A Mid-Forties Butch Aspie
Makes Her Way
(blog originally kept at WrongPlanet.net)
The Road from Here to There - Part 15
Unexpected Glitch -
A Very Strange Phone Call
Composed on December 28, 2011
Last night, I got an automated phone call from Easter Seals. It came a few minutes after 5:00pm. Because it was automated and came after hours, I couldn't talk to a live person that night to find out what was going on. The call simply said I had an appointment scheduled for two days later. In the part where it was supposed to say the name of the doctor it was with, there was a pause instead, and then the automated voice simply went on. So, all I knew was that a mysterious appointment had been scheduled for me with some unknown doctor, without my knowledge or consent.
All evening, I wondered what this was about. Was it only a mistake? Had someone realized they hadn't done what they were supposed to, and now they were trying to fix it? Had my own doctor called them to find out why they hadn't actually assessed me for the thing I'd originally gone there for? I had trouble falling asleep at bedtime, but I decided I'd call in the morning to find out what this appointment was for and who I'd be seeing.
I was concerned I'd be seeing the same psychologist again, and I was very much against the idea. He'd caused me enough distress already. At the very least, even if a mental health professional isn't able to help someone, that person should not be made worse off by seeing that professional. Regardless of which doctor I'd be seeing, I thought I might try postponing the appointment until my sister could go with me. I wanted an advocate and witness, and she'd already offered to accompany me on future visits with anyone who might be assessing me.
This morning, I called Easter Seals. As it turns out, this is just a new example of their incompetence over there. They'd scheduled an appointment for me with their primary care physician. Now, how could they not know I already had a doctor? They had my medical records. And why would they think I needed to see a GP right now anyway? Furthermore, why would they suddenly be reminding me of an appointment scheduled for two days later, which I'd had no part in making in the first place? When I asked why I had this appointment and said I already had a primary care physician, I was put on hold while the situation was checked out. I was then informed it was simply an error. The appointment was then cancelled.
I think it may be time for me to lodge a formal complaint. I'm going to wait until January, and I may decide to check in with the Gay Alliance before I take any action. I'll also have to search again to see what kind of support or advocacy is available within the adult autism community. I want to be prepared with a written complaint before I call the number provided for reporting problems, just in case that proves necessary or important, and I want whatever support I'm going to need to already be lined up before I begin.
I still have no alternate course for getting proper assessment, but at least I can make my voice heard about what's happened so far. Good thing I've been documenting everything in my blog and that I've made multiple copies of the psychologist's written report. I have enough of everything to provide it to anyone who might need it, material to work from in formulating my written complaint, and evidence of the psychologist's opinion and attitude.
I realize nothing may ever come of this. I may have the legal right to complain, but that doesn't mean I'll actually have any effect. However, I hope, at the very least, that this results in the psychologist's getting a party, a watch, and a shoo out the door. He made a real mess by handling my case the way he did, and I'm still suffering from it in two ways: the stress of the continued unresolved question of whether or not I really have Asperger's and the assault of his inaccuracy (with regard to the recounting of information I'd given him), poor observation (concerning the things he noted about me when I was in his presence) prejudice (about my sexual orientation and gender expression), outmoded attitude (in the case of my clothing), extreme stereotyping (in the case of autism), dismissing of relevant information I provided (by either waving off my concern when I expressed it or simply disregarding it and making no mention of it later), and apparent determination to remain ignorant of relevant information that could have been provided (things that would have made a difference to an Asperger's assessment, had he only been willing to actually perform it, but that I was given no opportunity to present in any context at any time).
With all this in mind, I'm going to try to have a relatively relaxed time between now and New Year's. I'll have some writing to do and some contacts to make, but I'll take care of that as I feel able. In the meantime, I have gotten books from the library again, and both books I had to buy have come through the mail. I can read all I like (or at least as much as I'm able). That should keep me busy enough to prevent too much worry until I can get this whole thing dealt with. I still won't have a way to get properly assessed yet, but at least I'll have done something.
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