The Last Place You Look


Not too long ago, my husband had a medical appointment to get all of his medical records compiled before our move. I knew he had the appointment, but honestly was too busy packing and getting things organized for the move to worry much about it. I was half buried in ROTC uniforms that will never be used again and my flip flop collection when my cell phone rang. First, I was pretty excited to see my husband’s name on the caller id. Maybe he’s getting off early, I thought, fully prepared to suggest a trip to Starbucks. My hopes for frappuccino nirvana were quickly dashed.

“We have a problem,” my husband declared, and suddenly I went into hyper-panic mode. He was at the doctor’s office after all. I had had diagnosed him with half a dozen non-existent ailments before he continued.

“My shot record is lost. Can you find a copy?” I sighed. I sputtered. I asked how long I had.

“By tomorrow. I have to get back to work. Love you.” Click.

I stared around our half packed apartment at all the totes and tubs and laughed. Surely, the shot record would be in the safe of important papers. I waltzed to the safe, unlocked it, and began sifting through passports, our car title, and our marriage license. No shot record.

Okay, a bit of panic bubbled up, but I figured the file box of not quite so important papers would have the record. I went through the health file, no luck. I went through all the other files, no luck.

The husband called to say he was on his way home. Casually, I asked what would happen if we couldn’t find the record. “I’d have to be revaccinated. Oh, and we might not move on time.” Gulp.

I dug through the boxes at the back of the closet. I found one that was labeled “College Paperwork.” The box clearly had not been opened since my husband left college. It smelled funny. I opened the box and it looked as if my husband had thrown everything from grocery receipts, to transcripts, to video game guides in one box. I pulled several granola bars from between papers. I found a Valentine's card I sent him and several handfuls of gum wrappers. I almost tossed the whole thing into the garbage, but something told me to keep digging.

By noon the next day, I’d sifted through all of the paperwork that had ever occupied my husband’s dorm room. Somehow, his shot record was lodged inside of his Organic Chemistry Final. My husband was grateful not to have to go through the revaccination process, and I finally got my trip to Starbucks.

The moral of the story? Keep the shot record and any other important medical documents in one place! Anybody else have missing paperwork nightmares to share?

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