Cue the Brady Bunch theme song… (corny I know…)
Here’s the story of a Deaf-Blind man
Who was bringing up a confused situation…
Oh cut the dumb soundtrack; it hardly fits the topic!
You see, two weeks ago I made an appointment to see my Doctor for a bunch of things: two referrals, an x-ray consult and, importantly, a prescription refill.
Monday morning, I called the doctors office and was able to see her, at last minute, Tuesday afternoon. I immediately contacted the interpreter agency, in hopes of securing an(y) interpreter. With 28 hours notice, I hoped to be lucky to fine one, as I have been lucky before. But this time, there was no interpreter available! Drat!
My ADHD medicine was down to two, I would be out on Wednesday! That, and the need to have my hand x-rayed, outweighed my need to have an interpreter. I typed everything out beforehand, all my issues, and printed that. I went to the Doctors and informed the front desk when I arrived I had no interpreter. Fine, no problem!
Fast-forward to exam room; the doctor read the paper and wrote stuff down. And got an x-ray consult paper. Then I noticed that I did not have the Rx paper, I pointed that out. “Oops! Be right back…” was what I assumed she said.
Two minutes later, she came back with a new x-ray consult paper, and the Rx paper. She gestured to the x-ray paper, my hand, and down. Oh I understood, take the x-ray downstairs to the lab. Unfortunately, I did not time to that, as running on tight schedule to meet my family to celebrate my wife’s birthday.
I’d do it on Wednesday. I my last pill that morning.
I went to the local hospital to get my x-ray, and then zoomed to the drug store to get my Rx filled.
Everything was running smoothly! Until…
Just as a whim, I asked, by way of writing, the pharmacy assistant how much would this cost. I needed to be prepared.
The assistant checked her files and wrote, $101.28.
I was aghast! I wrote: My wife has insurance!
Her reply was, This is not covered by insurance.
What? My ADHD medicine was NOT covered! Okay, I stood up, grabbed the Rx and stormed away! I texted my wife saying that my Rx was not covered! Frustratedly, I bought some lousy coffee pods and went home. The Rx jammed into my coat pocket, where it stayed for three days.
I started the next three mornings without my daily dose of calmness. I was edgy!
Now, my son needed a refill of his medicine and my wife was going to get it. So, on Saturday, I retrieved the crumpled up Rx from my coat and gave it to her.
In a nonplussed manner, my wife signed, What is Sildenafil?
Me, What? I don’t know about that?
Wife, That is Viagra… are you having problems in that department?!
Me, I did not request that! I mean I did, in early November, but did not get it because of the price! And not need it…
The wife & I had a good chuckle about that. And then she went to get my son’s medicine and my Daily Dose of Calmness! Which I picked up the next day, Sunday, and started again on Monday!
So, do you see the various failures to communicate here:
- First and foremost, The doctor did not clearly inform me that she had re-ordered Viagra; she only pointed to the Rx script while handing it to me, and saying something. With my deafness at profound level, coupled my inability to lipread, what she said was lost in translation even before she opened her mouth. The Doctor could have easily said “Here is your prescription, I drew a smiley face on the paper for your amusement!” Or “Here is your prescription. I added a dose of Viagra for your amusement!”
- I only asked for a refill of my ADHD medicine. Thus, I had no reason to look at the script, or even question if another prescription had been added.
- The pharmacy assistant did not specify that there were TWO prescriptions to be filled.
Both the doctor and the pharmacy assistant were more attuned to voicing, explaining this orally, not writing things down.
Keep in mind that this whole situation could have been averted if I had an interpreter, or even better, an INTERVENOR, available to explain what the doctor had said. The intervenor would have also read into ASL the prescription! Thereby enabling full and complete understanding!
Vancouver Needs Intervenors!
FYI, I am now fine and my Daily Dose of Calmness is working really well! And everything else, to quote Data (AKA Brent Spiner) is fully functional… Aside from being Deaf-Blind and Ataxic!