It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Need Advice From Female Wheelchair Users: To Switch or Not To Switch?

Back in 2006 I did a 10pg research paper on physical and sexual abuse of women with disabilities. I'll try to post some references tomorrow. While what I read didn't surprise me, it sure did scare me. There were multiple categories I focused on such as spousal/PA abuse, abuse by parents/relatives, and what scared me the most, although I am pretty mobile and this is unlikely to happen to me, is the possibility of abuse by medical professionals. One or two articles I read talked about women who reported being refused access to their mobility aids until after they were taken advantage of.

When I aged out of my pediatrician, I went 5 years without having a physical, which scared me. I've heard of people who caught serious medical conditions before they were symptomatic, just from a routine well check up, and if I'm going to have a serious medical condition, that's how early I want to find it. I wasn't so worried about abuse as I was about some Dr being annoyed by me. I have inconvenient spasticity issues for some exams, if you catch my drift, and I was worried that if things took more time they might not be so receptive to having me as a patient. I didn't want to just pick someone out of my insurance book and go in blind.

Then one day I met 2 married wheelchair users, and some time later in the middle of a conversation I realized hey, I should go to their doctor. At the time her office was less then 2 miles from where I lived, now it's across the street. Being rolling distance, now walking distance, is definitely a perk.

In the little over 2 years since I got that referral I've been over there 3 times. I don't have much use for a primary care doc other then relieving my constant anxiety that I have some kind of cancer and I have no idea. The 1st time she was OK, and it was a big relief that she was, of course NOT phased by my spasticity. It was a very trusted recommendation.

The second time I went I thought maybe I had strep, and that's when I realized she must double or triple book. I waited a ridiculously long time even though I had called ahead, and then saw her for less then 5mins. Turns out it was just a cold.

When I went for my second physical I also waited way over an hour for an appt scheduled in advance, and she definitely rushed that appointment. By the time I finally saw her I was cutting into her lunch hour.

Back in March I thought I had a serious reaction to one of my meds (I didn't) and my psychiatrist never got back to me even though I emailed him pictures and called him to let him know I emailed him pictures (so I ditched him, it wasn't the 1st thing he did, it was the last straw). I was trying to avoid the ER. When I couldn't make the one time I was given, her office staff never got back to me with an alternative. I went to the ER.

I read recently in Urbanite Magazine that a very local community hospital is doing some revamping in preparation for the implementation of the ACA. If you don't want to read the whole article, basically in a few years if practices change certain things in regards to the treatment of MediCARE patients the government will give them a bonus. They're really doing an aggressive campaign and since I've been typing this post I've heard their radio commercial about their brand new satellite primary care offices twice.

I'm by the main hospital once a week. And by by I mean across their parking lot. The only thing that separates their parking lot from the other parking lot is a parking gate. So besides across the street, this is the most convenient you can get. I should also mention that during the warm months I roll over there.

My current primary care doc takes my insurance but I'm pretty sure not mediCAID, and as I recently qualified for the buy-in and it will soon be my secondary, I'm evaluating who I see. It's part of the reason I ditched my psychiatrist. While I'm not planning on a physical for 9 mos, their incessant radio commercials have me thinking. If they don't take mediCAID and they're so closely linked to a hospital, that's pretty shitty. Their primary care/family physician website says that they accept most insurance plans including mediCARE.

I may call/email over their and check, and I also plan to check and see if they have adjustable height exam tables. My current doc does not, and I would switch just for that. It conveys a certain philosophy of inclusiveness. Besides that though, I would be picking someone blind without anybody else's experience to go off of. That anxiety about my spasticity making a doctor uncomfortable is creeping up again. I don't need to deal with someone like that. On the other hand, although I am pretty comfortable having more intimate exams with the doctor I have, I'm not comfortable with the fact that I feel my time is not respected. The article says that the hospital is in the process of switching their physicians to a salary from the current fee for service, so that hopefully won't be an issue.

If you've managed to get this far, what would YOU do? I'm really interested in opinions. And thanks Jay for the picture.


Alan said...

Really appreciable post for the physically handicapped women. Very informative.They must keep in mind the tips you have shared here.

Wheelchair securement straps

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