perscribed with more medication, and for longer periods, than those normally indicated.

But even if that is the case, they should at least clarify it so it doesn't reflect bad on you, and clearly points to the physician responsible at the time.
Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #12
did you find out recently by chance? or did you suspect there might be something pejorative in your record?

  • MikeS
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #13
Sorry to hear that episode.  I think Buttershug's idea is a winner, a lawyers letter with an "out" to save face.

In the mean time, here's a new avatar for you.


  • RAFH
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #14
..........
I guess at this point, I should explain, I've had a life of pain, culminating when I was 25 with a 12,000 volt experience. Not good. Supposedly I am lucky I survived it..........
Sorry to hear you have this medical record issue, I wonder how it will affect your coverage or treatment options?  I don't have any helpful suggestions about this situation, but.....

If you don't mind, can you say more about the 12,000 volt experience?  This could be a story not many people can tell.
1978, Memorial Day Weekend. I had a Hobie 16. My first wife and our daughter and I went on vacation to Shasta Lake in Northern California. It was the first year of rain after a prolonged drought and all the lakes were brimming full. We found a campsite at Bailey Cove. I set up the boat and we went sailing that morning out onto the main lake. Later that day I went out by myself as my wife and daughter took a nap. There were some high voltage transmission lines crossing the lake above the launch ramp area, but they were up well over 100' above the lake surface. I did not notice there was also a set of lines much closer down, 12,000 lines going to the marina in the next cove to the north. I was putting up the main sail, the boat heading into the wind and slowly drifting north toward the end of the cove and the mast contacted these lower wires. Next thing I know I am lying across the back of the boat with my hips on the rear frame of the trampoline and my chest across the rudder bar, doing the funky monkey. I knew it was electricity but I did not know why. I figured I was going to die. It was strange because the boat had, between the first contact and this brief bit of consciousness, turned around 180 degrees. About all I remember was thinking my wife was going to be really upset with me. Subsequent to this, I don't know how long I was unconscious, I remember being aware of everything. Yeah, sounds like a sort of typical near death experience. But no bright lights, no other people or beings. Just being, I don't know exactly how to put it, but like being everywhere at once and seeing everything from every angle. I do remember seeing a view of myself on the Hobie, lying across the back of it, on Lake Shasta but a very long ways down, like I was at 1000' or more. Then unconsciousness again, for an undetermined amount of time, then I'm awake, lying on my back and sinking in the water, perhaps 15' down, and looking up at the boat above me. I began to swim up to the surface. Or tried to. My right arm wouldn't work. But I had swum competitively for most of my life and I was still in pretty good shape so by using my left arm and kicking I reached the surface and managed to stay there. I waved my arm and yelled for what seems a long time before a boat from a camp site on the lake shore came out. Two guys, pulled me aboard. I sat down in the seat behind the front passenger seat facing aft. One of the guys sat sort of across from me. Apparently I had no obvious indication of having been electrified. I remember realizing I had a very bad pain in my crotch so I unzipped my pants and out plopped a badly burnt and very plump Ball Park hot dog. The guy across from me threw up. I remember saying "I guess I burnt that one". The guy driving looked back and almost lost control of the boat. Then I noticed my boat going headlong towards a cliff on the east side of the cove. I asked them to get it. They did. We went back to the launch ramp dock and while I was securing the Hobie, a woman came up to me and began ranting to me about being careful, I had just fallen in and she felt I might do so again. I turned to her and looking down at my chest, I unbuttoned my shirt and showed her my chest, which I hadn't seen until then, and said, "I didn't fall in, I was electrocuted!" My chest was probably even more gruesome than my crotch, thought perhaps not as visceral. She screamed and ran off. I went to the car and unhitched the trailer and put it in the next space and then drove back to our campsite. Work up the wife and told her I had to go to the hospital, pronto. She started messing about cleaning up the camp, I screamed at her that we had to go NOW!! She got the message and we left. On the way into Redding, I lost it and went sort of nuts. That encouraged her to go faster. When we got to the Hospital, she left me off and I went around to the ER entrance while she parked the car. The staff there took me in right away and the whole staff was replaced without knowing who I was or what had happened. They started doing all sorts of tests. Meanwhile, my wife shows up and asks about me, but the new staff didn't know anything and so there was a big rush to look around outside in case I had collapsed somewhere. Eventually it got straightened out and after about 20 minutes, maybe more, once they were satisfied I was probably not going to die right then and there, they gave me a shot of morphine. I asked to see my wife and daughter and they said "Sure" but make it quick because in a few minutes I probably would not be able to talk. They showed my wife and daughter in and I explained what had happened, 20 minutes later the doctor checked back in and was amazed I was still conscious, and in pain, so he gave me another shot. That did the trick. I guess they took to me the ICU. There were two other patients there, one an older guy they were removing his spine because of cancer and a younger kid that had wrecked a tractor pulling a disc that had then run over him. We were a merry bunch.

