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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Winheld's World Rant of the Week

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you the following Rant of the Week...

One of my doctors recently relocated to another location, and when I went there this week, I arrived to find a cramped parking lot that did not have any handicapped spaces. Now, my doctor was wonderful about everything and promised to have things straightened out by the next time I come for a checkup, but that's not the point.

The reason I bring this up is that it highlights a lack of accessibility, in of all places, the medical world. A few weeks ago, I visited another doctor's office about a week and a half after a snowstorm, to find that the curb cuts from the parking lot to the sidewalk had still not been shoveled. I had not dressed very warmly, so I was freezing by the time I went halfway around the block in my wheelchair in order to reach the sidewalk!

But many of the problems I have encountered occur once inside medical offices, where hallways are so narrow that I have to drive perfectly just to get inside an examining room. Fitting the doctor, my nurse, and me in the same room and being able to close the door requires all sorts of coordination. Kind of reminds me of the old "How many people can you fit inside a telephone booth?" experiment. (Anyone remember telephone booths?)

To be fair, the costs involved in renovating doctors offices are probably too high for individual doctors. But shouldn't there be a funding source for such projects? Maybe there is and I just don't know about it. Perhaps someone out there can shed some light on the subject.

Many times, hospitals aren't any better, unless you are in newly-constructed areas. Getting into the bathroom with your wheelchair is often impossible, and getting through doorways can be difficult. And then, if you try to get into bed using a Hoyer lift, as I do, the bottom of the bed is often too low to accommodate the lift.

I mean, come on people, if the places where people like me come for medical treatment are not accessible, how can we expect other kinds of places to be accessible? Medical care is a necessity; eating at a restaurant is not, but I've encountered far more accessible restaurants that I have medical facilities. What's wrong with this picture?


Kimi said...

Ohhhh SNOW, PARKING LOTS, and WHEELCHAIRS do not mix! It's great they clear the handicapped parking spaces, but what's the point when the lift access area has all the left over plowed snow from the rest of the parking lot?? Sometimes I wonder if people use their brains!

It amazes me too how inaccessible some doctor's offices are. I know for DA women the most frustrating doctor to see is an OB/GYN (and not b/c of the much loved pelvic exam). Most doctors you can get away w/not transferring to an exam table, but unfortunately doing a pap sitting down creates a major level of difficulty. I'm lucky I'm still light enough for a 1 person transfer, but I've rarely seen exam tables that can accommodate a Hoyer. I've heard there's a higher incidence of uterine cancer in DA women b/c many go w/out the proper gyno exams b/c it's impossible to even get on the exam table!

Anonymous said...

That sucks!!