I'm seeing another doctor next week to discuss some further developments in the ongoing saga of my body. She's never seen me before, so, of course, she wants my records. She has the notes from my new PCP, but since he's only seen me twice in the past 4 months, it's not very comprehensive. I will have to request the records from my new nephrologist, who got them all from Kaiser, my former health insurance, sometime this summer.
The record is 64 pages long. I know this because I got a bill from Kaiser to cover copying and shipping costs. 64 pages. And that's just the last 2 years.
64 pages is a lot. When I requested the records, the guy said that if the file contained over 50 pages, I will have to pay the required fees. I asked him if 50 pages was average, if most people get that high.
"In just 2 years? No way. Unless you're really sick, or something. You'll probably be well under 30."
I took solace in the fact that standing before him, he couldn't ascertain immediately that I was, in fact, really sick. To him, I looked like a 30 page patient. Not 64.
The funny thing is, I don't actually feel like a 64 page patient. I just ran 8 miles 2 weeks ago. I lift weights, I do yoga, I have a pass to the local rec center so I can swim occasionally. I drink yogurt shakes made with strawberry and bananas with flax seed thrown in for good measure. I eat peppers and tomatoes I harvest from my garden. I run errands, I take my kid to school, I read books. I snitch candy from my Halloween stash that I bought way, way too early and that I will surely have to replace the night before Halloween. In short, I do all the things that normal, healthy people do.
But normal, healthy people don't have a medical file that is 64 pages. And counting.