I guess I was healing really fast, couldn't have any sheets or anything on me, as the new tissue would grow right into the fabric. So there I lay, naked to the world. Not that I cared much. I guess they'd never had a live electrification victim before so they asked if they could show me off to the various staff. I didn't realize they meant possible medical person withing a 50 mile radius. I was quite an attraction. I had one large hole, about an inch across on the back of my right arm, three 3" long and 1' wide holes in my right chest, along with two other 1" diameter holes (apparently the stainless steel fitting where the tiller extension attaches to the rudder cross bar), the exit wounds, then a series of perforations across my stomach (probably the stainless steel rivets holding the track for the main sheet) and then my penis with about 1/3 of the circumference and almost the entire length burned. It was weird, my shirt had only the slightest burn in a sort of sketchy pattern on the right chest, hardly noticeable, my pants had no indication at all. Anyway, I lay there for three days as they paraded a lot of people past. Most were visibly shaken. I thought the kid sliced up by the disc was worse looking but I guess it was the penis thing. They kept me pretty well drugged up. My wife's brother and father came up from Santa Cruz where we all lived and picked up the Hobie and took it and my daughter back. After three days, the docs figured I wasn't going to die and I might as well go home as they really didn't have the personnel nor facilities to do much for me. Stuffed me in the car and off we went, me lying there naked. I was waiting for a cop to stop us for exposing myself. Didn't happen. Got home, next day went to see the Plastic Surgeon who had already been prepped for me by the docs in Redding. Next day, they did debridement. That was to remove as much as possible all the dead tissue in my chest so it didn't become gangrene. Apparently the electricity can kill some bits and skip right over others.10 hour operation, me conscious the whole time, literally strapped to the table every way they could. I had to be as the best way to tell if the tissue was good or bad was it bled and I screamed, that meant it was good and they shouldn't cut it out. If it didn't bleed and I didn't scream, then they cut it out. When they cut on some good tissue, it bled and I screamed and they'd hit it with a xylocaine spray and I'd sort of relax. And wait for 15 minutes for the xylocaine to wear off and back at it. They'd dig and snip and cut and I'd bleed and scream and they'd spray the xylocaine and on and on. Eventually they got tired and had to quit. I didn't have a choice. Came back a couple of days later, did it again, but only for 6 hours. Then I was scheduled for skin grafts. Another long operation, it was dark when I went under and dark when I came back out of anesthesia. They took about a 3" x 5" patch of skin off my thigh. Tried to patch up my arm, chest and penis, the stomach wounds they just sewed up. To close the wounds on my chest, the three big long slots, they had to do a secondary wound closure, meaning they couldn't get it entirely closed so they closed it as much as they could with a network of bolsters across most of my upper torso. The only skin graft that actually sort of took was the one on my penis. Ruffles have ridges and so do I. Even so, it took six months for the arm, chest and penis to completely skin over. I had to take six showers a day. Phisohex. I was the cleanest cat in town. It was a month before they removed the network of stitches and bolsters and so on from my chest. That was a relief. One thing about an electrical burn, it's generally sterile so I never got any infections. Did have a couple of instances of bits of tissue that had died and then slowly migrated to the surface up to a year later, that was gnarly.

Eventually everything healed over and it all works. I sued PG&E and that was a disaster that took 7 years. I ended up with $15K for my troubles. Nearly had to take my attorneys to court to collect that. Hence my great love and admiration of attorneys.

I strongly suggest not messing about with high voltage.  Or even low voltage. I guess I was lucky. But if that were true, I'd not have had the experience at all. Or perhaps the nurse in Redding, John, a fabulous guy, natural healer type, but quite religious, said upon my leaving, "I know why you didn't die, Heaven was certainly not going to take you and Hell didn't want you."

Overall, it definitely affected me, both mentally and emotionally, perhaps a bit physically. When asked what it was like, I've generally described the actual electrification as being a rag doll in the hands of an enraged god.
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  • RAFH
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #15
The amperage is an important piece of that story I bet.
Don't know what that was, but it was sufficient to run a fairly good sized marina with a restaurant and well over two hundred boats, most of them houseboats.
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #16
The amperage is an important piece of that story I bet.

And the contact points.
i.e. were the kidneys between the applied voltage and where the body was grounded?
In my penis and stomach, out my chest and the back of my arm. Docs said if the route had included an arm or leg I would likely have lost that arm or leg. Being the torso, there's a lot of cross-section with plenty of fluids, mostly blood, that could carry the current. In an arm or leg, limited cross section and much of that is bone, which is not a great conductor, so the marrow heats up and boils and explodes the bone.

