Please pull out your medical files in the event of a terrorist attack. Let me explain this smooth move. Due to ubiquitous medical files, our National Security is at risk. This was brought to my attention as I sat filling out the paperwork for a visit to a new doctor.
I had to wait two hours to see the doctor, so it was good that I had all the paperwork to occupy my time. Nine out of ten doctors recommend a heavy dose of paperwork to distract patients from most aches and pains not associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
It took me forty minutes to fill out it out, even allowing for my blatant lies, which reduces the time it takes to fill out medical forms by two years. It probably took the nurse two minutes to shred it, and a mere four years for me to acquire the advanced degree in jurisprudence I had to run out and acquire in order to understand it.
After a quickie graduation from a law school in the Bahamas, I had to pass the bar, and we all know how hard it is to pass a neighborhood bar. Then, and only then, was I qualified to read and sign the paperwork.
With my law degree clutched proudly in my sweaty hand, I read through the last five pages of the set of forms that was given to me when I came in the office.
The lawyers who thought this stuff up in order to make lots of money from doctors, were obsessed with informing me of all my rights, responsibilities, and privacy, and that the last would only be breached if the NSA needed my medical files to defeat an enemy, either foreign or domestic.
That’s when I began to worry about our national security. I did not feel up to the challenge. What if my health issues weren’t serious enough to warrant a world war that would begin as soon as the terrorists got a gander at my personal statistics? How embarrassing would that be?
Normally I wouldn’t mind if the government really needed my information, but I hate when people, especially enemies, know my weight, which varies depending on my height that day.
Included were a few pages informing me what to expect on my visits to the office; such as how I would be treated by the staff if they were in a good mood, how to play skeet ball, and why the office is located in a Bully-Free Zone. These pronouncements failed to comfort me as the clock ticked onward, and I kept waiting to see the doctor.
A small boy, name of Wyatt, came in with his mother and grandmother and sister toward the end of the two hour wait, and I really wanted to bully this kid and his mother notwithstanding that Bully Free Zone warning. I knew his name right away, because his mother and grandmother kept saying it. He never got close enough for me to stick out my foot and trip him, as he zoomed back and forth across a waiting room full of people in pain, but I kept hoping.
He very sensibly ignored his mother who would say things like, “I’ll take you home right now!” Everyone’s hopes would soar, only to be dashed time and again when she didn’t follow through on her threats.
This kind of disappointment is very difficult to deal with when you are already in need of a doctor. His grandmother would occasionally put her oar in, even saying once, “I’ll let everyone in the waiting room beat you up.” This had no discernible effect on Wyatt, but again, it raised our hopes unnecessarily high. I was all set to get in line and take my turn.
I tried to ignore Wyatt and instead mused on the legalese embedded in my medical files and whether I’d inadvertently promised them my firstborn, who is now 25, and likely to object to being kept in a government warehouse in New Mexico.
I was slightly distracted by the shouts and screams from Wyatt and his sister, who kept insisting to her mother as she watched the traffic report on the waiting room television that she could see her father’s car driving into the airport among the 50,000 other cars. Dad was flying the coop to points unknown, or else he was safely going to work at the airport where he could enjoy the quiet.
At one point in the paperwork, which henceforth shall be known as The Paperwork, they asked me if I had ever considered suicide. I wondered briefly if I would have to listen to screaming children in the afterlife should I decide on that course of action before, during, or after this appointment, but checked ‘No’ anyway.
Why open that can of worms?
Thirty or so paragraphs were dedicated to assuring me that my privacy and the financial assets that I’d hidden in an offshore account in Nassau were protected by the strictest secrecy and iron-clad laws, but at the very end of paragraph 25, sub paragraph 61(b), they concluded by hoping I’d enjoyed my reading material, but they were only kidding! Haha!
In any emergency involving the president, said they, or in a pandemic of national proportions, or if the staff got bored during a coffee break and needed a new patient to discuss, the office could change their ‘privacy’ policy.
They kindly informed me there was nothing I could do about it, but that if I wanted to, I could discuss their staff at the next PTA meeting. As long as they shouted, ‘Olly, olly oxen free!’ they would be safe from prosecution for divulging my weight at the next White House barbecue.
I know what’s right, so I checked this policy with Wyatt, just to be sure, because its been awhile since I played ‘Olly, olly oxen, free’. He concurred that the policy was on the up and up after calling someone and having a short, muted consultation on his Smartphone for Toddlers. So I signed and initialed the final spot on The Paperwork.
There was something in those turgid legal paragraphs about Human Experimentation and how much They Were Looking Forward To It, but they hastily added that I didn’t have to consent to that if I didn’t want to. I am not making this up. Unfortunately.
However, The Paperwork continued, if I did consent to it, I had the right to know what was going on when my tongue turned black, or I grew a third nipple. This was damn straight of them, and I signed because I don’t want the terrorists to win.
We know who the clear winner was. Wyatt.