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Talk / Re: NHS clinic access
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on Today at 01:11 PM »
Thinking of what Ally goes through, I think if I were sitting with a GP who knew me and I was totally reliant on lipreading, I'd be in tears.  Here's where I'd meet OtE half way on something (but I don't think he'd meet me halfway) which is that while I don't think people should be obliged to use official sign interpreters as he's said here, I do think we need far wider availability of sign interpreters, even if in some places, for want of better, it's a pool of local volunteers for urgent appointments.

I say that as someone who's acted as an impromptu oral interpreter between a neighbour and a doctor.  My knowledge of some languages is basic, so we had to make do with me translating the doctor's English questions into Urdu and translating my neighbour's Punjabi responses into English.  (Sort of like Italian + Spanish or like Dutch + German.)  But it was enough for what was needed to get an urgent visit followed by more professional translation help. 

There also needs to be more recognition by senior staff who set the rules as to people needing help rather than blanket 'go into your appointment alone' stuff. 

I don't think in many places, and I mean even before the pandemic, there's enough recognition that people may need psychological support; or for others, to blend concepts, a 'dementia-speak interpreter' or a 'psychotic delusion interpreter'.  In relation to the latter, in all seriousness, I believe that a lot of psychotic delusions actually make perfect sense if you see them as metaphors for what others perceive as reality.  If you know someone, you can often 'translate' the delusional stuff into the reality it symbolises. 

When I get like this, depressed & stressed => longwinded, I used to be labelled manic and given loads of meds to damp me down, so I got even more depressed, talked even more, and so the circle would continue.  This isn't "I don't get manic", this is "Me rabbiting and going off on tangents is me feeling rough, being depressed and doing my best to cope.  Thank you for helping me, folks, because I can mentally take you with me to my clinic appointment later this week.

And I'm sorry (slightly), Ally, but I'm going to picture you coming with me and if I have any communication problems, teaching me the signs for a range of expletives.  But I know the sign for "It's not my fault for falling over, you barged into me, so stop giving me grief."  I use the traditional two-finger one but I understand the modern one is the middle finger.  Oh, that's not BSL?  Oh well, people seem to understand it anyway.
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Talk / Re: NHS clinic access
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on Today at 09:42 AM »
I find it difficult the way my hearing aids distort what people say, but thinking of what Ally goes through puts my difficulties in perspective.

I think screens can be really good, although they have to be properly done.  There's a bit of research that seems to suggest that in some workplaces, they've caused problems where there's been enough screening to reduce airflow, but not enough to form a proper barrier, so it leads to what I think of as puddling of the virus.

But you'd think that if someone at national level got their act together, they could have come up with something suitable.   I'm thinking how there are various sorts of hazmat equipment used in relation to other things.  Sort of see-through tent-like things.  I bet in this day and age a sort of cubicle thing would be 3D printable.
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Talk / Re: NHS clinic access
« Last post by Fiz on Today at 08:28 AM »
Thing is, masks protects others rather than yourself mostly so medical professionals have a duty to protect you by wearing their masks. I totally understand why a professional may choose to write down what they want to say rather than lower their mask due to their concern about wanting to protect you from Covid especially as they are much more likely to be carrying the virus and breathing it out as they are in close contact with so many people. Personally I think there's an argument for someone signing to say that they'd like the health professional to lower their mask and understand that this increases their risk of getting Covid from the health professional but also as there's also a smaller risk of them getting Covid from you then by lowering their masks they are increasing the risk of gaining the virus and passing it on to their following patients so it's not just the risk to you but it increases risk to all of their patients when they do so. I think clear screens are the way to go with a face to face desk for people with hearing difficulties and if they had one such room for consults with hearing impaired patients the GP could move to that pre-booked room to see the individual needing to see their faces which would solve the problem in GP surgeries and at reception area desks but not for dentists who are very up close and personal. I think this pandemic is hardest of all for the hearing impaired than any other group of people. I can't wait for it all to be history  :f_hug:



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Talk / Re: NHS clinic access
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on 05 Dec 2021 11:41PM »
I'm lucky that the GPs in my usual practice are good.  You know the GPs in your practice and what they're usually like so I'm not challenging your judgement of the GPs you know.

However, in general, I do have some sympathy with GPs over masking, and I say that as someone who, whilst not as dependent as you are on lipreading, am heavily reliant on it. 

You say do a lateral flow test and that's logical but sadly they wouldn't know whether you had. 

GPs are under so much pressure that not only are GP numbers still decreasing, more and more GPs are resigning from partnership to take salaried jobs, which in effect means they can limit their hours and get less aggro.

The BMA did some research last summer and found that over half the two thousand GPs who responded said they have mental health conditions such as anxiety, stress, burnout etc.

You may say well doctors are stressed anyway, hence the horribly high suicide rates in the profession even before the pandemic, but the aggro they have been getting during the pandemic, like the GP in Manchester who recently had his skull smashed by an angry patient, takes its toll.

Meanwhile, they see how people with covid-19 can suffer, and they can read what doctors with long covid say they're going throuh, and they can read what doctors with ME/CFS say about what they go through, and be frightened.

What I find difficult about all this is that I think that it would have been perfectly feasible for the government, instead of lining the pockets of their mates with scandalously high sums for basic PPE, a lot of it unusable, had kitted doctors out with really good stuff, including, by now, adequate supplies of masks with clear panels in the middle to facilitate lipreading.

Meanwhile, over time I've been asking various health professionals and receptionists etc. a particular question and the response is consistent.  I ask whether there's a field on the screen that first comes up when they type in your name that contains information about your communication or access needs.  Everyone I've asked has said no.  It's expletive ridiculous.

