I use a computer that reads the screen out loud to me. I also have a scanner with OCR, and it also reads out loud. So that's how I read books. I can read almost any book that anyone else can read, and I can read most typewritten things or things that are printed out from a computer. I can't read handwriting with the scanner. (I wish I could!)
This all sets the stage for what I want to write tonight. I went to the emergency room early yesterday morning. The doctor gave me a prescription for an antibiotic, some meds for my breathing machine, and Hycodan which is supposed to relieve pain and suppress cough. I'm supposed to take it at night so I can sleep because I was waking myself up coughing.
The meds aren't doing a thing for me. I fell asleep at 10:30 and woke up coughing my lungs up just after 11:00. Decided to read my discharge summary and the drug info from the store to see if I got a generic (probably did). I was prepared to go back and ask for the brand-name. Called the ER to ask some questions and the lady was just rude. "If you feel the need to return, then go ahead." No, "Can I help you?" or "What questions did you have?"
Reading over my discharge summary, I find out that I have asthma (big surprise), bronchitis (not really a surprise), and pneumonia. Do you know what the doctor told me about my chest X-ray? "You have a small spot on your lung that's probably a sign of early infection." How about let's call it what it is, ok?
Why did they not tell me this stuff? There are tons of instructions. Some I can't follow, like remove all warm-blooded animals from the home. Others I can, like for instance I can take Darvocet with this other stuff for increased relief. Well, I haven't taken it because I was afraid it would interact negatively. Like don't combine this inhaler with that one. Why not? You should tell me since I told you I was using it on a regular basis. Like I should notice improvement in two to three days but it could take three or four weeks for the cough to go away. I'd like to have known that.
I signed this statement that says I had received the instructions and understand that (insert stuff). My signature is nothing but a scrawl on a piece of paper. I received a paper with the information on it, but I didn't have the opportunity to understand it because it wasn't truly explained to me. I thought I was signing myself out. They should have taken the time to read this stuff to me! Next time I'll make them do it, even if someone's bleeding to death across the way from me. If I have to sit around and wait a while to get it read, then they'll just have to put up with me taking up bed space because it isn't right that I should leave without this information. They're lucky I'm smart enough to know how to take meds. I'm sure they thought Mommy was at home to read to me.
I'll be writing a letter. I'll also be making an attempt to use this for some greater good by writing something for some medical journal about how to deal with patients who are blind. I'm sick of this kind of crap.