When I went to the eye doctor's this past week, I mentioned to the receptionist that I wanted my phone number changed in my record. I explained that I couldn't hear well on my home phone but I have a "special cell phone that I can hear better on". For brevity's sake I skipped going into a detailed explanation of the hearing aid compatibility aspects of my Verizon LG. (I doubt she was interested.) The receptionist made the change for me. You would think that request alone would raise a red flag that communication might be an issue for me. But no. The doctor's assistant who was sitting right next to the receptionist during that conversation led me to the examining room all the while talking to me with her back turned to me. When we got into the room, I said, "I don't hear too well and didn't hear anything you said while we were walking." Fortunately, that did the trick and she spoke up the rest of my time with her.
But then, in the middle of my eye exam, my left hearing aid battery died. Perfect timing. I'm in a darkened room, unable to lipread, trying to answer the doctor's questions about my vision. To make matters more awkward, I'm one of those polite people who just hate to interrupt when someone else is speaking! As soon as I could, I cleared my throat and said, "Ahem, would you mind if I just changed my battery?" The doctor being just as courteous as me said "Certainly" and moved his apparatus away from my face. Although at that point, he didn't know what battery I was talking about! He raised the lights for me and when he saw me remove my hearing aid, he said, "Oh, that's right. I forgot you wore those." Thankfully, he left it at that. I changed my battery and got on with my exam.
It did make me wonder though, how does a deaf person who relies on an interpreter to communicate with a doctor manage an eye examine? Does anyone have an experience they'd like to share?