Doesn't that sound nice?
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #17
Yes guys, sustained voltage like that will kill quickly  Was hoping RAFH might have an alternate story...water contact?

I've had ignition shocks but the most painful by far was as a young teen when I had been swimming for an hour, skin soaked, and got out to turn the filter motor off.  Stood in mud, reached into the timeclock box and contacted 120V AC.  Felt a violent buzz throwing me back, left gasping in fear.  Took significant current because of the wet skin and good grounding in mud.
As noted, I ended up laying across the back of the boat at about a 45 degree angle, with my penis and stomach on the rear trampoline aluminum frame (which ties into the side bars and those to the front bar which supports the mast with a small nylon spacer between the mast and the front beam which apparently the electricity jumped). My chest was right on the connection between the rudder cross bar and the till extension with my right arm hanging over either the tiller cross bar or the tiller extension. The cross bar connects to the aluminum rudder castings which with me on the back of the boat as I was, were in the water. It was a relatively good circuit with me as the fuse. Not sure how I got off the boat, but I guess it may have been the result of me convulsing and somehow threw myself off and into the water.
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #18
I find it strange that no one seems to even question the doctor's diagnosis of 'abuse'. I don't know much about the terminology used around the world, but maybe the doctor refers to iatrogenic abuse- that is, you were perscribed with more medication, and for longer periods, than those normally indicated.

But even if that is the case, they should at least clarify it so it doesn't reflect bad on you, and clearly points to the physician responsible at the time.
Yeah. That's my feeling. The doctor should have at least contacted the original doctor that put the narrative in her notes (which are attached to my file but not directly a part of it) and myself. After all, the doctor who entered the offending statement only saw me one time for 15 minutes and only found out about the methadone thing from the previous doctor's notes.

And yeah, I'm reaching out to one my doctors who is still in practice in Honolulu to ask for a copy of my file with him and to explain the situation. Both are really great dudes. I'm sort of thinking they may not like a description of their practices with regards to me as "drug abuse". It could well reflect back on the later one as he's still in practice. The original doctor retired after writing a book. He's working now in the SF Bay Area with a firm that specializes in Worker's Compensation so I guess it could reflect back on him as well. Though I doubt, with his reputation, there's not much one note in one former patient's recent medical file could do.
  • Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 08:09:38 AM by RAFH
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #19
did you find out recently by chance? or did you suspect there might be something pejorative in your record?
Pretty much by chance. I recently had three teeth extracted (excellent job - in at 7:30am, back home by 8:30am, no significant pain), same health care organization, and the dentist just automatically mailed me a copy of my file. Which hadn't happened with previous visits but this was my first visit with the dentist. I was reading through it and came to the Problems section and there it was. I freaked.
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  • MikeS
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #20
RAFH,
That is some heroic rescue and treatment you went through.  Don't take my attempt at humor as a slight or disparaging, I always take the lighter side of life but sometimes come across as crass.
Sorry to hear that episode.  I think Buttershug's idea is a winner, a lawyers letter with an "out" to save face.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

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Re: Medical Records
Reply #21
RAFH,
That is some heroic rescue and treatment you went through.  Don't take my attempt at humor as a slight or disparaging, I always take the lighter side of life but sometimes come across as crass.
Sorry to hear that episode.  I think Buttershug's idea is a winner, a lawyers letter with an "out" to save face.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Sometime
No problem. I have the same point of view and sense of humor. So does my GF, which is one reason we get along so well. Sometimes we even scare ourselves.
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #22
The lawyer route may well be where this will end up. Problem is I don't have the sort of resources to pay for a lawyer. I'm looking into pro bono and low income legal services. We'll see.

If/when I get the files from the doctors in Hawaii, I may forward those to this doctor to ask her to read them and then reflect on whether or not that constituted "drug abuse". Maybe she will get the message.

I've been doing a lot of research, and apparently, short of a judge's order, or perhaps the Medical Board's, the doctor is the only one that can edit that part of my file. Though I suppose another doctor, my PCP, could annotate that comment to explain the situation and that the entry was in error. I'm not sure any doctor not directly affected.
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #23
The amperage is an important piece of that story I bet.
Don't know what that was, but it was sufficient to run a fairly good sized marina with a restaurant and well over two hundred boats, most of them houseboats.
oh man that is a weird tale of luck and misfortune. You must have a very unusual view of existence now.
Love is like a magic penny
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if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • RAFH
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Re: Medical Records
Reply #24
The amperage is an important piece of that story I bet.
Don't know what that was, but it was sufficient to run a fairly good sized marina with a restaurant and well over two hundred boats, most of them houseboats.
oh man that is a weird tale of luck and misfortune. You must have a very unusual view of existence now.

I suppose so.

But I tend to believe one of the most difficult things to do is gain an objective view of oneself.
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