Author Topic: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability  (Read 4348 times)

kkweiher

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Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« on: August 17, 2007, 02:06:34 pm »
I was n't exactly sure where to post this....... My employer gave me  disability papers to fill out because  I have difficulty putting in 40hrs a week still.  They have trained others to do my job where I have to confer with the customers alot.  I use to do New Accounts at a bank.   I asked my doctor to fill out his portion and he told me "You have no disability"  If you can't hear from one side which prevents me from functioning the way I use to what would you call it if not a disability.  Myself I have called it many, many things.  I am very frustrated because the ablility to draw some of the disability insurance would help me stretch my pay.  Does anyone have any suggestions of how to deal with the physician?
Kimbra
AN 1.6x2.5x2.0,removed by trans lab approach 3-16-07 by Dr. Michael McGee ENT and Donnie Horton Neurologist at Baptist hosp, Okc.  Took 10hrs.

yardtick

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 03:51:49 pm »
Kimbra,
I too work in the banking world.  I also sympathize with you.  I too have a difficult time at work.  I find the phones to be a problem.  I have a new General Manager and today he asked me what I need to make my job easier.  I said a hearing impaired phone and a sign at my wicket stating I'm hearing impaired.  I hate having to say pardon me, look at me and speak clearly, I'm hearing impaired.  Some people get flustered and feel having to speak louder is violating the privacy act.
Keep up your fight, much luck and keep me posted.
Anne Marie
Sept 8/06 Translab
Post surgical headaches, hemifacial spasms and a scar neuroma. 
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Sue

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 05:14:49 pm »
Hello Kimbra,

I can think of a few ways to deal with your physician, but I'm not sure if any of them are legal!!  ;D

I wish I had some good advice for you, but I don't.  I tried for Disability, because I had relatives that insisted that I should try, but it didn't go through.  I mentioned to my doctor that I couldn't work any more and he laughed and said, "You can work!".  Well, yes...I can work, but I was in a retail environment and that makes things worse, as we all know. I turn 62 on March 1 and I'll get my first social security check in April of '08, so I figured I wouldn't bother with fighting it.  I hope you have better luck and can convince your doctor that if he'd just fill out the paper work, then it's up to the state or your employer to decide if you get disability or not. It shouldn't be his call. 

Best of luck to you,

Sue in Vancouver USA
Sue in Vancouver, USA
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Diagnosed 3/13/06 GK 4-18-06
Gamma Knife Center of Oregon
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Richey

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 07:02:35 pm »
you might want to look into some hearing help before you make a decision about your job. They make cross hearing aids and then there is the baha bone conduction system. I am using a bi-cross hearing aid and it really helps on getting what people are saying on the deaf side as the aid on that side just transmits to another aid in my good ear and with me I have some hearing loss in my good ear so the aid in it helps with that too. It ain't as good as what I used to have but it's better than missing all the sounds on the deaf side.

Dana

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2007, 08:30:36 pm »
Try to find a doctor who better understands your actual disability?  A hearing specialist, an ENT, a neurologist? 

Another idea is to look online for national deaf organizations, and perhaps either online information OR talking to someone at a national organization might steer you in the right direction?

Maybe call the Disabled Student (or Staff) Services office at a large university and see if they have a Coordinator for deaf students.  That person might be able to give you some resources.

Good luck.  Fight on.

Dana
1.5 cm AN diagnosed June 2007.   GammaKnife July 19, 2007 at Univ. of Washington/Harborview GK Center, Drs. Rockhill, Rostomily. 
After yearly MRIs for 5 years, it hadn't died. So I'm now leaning strongly toward surgery.

madshackle

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2007, 07:28:54 am »
Ask your doctor to put a plug in their ear and enter a loud environment such as reception and try to hold a conversation with a new patient. Better still, download a MP3 of chirping white noise into an Ipod and stick the ear bud in one of their ears and ask them to work a day like that. I have found that people just don't get what it is like. I still have people in my wood shop ask me questions while I'm on the phone. I usually ask the person on the phone to hold and then I remind the other person that I can not hear a word they are saying out of my deaf side. I found several examples of tinnitus MP3s on the web and it has helped my girlfriend understand how difficult it is to go to a bar with friends. I feel so isolated some times when I am with friends in noisy places. It is such a drag and keeps me from going out most of the time. I also feel that this all adds stress to my life which in turn makes me feel worn out earlier in the day than normal.

I just don't get the doctor's reluctance to fill out the form. Would a loss of ALL hearing qualify in their eyes as a disability ? So why not single sided deafness ?

