This was just one page of the 1200 or so medical records that I viewed over the last few days while in the archives at the Denver Children’s Hospital, where my osteosarcoma was treated 25 years ago.
This record cracked me up when I recognized my own handwriting on two of the line items (the rest of the form was penned by my very-favorite nurse Penny). As I was considering why and when I’d written on the intake form, I had a vague flashback memory of sitting on the hospital bed next to Penny, joking together as we filled out the form. I think she had to leave the room for a minute to attend to another patient and I wrote in those answers myself, the “no hospital food” and “LOTS OF BACK RUBS!!!!!!”
After viewing so many pages of records that were about me but where my presence was only indirect, it was such a pleasure to see my own handwriting. It also made me remember the little ways that I took control of my experience in the hospital.
Oh, and one more thing about Penny: she’d been a massage therapist before she was a nurse. And she did give the very best backrubs and headrubs (one good thing about being bald was that there was no hair to interfere with a vigorous head massage)…