So as I say, you know your GP, and what he did or didn't already know about you and what you'd normally, reasonably expect.  I trust your judgement on that.

By contrast, I think a high proportion of GPs and other health professionals are on a hiding to nothing over this.

I'm still dreading my appointment next week in a secondary care clinic.  I'm less fussed about whether they're ok to take their mask down than whether they're ok to repeat, gesture, write etc.  But it's the same underlying problem.

Big hugs.

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Talk / Re: NHS clinic access
« Last post by ally on 05 Dec 2021 10:30PM »
Masks are starting to  freak me out.  I wasn’t expecting to get an apt at the surgery.  However, they decided to see me, as I can’t have a telephone consultation.  Unfortunately, the GP who I’ve seen before decided not to remove his mask.  I sat there trying to tell him I couldn’t understand him.  That didn’t register, and, he continued to talk.  The mask was moving so I knew he was speaking to me.  When I didn’t  answer, or, speak to him, he tried again.  By this time, I was ready to walk out of the door. Then, hallelujah, he lowered his mask, and, asked if I could read his lips. 


My deafness, and, audiology chart is on the computer system.  The audiology chart is more or less a flat liner, so, why would he presume I was able to hear him?  Sometimes, I wonder why GPS, receptionists etc have little common sense when dealing with the deaf.  The dentist wouldn’t lower her mask either.  She wrote what she was saying down on paper.  If the NHS GPS etc are so afraid of covid. Why don’t they ask patients to have a lateral flow test before the appointment?  I took covid tests before both appointments above.  The test kits are free, and, easy to use.  It would save so many problems, especially for the deaf.
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I think you make a fair point.

That being said, I phrased my comment about media rhetoric badly.  I wasn't suggesting it was the sole cause of common views about disability, just that it contributes. 

There are all sorts of other things like the vocabulary we use.  E.g.  'wheelchair bound' is, I think, still far more common than 'wheelchair user'. 

'Blind' and 'deaf' are problematic. At least with 'deaf' there's some vague understanding that deafness is on a range, albeit with a poor understanding of the mechanics, e.g. an assumption that if granny has the sort of deafness that means she asks you to speak up and you do, what she hears will be just a bit quieter than you would hear, not that with some sorts of deafness it bursts out of the silence as shouting.  But with 'blind', aargh, I can see why when my mother got old and was registrably SVI/blind but still with some vision, she didn't use a white cane, she relied on being old and using a walking stick, so that other women clustered round her to support her physically, oblivious to how little sight she had.   With a little vision, she was more readily believed not to be blind than she would have been believed if she'd said she was blind.

So my apologies if I was suggesting that the media push to characterise as many disabled people as possible as faking it ws the sole or even main cause.
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Health and Disability / Re: High blood pressure
« Last post by Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 05:06PM »
I've lost nine and a half stones in eighteen months before so I do know it's possible. That started off very healthily but I got caught up in the control and became frightened of food. A lot of me wishes that I was still frightened of food.


I've taken my steroid dose down a notch, slightly earlier than planned as I was going to try and get through Christmas before doing this but lowering the blood pressure takes precedent at the moment.
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Talk / Re: Disability on Strictly come Dancing and other reality shows
« Last post by Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 04:45PM »
You would think that the public wouldn't consider a Paralympian athlete who has won Gold in cycling and running lazy and doesn't do her best though but possibly in the same way people can't understand part time wheelchair users, they can't compute that the Gold medal winner can't do a tough 3 hour trial and get back and cook dinner for 11 people. I suspect it's limited understanding about disability rather than media hype about scroungers in this case. I'd hoped her sharing her experience would educate people but it's not sinking in.
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Health and Disability / Re: High blood pressure
« Last post by ally on 05 Dec 2021 04:41PM »
I had high BP readings a while ago, alongside anaemia, and, other health issues.  I decided to take control of my health, and, lost five stone.  The above are all fine now.   It wasn’t easy, but, once I started to lose weight, i just carried on with it.  I can’t join SW clubs due to being profoundly deaf.   Therefore, I did everything alone by researching the internet.  There’s some good sites to look at online if anyone is interested in losing weight.
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Health and Disability / Re: High blood pressure
« Last post by Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 04:39PM »
I already eat a low carb diet to try to prevent further weight gain from the steroids in that 13 days out of 14 I don't eat potatoes, rice, pasta, bread or wheat products but my downfall is my fortnightly shop has treats in it for the day it arrives which I now must stop. My mainly keto diet is flipping costly though and sticking to it strictly will make it more so. At home I tend to eat a Seagan diet for animal welfare reasons, though eat vegetarian when out due to lack of choice but I think pulses and nuts are higher in carbs and calories than lean meat so I think I need to eat what my body needs over animal welfare for the foreseeable. I was feeling so ill earlier that I looked up whether diazepam lowers blood pressure and it does so I took 5mg and even that dose made me feel less like keeling over. I think I also need to eat less.


I really hate medication, apart from the cortisol replacement, I only take supplements that I could be eating but will discuss with my GP about medication to bring my blood pressure down because this level isn't safe if left. I assume that if I can lower my blood pressure by losing weight that I could then stop the medication. Plus it has to be said, I have been feeling so weak and ill the last few weeks and if that's caused by high blood pressure and there's something that would lower it, why wouldn't I take it. Historically my blood pressure has always been low though and my knowledge about high blood pressure and the medications that treat it is limited. I guess I may know more soon!
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