Friday, January 18

Opthamologist Update

I tried again the morning of the appointment to call the opthamologist and there was no answer - great! Okay, we are going to the appointment not knowing if an interpreter will be there or not. Rebecca is not in school & I did not go to work. We walk in and I go up to the counter, both ladies are on the phone - one tell me when she gets a minute that the phones have been down all morning. Ok, we wait. When one finally gets off the phone, I tell her who we are and ask if there is going to be an interpreter present. She looked at me like I was 1/2 crazy - she said that she remembers taking my calls and asked if the office manager ever got back to me. I said no, she said, "as far as I know, there will be no interpreter". She asks around, it's confirmed - no interpreter!

I had decided earlier that day that if there was no interpreter I would go ahead with the appointment since Rebecca and I were home and I didn't want to waste the day, but I would make it a tremendous learning experience for them. I explained to the lady the liability of not having an interpreter and she didn't really seem to care. I fill out my paperwork and turn it back in to the other receptionist who I then explain again the liability of them not having an interpreter. Again, no response other then "sorry".

We go back to the waiting room and they come out to dialate Rebecca's eyes. I do not know the sign for dialate & it is not in my book. They start to move towards her to put the drops in her eyes and I say "NO - I need to explain to her what is about to happen. You are going to have to be very patient today since there was no interpreter provided, I am going to do the best that I can". I tell Rebecca they are going to put 4 different drops in her eyes, this will D-I-A-L-A-T-E her eyes. Things will be blurry and bright. It may be hard for her to see after they do it & all of that is normal. This will help them to see her eyes better.

Next we go to another room with a different person. Again I tell the lady (who I actually went to school with - wierd) that no interpreter was provided as legally required and I am going to have to do my best. She is just going to have to be patient. The lady says for Rebecca to read the letters on the chart when looking through the thing in front of her. Well, when she is looking through the thing - she is not looking at me, so this gets tricky. The girl keeps going back and forth. Tell me which one is better, now read them to me, now tell me which one is better, etc. We fingerspelled the letters instead of doing what the suggested which was have her write it. It worked much better.

Now Rebecca's sight is getting worse because of the dialation - she cannot see me up close. They do the pressure test on one eye and Rebecca starts to cry - they say that they do not have to do the other eye. We go into the next room where the doctor looks closer at her eye. Again, I explain Rebecca is Deaf and her office did not provide the interpreter that is legally required. She just says, we'll do the best that we can.

They said that they could find no evidence of the RP, however she definately has the night vision loss. I already knew that she could not see in the dark and it's a good thing that the RP has not revealed itself yet. She wants Rebecca to come back next Monday to see if she could benefit from bifocals.

I also thought after the appointment, I do not think that they did the perpherial field loss test. I'm going to have to ask them about that on Monday as well.


Jamie said...

Good way to handle it. However, there is another way to handle it. This other way may result in an ugly situation.

What is this other way? You simply walk out and refuse to accompany your child while she is being seen by the doctors/nurses. Let them experience the struggle and difficulty of communication with her. When the child cries or is uncooperative, they will be forced to realize how much an interpreter is needed.

Then, when they come to you asking you for help, you smile and say, "I'm sorry, I'm not a professional interpreter and my sign language skills are not advanced enough to adequately convey to my child what is going to happen. This is why we requested an interpreter in advance."

They may throw up their hands and tell you that they can not work with your child and you have to come back another time. But you will have driven home a very painful message, and you better believe there will be an interpreter at the next appointment.

Anyone agree or disagree with this suggested approach?

Deaf Pixie said...

The office manager need to read A.D.A. I know it is really ugly situation I have alot of hell through!

You right to tell office manager that you are not professional interpreter. you are mother.

File Human Civil Right or A.D.A soon as you can up to 180 or 190 days.

Tell office manger that you will file. you are right thing to tell her about intepreter issues.

Dianrez said...

Its good that no evidence of RP can be seen in scope visual examination. The longer it takes for this to show up, the better the future prognosis is.

However, RP is best diagnosed through EOG, electro-oculography, a test done in specialized centers and is similar to an EEG test done on the eye rather than on the brain. This is better done in the teens than in childhood.

The interpreter situation is difficult to handle without putting your child through an unnecessary ordeal. I'd personally have walked out, with the child, and let them know they broke the law and therefore I would not be back. A complaint could be sent to the county medical society for what it is worth.

If there are alternatives for opthalmologists, go for it, and giving up time is better than bad memories for your child.

Candice said...

Believe me the thought crossed my mind to walkout, but Rebecca was already stressed about going and I had finally gotten her ½ way excited that she was at least going to get new glasses. My first concern was her, if I had just walked out she would have been very upset and would have had to go through all this anxiety again.

I did not want to put her through that. I told her I was very disappointed that they did not have an interpreter for her & asked her what she wanted to do. She wanted me to help, so I did the best I could for her. Our appointment lasted 2.5 hours. I took my time where I could and definitely made it difficult on the staff so hopefully they will think twice before they deny another person their rights.