Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Dealing with Doctors

Somewhat to my surprise, the medical center did not refuse service, even though Lisa refused to let them photocopy her ID. They gave her a copy of their "new policy" which does not refer to any law, although the receptionist did say "it's the law" but seemed nonpulsed when I asked for a citation of what law. Everything on the "new financial policy" was okay except the "must provide a photocopy of your Oregon driver's license or DMV-issued ID card at every visit." (What about if you don't have an Oregon-issued ID?) Lisa crossed off that item, wrote "no" next to it, initialed it, and signed that she'd received a copy. They gave her a copy of the signed statement. They then, after talking to me, wrote "patient has moral/ethical/religious objections to providing copies of ID" in her record.

Although we never got an explanation of what law is involved here, someone in line behind us volunteered that this was related to Oregon Senate Bill 583, the Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act. If this is the case, it seems to me that the clinic policies should say so. And anyway, I've skimmed over the bill and cannot find a direct reference to a requirement of a policy as implemented by this clinic.

Oddly enough, they didn't ask to actually see (as opposed to copy/scan) Lisa's ID, which we freely offered. It probably would have caused them yet more heartburn, because she wasn't carrying her Oregon driver's license -- I was driving -- but would have produced her US Passport. Instead, they sent us to the waiting area.

I fully expected that an Administrator would come out and eventually tell us, in effect, "Cough up your ID or we deny service," and I was a wreck anticipating it. But it never happened. After a while, the audiologist came and took Lisa for the hearing test, and after that, they took us the other waiting area, and after not too much time, we got to see the doctor.

The medical news is not great. Lisa's hearing in her left ear is significantly deteriorated from the test a year ago. Her right ear is okay, but in the left, the audiologist reported that it took a tone of 90 dB to mask out the ringing sound.

The doctor continues to be mystified. We'll try some anti-inflammatory medication in case it's an inner-ear inflammation -- not likely, but we're running out of options. We'll come back in a month and have another look. After that, it's likely to be a battery of tests of extremely unlikely things. Frankly, the prognosis is terrible, and Lisa is accordingly depressed. "What good is a deaf sound technician?" she wailed at me as we drove out to Stayton to pick up medication and buy groceries before heading home.

We'd borrowed Lisa's father's car because I'm incompetent and can't drive a stick-shift. Our first stop when getting home was the trailer, where we needed to unload the bottle of propane we'd had refilled after the doctor visit. As I got out of the driver's side, I reached behind me, and my wedding ring flew off my finger, landing somewhere in the car with a loud *TING* that even Lisa could hear. It took us fifteen minutes hunting around the floorboards, under seats, in various cubbyholes in the car before Lisa saw that somehow it had landed on the dashboard on the passenger side. That ring -- it's made of titanium -- is really lightweight, and the spacer I sometimes wear to keep it on my hand had fallen off again. Fortunately, there was no harm done in the end.

Lisa is trying to get some rest, to the extent that her ear will let her.
Tags: lisa, medical, tinnitus

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