If you need your U.S. contact lens prescription in New Zealand, make sure to bring a fax machine.

What?

But the DC office/store (part of a known chain) where I used to buy contacts does not conduct business by email. And I need to place an order for new contacts.

When do most people call in for new contacts? For me, it’s when I have at least two lenses for the left eye, and I just dropped the last one I have for the right eye in a far flung corner of the bathroom. If I had a monocle, I’d be sweet as (I’d be fine).

Regardless, it shouldn’t be a big deal. I called the DC office and asked for my prescription, since the optometrist has given me a paper script in the past. The receptionist told me they cannot release my prescription by email, I’m guessing due to some HIPAA thing (U.S. federal law, part of which protects patient privacy). What the DC office can do is fax over a HIPPA release form, then fax the prescription over.

I don’t have a fax machine. Didn’t fit in the backpack. Do you?

I have email. My emailing them saying “I grant you permission to release my prescription” won’t work. Not because my written release wouldn’t work. Because: Where would I sent that email if there is no email address for this office?

I called the optometrist at the local mall near our Auckland neighborhood. That receptionist said that overseas faxes don’t work very well, but if the U.S. optometrist can email the prescription, that should be fine. But for whatever it’s worth, eye exams are $30 NZD and that includes the contact lens consultation.

Ugh. I don’t have any commentary beyond some sort of Millennial “ugh, ur so dumb, y dont u have emails ‘Merican biznass.” The more intelligent complaint would be: “Why aren’t electronic health records much more widespread?” When I get my passport renewed, I would be very happy if the chip had my electronic health record on there. Seriously, your health records on a chip is already reality in Taiwan.

Ever had frustrating accounts of transferring medical records overseas? Share your struggle here.