Saturday, January 19, 2008

I'm Grumpy!

I’m really grumpy today. Best not come and visit. I’m struggling with my hearing loss, and have got into the ‘can’t be bothered with anything anymore’ mood. Even asking myself the ‘Why bother?’ questions.

Why bother keeping my piano when I can’t hear it?

Why bother trying to hear when it makes me so tired?



Why bother paying Telecom on a monthly basis for a phone I cannot use?

Why bother walking with a group? I can’t hear them while they banter so I may as well walk by myself!

Why bother having a TV when the programs I want to watch aren’t captioned?

It doesn’t help when organizations like the Auckland District Health Board keep sending me letters about my upcoming audiological appointments and highlighting a phone number that I must ring and confirm my appointment, otherwise my appointment will be cancelled.

I got another one yesterday – my 5th in about 5 months. This is in spite of my daughter phoning them about two weeks ago, knowing an important appointment is coming up, telling them that I’m deaf, I cannot hear on the phone, that I don’t have a fax, and that email is the best way to get hold of me. They assured my daughter that they have my email and it would be used, and I wouldn’t get another letter asking me to phone them. They lied.

The letter supplied no email address, but they did supply an URL which I pulled up and found a complaints page. I typed in my complaint and pointed out how ludicrous it was, that a health provider couldn’t communicate upcoming appointments for deaf people properly, and that their system needed an overhaul to improve this service. I told them the problem has been going on for a while, and that I couldn’t be the only deaf person dealing with them who can’t use a phone.

Now most of you will say – ‘I’ll ring for you’ but the thing is, I’ve always been totally independent, and I’m still capable of that independence, and I really don’t want to have to rely on other people to make phone calls when it’s unnecessary. Email is instant, affordable, easy, and there is no reason that I can think of, why it can’t be used for appointments instead of phone calls.

Sending my message of complaint through the website, I doubted that it would even get a reply, so I was surprised this morning to get an email from a customer liaison office following up on my complaint wanting more details. I have absolutely no doubt that they will email me later to say that my appointment has been confirmed, but this isn’t what I want. What I want is for there to be absolutely no more letters asking me to phone and confirm. Instead I want an email that I can reply to, so I can do this every time. I’m not so confident that the ADHB will be able to put this in place. I’d like to be surprised though!

I’m still grumpy! Maybe I need ice-cream?

15 comments:

Abbie said...

Robyn,

I have some dark chocolate if you want some too! I happen to see your comment over at www.michaelchorost.com and I came right on over to say hello.

I am so sorry to hear that your implant has failed. Is there a reason why that you cannot have that ear re implanted with a working implant?

I can share several of your frustration and I honestly wish there was a magic word that I could say that would kiss them goodbye but I can say you are not alone and give you a virtual hug.

Maybe I can shed a sliver of insight. I just had my left ear activated four months ago and I have not heard a single thing out of it for 15 years. It was my "bad ear. Post-activation, it has surpassed my expectation and blown my so called good ear out of the water.

I am glad to have come across you.

Robyn said...

The dark chocolate sounds wonderful :) Glad you came over to say hi ;)

The reason they are not 'reimplanting' the same ear, is that I have had a number of operations on both my ears since having the implant. Docs think both ears will be full of fibrous scar tissue. There's a danger that if they take the existing implant out, the fibrous tissue could collapse and they might not be able to get another one in. This would then leave me with absolutely no hearing at all. At present, hte implant is working on 8 electrodes, but not very well.

So they think its better they try my other ear first and if that goes well - then i would have two implants and hopefully with a result like yours i won't need my 'other not working very well' implant! Your post gives me hope that I might have a result like this, but unfortunately my ear had a complete vestibular ablation 4 years ago so the chances of getting an implant in that ear is very remote bu they will try anyway first.

Glad you popped in - and looking forward to getting to know you!

Cheers
Robyn

kw said...

Hello Robyn!! I'm so sorry you had a baaaad day. I feel the same about doctors who won't email. Stooopid. I've been thinking about you a lot cuz it seems like this thing with your CI has gone on forever. I can't remember if you ever learned sign language before or not. Do New Zealand Deaf speak Auslan or do they have their own Deaf Sign? How about a chocolate chip cookie? I just baked. Hugs and welcome. :)

kw said...

