Monday, June 23, 2008

Doctors and the relay - Hung up? - Part 2

Those of you who were following my previous post can relax. As it turns out, I went in today (Monday morning June 23) after they opened and talked to the front desk person. She took one look at my papers and computer records and realized that she had neglected to call me to reschedule. Since the doctor was there, they were able to get me in for a checkup of my knees and decide what to do next. He'll talk with his colleagues about what they're going to do next and get back to me. I'll give them a call or visit next week if I don't hear anything by then.

I also got an email response from the office manager stating that they will bring the up subject of using the relay in their next staff meeting.

Those of you wondering about interpreters, this office takes this sort of thing seriously, since it's a collection of offices in various locations. Normally, I don't have interpreters at a doctor appointment since I can communicate with them pretty well. What helps is learning what I've got, what I need to do, and what I'm facing, which helps in coming up with the right questions.

Now that was a rather good resolution, wouldn't you say?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Doctors and the relay - Hung up?

Has anyone had a doctor appointment seemingly be cancelled for no reason, and when you show up at the office, no one is there and you find out that the doctor's on vacation or something? Then when you check your emails, you see a collection of relay calls that you don't know who they're from, who called, and they're all hangups?

I sent this message to the Quality Management contact on the doctor webpage with some details removed;

Currently, my orthopedist is (doctorname) in the (location) office. Before I continue, let me introduce myself. You got my name from the headers of the message. I am a deaf patient in (town name) who uses hearing aids and lipreading to communicate with the doctor and front desk people. On my contact form can be found my home address, my phone number, and I believe my email address. This phone number is a relay number that goes directly to my instant messenger account where I communicate with the caller.

Approximately 3 months ago, I had hyaluronic acid injections in both knees and had an appointment scheduled for June 19 at 11am. Unfortunately, the office was closed when I showed up, When I used the relay to call the office, I got an answering machine that stated that the office was closed. I then called (another office called) and found that the (my doctor office location) office was closed due to the doctor being on vacation.

The problem here is at least twofold. First, this appointment was to determine what course of action would happen next if it would be knee surgery (total knee replacements) or something different. Second, I have at times received relay calls that don't even say who called or what number called. Here's one of those messages;

Subject: Missed call from Unknown Caller


Instead of a message left, I have no idea who just called and for what reason. I currently have a listing of a number of "Unknown Caller" emails in my inbox. While calling a relay number sounds like a marketing call when the operator answers and makes a connection with me, it is actually a valuable communications tool for many deaf people out there who would otherwise be dependent on a hearing person to make those calls for them. This caller could have at least sent me notification via regular mail or email since all this is on my contact info sheet.

You can see how much trouble this has caused me. I do not want to have to wait months later for another appointment when my knees are in more need of help than anything else. I deserve an immediate new appointment given the seriousness of my condition.


Has anyone else had this kind of issue with a doctor or someone in the office who tends to just hang up and not even try to make any more contact with you? What was your course of action?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Forget the DC Tax Scam. We Got An Interpreter Scam.

Never mind it being Friday the 13th today... The Washington Post Metro section had a story about an embezzlement case involving the local community college. What upset me was finding that the former coordinator of interpreters for the deaf was involved as well as one of the interpreters, and I knew Mark Kreidler from when I attended and worked with him on getting interpreters for my classes. A bit more upsetting is that I was going to use him as a reference...

The DC tax scam ran for around several years and cost DC at least $20 million dollars. (use keywords dc tax scam on Google or the Post)

I'm disappointed in you, Mark Kreidler. You may have caused damage to the jobs of other interpreter coordinators and interpreters around the nation. Your position involved more than just the trust of deaf students attending the college.