Medical History Questionnaire

My wife and I recently went to a new optometrist.


Of course, being new patients, we had to complete the requisite medical questionnaire and other paperwork.  This was one of those where you not only listed YOUR history but also had to disclose the medical history of close relatives (father, mother, siblings, grandparents, third grade teacher…)


I’ve got my own history down pretty good.  I can list my medications AND spell them correctly.  But the list does seem to be growing.  If you’ve never had anything major happen to you, this isn’t too difficult.  But when you have to consider your blood relatives it becomes more of a challenge.


My mother seemed to check a lot of their boxes.  And when your father lives to be 95 years old he can check a few as well.  I will tell you, like most parents, mine seemed to hold some things back and not discuss them with us children.  (They weren’t quite as bad at this as my in-laws.  When we lived 1,500 miles from them Jenni once called three nights in a row and for the first two her father said that her mother was at K-Mart.  The third time it was revealed she was in the hospital!)  So it may not be that surprising to struggle with some of the answers.


I felt bad that I couldn’t recall the details of some of the ailments my parents went through.  Was it colon cancer or just polyps?  What was that eye problem?  The day my father passed away I realized I probably had not been listening closely to some of the important things he told me.  I just assumed someone, somewhere had his medical records but it doesn’t quite work that way.  Somehow, we have to be able to recall our own medical history as well as that of our loved ones.


So, I did my best completing the form.  I thought I covered the important points fairly well but, honestly, I just pretended like I didn’t have any siblings for this.   The lines were very close together and there just wasn’t enough room for all that.


I got there a few minutes before Jenni so I had mine completed by the time she sat down.  I could tell when she flipped to her questionnaire page.


She paused and finally asked me, “What is that drug I’m allergic to?”


This could be important.  I thought.  I thought some more.  She googled.  Still nothing.


I told her I was pretty confident it started with an “S”.


Finally, she found it on the internet.  It was Demerol. 


Yep.     Not. Even. Close.


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