Hello Robyn!! I'm so sorry you had a baaaad day. I feel the same about doctors who won't email. Stooopid. I've been thinking about you a lot cuz it seems like this thing with your CI has gone on forever. I can't remember if you ever learned sign language before or not. Do New Zealand Deaf speak Auslan or do they have their own Deaf Sign? How about a chocolate chip cookie? I just baked. Hugs and welcome. :)

Robyn said...

I do sign. Not very well, as I don't get a chance to use it much. It's New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). However, I'm Oral deaf, and although I can sign to people I need to communicate to, I cannot read the signs back - too busy looking at lips!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie sounds great too.

Icecream 1000 calories
Dark Chocolate from Abbie 500 Calories
Chocolate chip Cookie from Kim 200 Calories

Weight Watchers has gone to dogs!

Cheers
Robyn

henry said...

Robyn:

I hear you! (So to speak.) There are days when I think the whole damned hearing world is ganging up against me, when I can't make myself understood or understand anybody. Then I come back to earth and the realization that the whole world, hearing or not, doesn't give a damn about me and only I can give a damn about myself. That is just the way things are. And then I'm back to my normal sunny self -- and I am sure that by now you're back to your normal sunny self, too.

Have another cookie and take another great photograph.

Robyn said...

Ok - I've had 4 more cookies, and been out on a 5 hour Hike/Tramp in the Waitakere Ranges, and taken a few okayish photos.

I'm no longer grumpy.

And you're quite right - there are days when the frustrations hit you hard and your sunny self becomes lost in the middle. However, the sun comes out again quite quickly and the humour has resurfaced.

Cheers
Robyn

Bron said...

I'd offer you a Cadbury Favourite .... but I just ate the whole box.....

Ann_C said...

Robyn,

Sorry you had a downer of a day. Ironic that an audiologist's office wouldn't do a simple e-mail-- many track their client files on computers, no excuse for not being hooked up to the internet.

Your photos are really cool! My older sister and her husband toured all over New Zealand several years ago, and they said it's a lovely country with breathtaking scenery. Do you do photography professionally?

Dianrez said...

OH, do indulge yourself and get a fax machine. They don't cost that much anymore, and are so convenient with businesses and doctors!

Many offices don't understand relay services, don't use emails (gee, wonder why in this age of the internet!) but most do have fax machines. Anybody can push a button and send one, and even the village idiot in an office can pick up a fax.

I have had a fax machine for years and love it! Even when the videophone made the TTY obsolete in the US, I kept my phone line just for the fax.

Robyn said...

Hi Ann_C,

The problem is that the provider of the audiology service (which is excellent), is the ADHB - NZ's hospital system. So the problem of the appt system isn't audiology. When the audiology was separate to hospital, I had no problems, but now they are part of it, they had to adoopt the hospital system which isn't up to scratch when it comes to people who are deaf. I'm made a complaint so lets see where that leads down the track! Havenn't heard back from them yet!

Cheers
Robyn

Robyn said...

Hi Ann_C,

The problem is that the provider of the audiology service (which is excellent), is the ADHB - NZ's hospital system. So the problem of the appt system isn't audiology. When the audiology was separate to hospital, I had no problems, but now they are part of it, they had to adoopt the hospital system which isn't up to scratch when it comes to people who are deaf. I'm made a complaint so lets see where that leads down the track! Havenn't heard back from them yet!

Cheers
Robyn

Robyn said...

I forgot to say that I'm passionate about photography, but don't make a living from it. I have a couple of websites where you can view what I've done though.

The first is www.redbubble.com/people/robyncarter and the second is www.carterr.deviantart.com

Enjoy - Cheers
Robyn

Robyn said...

Hi Dianrez,

I had a fax machine but never used it so gave it away. I will probably invest in one if I can't have another implant, but for now I'm trying to stay positive and upbeat that I will gain more hearing again. It almost feels that if I get another fax machine I'm admitting defeat, and I'm not ready to do that quite yet.

If I can't have another implant, I will be doing a couple of things. First up I'll get a fax, but I will also be looking at getting a hearing ear dog. I'm just trying not to think about it at the moment!

Cheers
Robyn

kw said...

Your blog was finally up on DeafRead today! YAY! :-) OK-- You've motivated me to get off my duff and go for a walk. It's bitter cold here, but sunny for a change. I like to take pictures too, but ever since I got my new laptop I'm having a helluva time with my digital because it wasn't Vista's compatible. You must have a really nice camera. I've always wanted to take photography classes. Maybe someday. . .