I played with the BAHA demo at the symposium and I think it could really help. I have 15 % voice recognition in my bad ear and 85 % in the other. So together I'm still at 100 % !

I have had some bad experiences with doctors and have found that when I am not happy with their service, it is best to fire them and select a new doctor. The last doctor I fired made me wait a month for my MRI report that discovered my tumor. I probably called his office 30 times to get it. He went on vacation in the middle of the month and when he returned it was still another whole week of ducking my calls. All the while his receptionist insisted that if I indeed had a tumor he would have called as soon as the report came to his attention. It was very easy to find another ENT.

Sorry for the rant, but your situation just irks me something fierce.

Best of luck to you and DON'T give up the fight because no one else will fight for you.

Dave
2 mm right side with severe hearing loss and tinnitus. No growth since detection Summer 2006. Watch and wait, next MRI in March 2008.

mema

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2007, 11:56:20 am »
Kimbra,                                                                                                                                                                                       

I worked for Sears selling refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers etc.  The acoustics made it hard for me to hear my customers questions.  And forget if they were standing behind me while I took apart refrig shelves and crispers to  demonstrate.  I wouldn't hear them.  I would actually jokingly ask the customers to move to my right side, but I could tell it annoyed sone people, because the registers and signing paraphenalia was on the left.  When I lost my left side hearing I knew I couldn't do it any longer.  And I was straight commission.  The only time I got paid was if I made a sale.                                                                                                                                  I retired within a month.  Just recently my husband and I were shopping for a travel trailer and this  particular salesman seemed to ignore some of my questions.  It wasn't until we sat down face to face and I mentioned my hearing loss that he told me he had ssd too.   I 've had many people tell me oh just get your doctor to write this or that.  I've yet to find one of these doctors.       


                                                                 mema
6mm x 8mm left AN FSR 26 treatments Nov.-Dec.2005
MD Anderson Orlando, Fl.

Boppie

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2007, 12:07:00 pm »
I think a doctor could use better manners in explaining about your questions and problems, but the words "no disability" are a definition passed down through Social Security benefits system.  Doctors are leary of being misquoted on issues of "disability".   By definition one useable ear is enough.   ??? 

If this barrier is ever broken down, hearing aids would be covered by Medicare.  But then, that would be in another kind of system.

madshackle

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2007, 02:34:30 pm »
I think a doctor could use better manners in explaining about your questions and problems, but the words "no disability" are a definition passed down through Social Security benefits system.  Doctors are leary of being misquoted on issues of "disability".   By definition one useable ear is enough.   ??? 

If this barrier is ever broken down, hearing aids would be covered by Medicare.  But then, that would be in another kind of system.

Thanks for clearing that up for me, I didn't really think about the SYSTEM and all the governing rules and definitions. Is it a breach of conduct for a doctor to just explain it as you have ? I'm not saying I agree about SSD not being a disability, but now at least I know why the doctor wouldn't sign the form. It's all rather depressing.

I also find it sad, but interesting how hearing impairment is the one,for lack of a better word, disability that angers the other person in the interaction. You know what I mean ? A person on crutches slowing down the flow is overlooked, but a person asking you to repeat yourself brings out quite a different response.

peace.

Dave
2 mm right side with severe hearing loss and tinnitus. No growth since detection Summer 2006. Watch and wait, next MRI in March 2008.

Jim Scott

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 03:17:46 pm »
kkweiher:

SSD is a definite handicap (I speak from experience)  -  but not a disability, at least in strictly legal terms.   

This definition probably stems from typically arcane Social Security Administration rules that dictate that if you are capable of performing any work, you are not 'disabled'.  Not being able to perform the job you're current doing due to a medical condition doesn't count.  This is very likely why your doctor won't sign anything that describes you as being disabled.  In strictly legsl terms, you aren't.  Just impaired, which I guess doesn't matter.  It's screwy and frustrating but this is what happens when a bureaucracy makes the rules related to medical problems, instead of physicians.   >:(

However, the Americans With Disabilities Act should legally enable you to ask your employer to allow you, as Anne Marie ('yardtick) asked her employer, to post a sign stating that you're hearing impaired.  That should help.  I find that a regular telephone is fine (using my one and only good ear) but if you have diminished-but-usable hearing in one ear, a 'special' telephone with amplification might also help.  I would ask. 

Check the ADA website for lots of useful information regarding your rights under this law.  http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm  If you need to keep working and are having difficulty, utilizing the ADA may be the best solution.

I trust this information will be of some help to you.

