please see attached


The following Public Service Announcement is brought to you courtesy of my mom. After reading my post yesterday about the emotional torture of filling out medical forms that doctors don’t seem to have any intention of ever reading, she offered up a sorta brilliant suggestion.

As you may remember reading, my mom is a cancer survivor. As such, she sees a lot of doctors. She too was weary of filling out form after form, essentially dredging up the same (emotionally laden) information again and again. So Mom came up with a solution.

She sat down at her computer and typed it all out.

Every last painful detail.


She typed out her medical history, her family history, her date of diagnosis, her surgeries, her subsequent treatments, her medications etc,. etc., and etc.

All the nasty stuff that the forms require.


And she never had to do it again.

Before any doctor’s appointment, she prints off the sheet and brings it along with her. When she gets to the forms, she gives them a perfunctory glance to make sure they’re not asking for anything radically different than she’s already provided and then she writes the following:


I know, brilliant, right?

So that’s my plan. No more fumbling and dredging and guilty soup stewing over these damned forms. Nope, all done.

Just one time, I’m going to sit down in the privacy of my own home and methodically type out Brooke’s entire developmental timeline – from pregnancy to labor to delivery to diagnoses to ‘No, she doesn’t yet ride a bike without training wheels, but she does lots of other really cool stuff, damn it, so it’s OK’.

I may look up her APGAR score for extra credit.

I’ll type out our family histories, the meds, the specialists, the support. Since I’ll be at home, I can even look up all the phone numbers of the various doctors and specialists. How about that? And just for fun, I’ll even attach her IEP and her latest neuropsych report. It will all be there. Every last damn bit of it.

And the next time that someone hands me a clipboard, I’ll be prepared. Rather than fighting the impulse to ask them to take said clipboard and shove it where the sun don’t shine, I will instead smile.

And write three lovely little words.


Genius, Mom. Seriously.

31 thoughts on “please see attached

  1. Your mom is brilliant. She should run for President next year; pretty sure she could fix the debt crisis. šŸ™‚

  2. LOL, I do something similar for the mountain of Medicaid forms I have to fill out each spring to rectify my permanently disabled son’s eligibility for services. (yeah, don’t get me started on that, please.) It DOES make it so much easier and less painful.

    On a related note,I now feel like a freak because I do remember his Apgar scores. They were said to me with such reverence after my three-months premature delivery. Like they would make everything else ok. Ha!

  3. Well, of course! Thank you Jess’ mom! You are absolutely brilliant! Jess obviously gets this trait from you! This certainly is a *smack-to-the-forehead-why-didn’t-I-think-of-this* idea and shall be implementing this immediately! Thank you for sharing this, Jess and Jess’ Mom!!!!

  4. This is perfect (thanks Jess’s mom). Since it’s what I have done with both my parents medical records, it is a very good question why I didn’t do that with Jacob’s also, long ago.

    Although I;m sure I will, from time to time run into rigid sticklers who will insist that it be re-written on their own very special forms. And then I will tell them to take their clipboard and… well, you know.

  5. Brilliant! I’m going to use that one this week in fact, as I fill out yet another “What concerns do you have about your child?” batch of forms at a new developmental neurology place. It floors me that there are 4, 5, and 6 month waiting lists and that you request the appointment by filling out the forms and faxing or mailing them in. The forms get you one of those sacred spots in line? And I’m sure that they’ll be glanced at in the hallway on the way over to meeting me at the intake. Ugh!

  6. My three favorite words since RM was two weeks old.

    (Well, besides ‘I love you’ – which I do, J)

    Happy ‘Please See Attached’ – life just got a teeny tiny bit less painful!

    • PS

      At the top in BOLD LETTERS, I always put her NAME, DOB, and her MAJOR DX’s. Because really, those characters rarely read any of that stuff anyways! LOL

  7. Here’s my secret to filling out forms – I finally figured out that no one was grading them, much less actually reading them. So I feel free to fudge dates and improvise information as needed. It goes much faster that way. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

  8. haha, Mom’s have a way of simplifying things, lol. Such an obvious solution, doh! I’m taking notes. The day is fast approaching when I’ll have to be the wise one with great advice.

  9. Oh how I hate having to fill out the paperwork. We’ve had similar experiences. But we lucked out when we had to switch insurances right after getting out diagnoses. Loved our doctors but everything was changing fast and it was scary! Had to start over with a new pediatrician. I took in medical reports, ieps and filled out all of there paperwork. We waited for what seemed like forever for the doctor. I anticipated her coming in knowing nothing. We lucked out and picked the best pediatrician ever! She came in and had read every report, already talked to the local neurologist and had a plan in place. I thanked God for that day!

  10. That is beautiful Jess – just beautiful and I know about the medical history forms for years! There is a personalized health care record system that my husband worked on at Childrens where everything is in-putted into a central system including results of tests and you are the one who controls the record. It will be great when that becomes widespread but for now – please see attached .:)

  11. Ok Jess – clearly your Mom is brilliant and please tell her I love her and thank you for sharing that simply fantastic idea! As for the Apgar score I will write in my notes – how is this related to anything that will help my child today and are there studies linking this score to autism?? If they even read it…..but I digress….

    May I take this great idea 1 step further which is sort of related although more about school preparation. My son is now 14 – the amount of paperwork related to his life is staggering. I have a 3 inch binder divided by sections – Contact names & Phone #’s /IEP Meeting prep. / Report Cards / Evals & Assessments / Current IEP / Previous IEP / Parents Rights – Legal / MCAS Scores / Communication with the school / Journal from Justin (this is things that my son tells me happened at school that are important). / medications….you get the idea.

    By having it organized this way I am ready at a moments notice to meet with the school, an advocate, an attorney or a neuropsychologist or any other professional who I come into contact with on this journey.

  12. Aunt Carrie, you rule! And thanks for sharing this strategy with the rest of us, Jess. Hope this makes the appointments a little bit less draining.

  13. The Moms-helping-each-other team strikes again. This right here is exactly why I love reading blogs. They really provide a wealth of useful info. Def gonna do this. Thanks Jess’s Mom.

  14. What a great idea! It has a side benefit of not forgetting anything…I’m often filling forms out while trying to keep 5 children occupied and I always end up forgetting something or mixing children up…type it once, make sure it’s all accurate and done…so glad you shared this suggestion!

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