Masks

Good evening!

For something different, I am writing this blog on my laptop!  This is actually the first time I’ve had the pleasure of using my laptop! I let my son’s use the laptop, while I have my new iPad.  Its all a win-win situation.

Anyways, I wanted to touch on something that happened a while back, and it is important for DeafBlind individuals!

In mid June, I had an appointment for a Modified Barium Swallow test at the hospital next door to my home.  This was my second in-person appointment with a doctor and an Interpreter since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

My first appointment, the interpreter and I both did not wear a mask.  The doctor did.  But we were in a doctor’s office.  So it was alright…

Now the recent appointment, my interpreter and I both were masked, as was the two technicians who were testing me.

I had a HARD time understanding the interpreter.  Let me explain:black mask 1

The interpreter was a white woman and she was wearing a black shirt and a black mask.  This is a picture of a black mask, I don’t know why I would put here, you ought to know what a black mask looks like… mask blue

I had on a normal baby-blue mask, sort of like an accordion, again, here is a picture for you, though you should know what it looks like; they’re about as ubiquitous as grains of sand on a beach!

Now, what is the issue?  Why was this black mask bothersome to me?  Why was it distracting?  Well, now this is hard to explain, I will try, understand, this is a personal perspective, and not ever DeafBlind person, or Deaf, would see things in the same way.

While I normally watch the hands sign on the upper chest area of the interpreter, who I will call Kelly, when Rudy signs something over the face, I can understand it.  Now, Kelly, not real name, had a black shirt and a black mask, as I already said, so when Kelly signed over the chest, it was clear, but when moved to face or a different location, passing over the black mask, Kelly’s hand’s “vanished” into the background, which was hospital white.

Had Kelly been unmasked, or wearing the boring blue mask, then I am fairly sure I could have understood her better.

Was that clear?

When I got home, I told my wife about this and mentioned that I wanted to try tactile signing with Kelly, not real name.  I did not ask Kelly.  Why?  During the usual chat time before an appointment, I informed Kelly that I went to the mall and a few stores; Kelly was amazed and informed me that the mall was the last place they wanted to go right now.  So I guessed Kelly would not be comfortable doing tactile interpreting.  I did not want to pressure anyone!

I think Kelly was thinking that a black mask would actually be helpful, and I am sure it is, for some DeafBlind or Deaf persons.  But not for me; I suspect a boring blue mask would have been best for me.  Maybe YOU can provide your input?  Which colour works best for you?

I’ll bring this up in a future blog, hang tight!

Oh right, what was the result of my Modified Barium Swallow?  I swallowed a large quantity of Barium, at least I thought so.  Maybe I chewed to long? Or swallowed to quickly?  But I did not explode, and I did not have a major bowel movement afterwards, which is what my wife said would happen!  The results were, that my throat was weak, was this because of CAPOS or Ataxia?  The technician was not sure!   She recommended that I sit up straight while eating, and practice “hard swallowing” at least five times a day!

Okay, I am done for tonight, I am not liking this new external keyboard on my laptop!

 

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