Jim
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

Boppie

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2007, 07:54:39 pm »
Well I know several nurses and we talk often.   Some doctors are easy to communicate with and some are not, as you have found.  I dislike the ones who use a didactic, scolding approach, don't you?

tony

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2007, 12:33:16 am »
Just to the make the point I am SSD - not a disability ?
no, not really - until I am hit by a truck that I couldnt
 work out where he was....
I dont like to think of myself as disabled
- - but I simply dont go up ladders anymore
In terms of condition - most ANers struggle with
hearing in busy places - where there is much background noise
Many of us in part are lipreading in this situation
Also fatigue generally comes with the condition
- there is much more here than just one sided hearing
- balance issues etc etc
You may need someone (medically qualified) who knows the issues
to assist with forms.
Generally speaking, workwise - look at options where
quiet one2one communications/interviews are the norm
maybe something where you can work at your own pace ?
Good Luck
Tony

ixta

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2007, 11:39:33 pm »
I personally consider it a disability, but from a legal perspective as stated, perhaps not. It sure is DEBILITATING! but not a debilitation.
I personally do not consider it as life debilitating to the point of getting on disability SSI and quitting work, NO WAY.

What I would be up in arms about is that if my employer does not accommodate my hearing disability and the American Disabilities Act may come into play there.  I sure as hell would be pissed yet most employers are flexible.

One issue I want to bring up, is that if you try to get a job as a highway patrol police officer, or what not, they consider that as a true disability and one would not be able to do their job, or even put others at risk. Then-, I believe truly, they would put you in another position that would be more "accommodating".

I sure would not either consider myself applying for a disabled parking permit either. Those are mobility issues, We can get around ok, (except maybe NF2ers or post op people that can't walk due to vertigo).

I agree though with Tony, that there are many issues. cognitive probs, fatigue! and busy areas, auditoriums, etc, might as well be DEAF!, total confusin, most of us just "shut off" internally. I work as a social worker and do ok in a room with a person, throw in some noisy kids and it's quite the pain!
5cm left AN from IAC to cerebellum/brainstem.
Zapped out by Shahinian @ SBI over the course of 6.5 hrs on Monday 11/27 2006.
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kkweiher

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2007, 03:29:08 pm »
Hey all........Thank you for the responses.  My employer is great!!!!! They have taken many responcibilities off my shoulders to help.  Its the doctor that (he is my ENT) that is an unwilling participant with my issues.  I don't want him to sign anything saying I am disabled... I want him to explain on the insurance form that I have a condition that will not get better with time and that I will always be deaf.  He marked the form saying I will have a full recovery..... Excuse me but will my hearing ever return?  No, it will not. Therefore I don't see how he can say I will have a full recovery.   The insurance my employer took out on all of its employees would aid in the shortfall of my paycheck when I have those days that I am still fighting to put in a full 8 hours, if the doctor would help me out with the dang forms..... I don't go back to see the doc until December, he is going to do another MRI at that time to check if the tumor has died.  They did not get all of it because it was so sticky and really difficult.  I may wait until them to try to talk to him again, I've been doing better at work in regards to my hours.  But if I start falling off in that area and my pay decreases again because of it I plan on starting my attack or pleading with the doctor sooner.

Again, thanks for all your comments.... It really does help to know there are people that understand what I go through..

On another note that truely makes me want to just throw up my arms and scream!!!!!!!  When you have told people you can not hear them talking to you when you are on the phone and they just keep on and on... I MAY BE SSD BUT I SWEAR THEY MUST BE SUFFERING FROM EITHER BLINDNESS OR STUPIDITY!!!!!!!   
Kimbra
AN 1.6x2.5x2.0,removed by trans lab approach 3-16-07 by Dr. Michael McGee ENT and Donnie Horton Neurologist at Baptist hosp, Okc.  Took 10hrs.

Raydean

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Re: Docs response to one sided deafness - You have no disability
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2007, 04:00:09 pm »
Regarding the Americans with Disability Act.  Most of us assume that we'd all be protected under ADA.
The truth is small companies with fewer then a set number of employees  ( I forgot how many exactly, but was in the teen's) are exempt. due to the 'hardship" that it may place on what they consider a "mom and pop" size business.  Bottomline, some may fall thru the cracks if the company is small.

I would consider talking to the Human Resource person  (usually someone in the Personal Dept.) who's job is to assist you in finding ways to accomodate your needs.  They are also there to make sure that they are keeping the company legal.  When all three work together the goal is to find a workable solution.   Hopefully this will happen in your case.

Best to all
Raydean
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