Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I'm so frustrated. I can't hear squat. It's been 6 weeks since we applied for funding for reimplantation to our group ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation). I had hoped that they would have got hold of me before Christmas to tell me that they had approved of funding. This way I would know that I would be having my operation sometime in January - but no - I had heard nothing.

So this morning I hopped on internet relay and rang them. After giving them my claim number, my address, my date of birth, my two phone numbers, they then finally ascertained that they were speaking to the right person, albeit through the relay.

I spoke to the case manager's secretary at first, and she finally conceded I needed to the actual case manager. However, the case manager is unavailable 'Could she phone you back?" she asked.

"Well thats the whole point of my claim - I'm DEAF and I can't HEAR on the phone". I gave her my email address and she said the case manager would get back to me with where my claim was at.

A few hours later I got a message...

Dear Robyn

Thankyou for your phone call to ACC.

I am sorry that I have not been in contact with you earlier, but I did try to phone you. It is great we now have email contct.

We are now seeking medical advise to clarify whether your injury is due to your underlying hearing loss or whether in fact this is a new injury.

For an ACC treatment injury claim to be considered for cover the first thing we need to establish is that there is a new physical injury.

The medical advice should be back by early January. I will update you by email once I have this advice.

I hope this answers your questions.

Actually, it answers my questions just fine, however, it makes me really spitting angry.

For one, I've already put on the form that I sent in 'Can't hear on the phone as I'm totally deaf' and I gave them both my txt phone number and my eamil address. And she phoned me! Well. I'm flabbergasted.

And now they're trying to get medical advice to see if my injury is new, rather than my underlying hearing loss? Oh man - come on - how can my underlying hearing loss push out the electrode array? If they knew how stupid that sounded I'm sure they would be embarrased.

I then write long email to them explaining that the longer they push out this process, the higher the chance scar tissue will form in the cochlea and I will be unable to have a successful implant.

She replied that they were doing it as fast as they can. 6 weeks? I dont' think so.

I have a really bad feeling about this. I can't help it - but I have a funny feeling ACC will turn me down, simply because they really don't understand what is needed.

Yes - I'm feeling sorry for myself. It's now been over 18 months since I heard properly. I'm frustrated, and I'm sick of people who truly don't understand how little I hear. And I still have Christmas to get through.

It makes me wonder if I'll ever hear propery again But I guess I can't expect much more from a Government Department.


Bron said...

Bloody hell. What is wrong with people? I really don't get why everyone has so much trouble understanding deafness! For fucks sake - if you say you can't hear on the phone it means YOU CAN'T HEAR ON THE PHONE! It doesn't mean you can hear if they try phoning - or if they talk louder - or any other sort of phoning attempt. What the hell is so difficult about accepting an instruction to use email and then SENDING A FUCKING EMAIL!!!!!!

And equally dumb is the idea that they have to investigate whether your deafness is the cause of your array moving. It's not rocket science. It really only needs a 5 minute explanation to be understood. God! I just paid my ACC Levy this year. $75 bucks. Hope I don't ever have to claim if they are this stupid.

Sorry about the swear words but this makes me mad.

Anne Marie said...

I have been following you and am really sorry. For insurance part, it is so familiar to me even here in America. Insurance companies are not just bad, they are evil. My husband has been self employed as a full time artist after not being able to secure a permanent job (a long story of discrimination) so we ended up having to pay for our own health insurances and they have to be renewed every 6 months and we can only have two terms with a short medical term. Pre-existing conditions are the most feared problem we face here unless we just stay healthy or if every possible just stay with a permanent job that offers health insurance where we would have to stay to avoid pre-existing condition that will make it uninsurable for 6 months with other insurance. Sometimes just uninsurable at all.

President Obama made a promise that his people will solve it. (fingers crossed)

If you happen to know signing well, you may try ask for interpreter to come to your holiday gatherings. We do this here with my son's close friend family who is all hearing. (we are all deaf ASL signing family attending their annual Christmas eve party). We hire best interpreter interns or students because of cost and it work for us.