What do my ears have to do with down there?

short vlog (2 1/2 min) about how medical professionals can become obsessed with our ears and not more urgent, life threatening issues.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/V19KHpU-wYQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

summary: in this short vlog I recall an exchange with the admitting doctor at our local hospital emergency room. A few days after I gave birth, i was spiking fevers and my ob/gyn told me to get to the emergency room ASAP if anything over 101 degrees. The admitting doctor noticing – my husband signing to me and my response in spoken English (with speech impediment) and signing – that something was different than the usual patient. He then began to quiz me on the etiology of my “hearing problem.” I dutifully answered hoping that by being polite, I might get admitted sooner etc.
questions like:
Q: what type of hearing loss is it?
A: bi-laterial sensorineural
Q: cause?
A: congenital, since birth, cause uknown
Q: how severe is it?
A: 60 – 80 dB loss (moderate to severe) mostly in the higher frequencies
Q: does it seem to be hereditary?
A: huh? um? Doctor – i just gave birth. The baby came out from down there – NOT from my ear. Do you mind shifting your focus from my ears to there so i can get admitted and taken care of?
Response – oh, yes, sure will complete the paper work and call your doctor.

My husband was quite impressed – he was like “finish, finish – blunt you” i was like “come on already – this could be serious and i know 100% for sure its not caused by my “hearing problem”

turns out i had a blood clot which can be deadly

now i have met plenty of doctors and nurses who r cool and having a Deaf patient or Deaf parents of a hearing child patient is no biggy to them. some even ask for referrals of where to get more info on Deaf Culture and sign language but many of them also exhibit this attitudinal audism – that my “abnormality” would take precident over getting accurate information to admit me and treat me for the fevers was annoying, could be a bit dehumanizing, and somewhat dangerous


patti durr

(used a new camera – isight – instead of the built in laptop camera – still way to dark once i compress and load to you tube – boo boo. i gotta find a better place to shoot (good lighting and background) so i apologize for the low quality of the video. im trying to refrain from vlogging until i can do it RIGHT but had a bit of time to compose and upload this so here it is.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deaf Pixie
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 14:11:36

    Patty, OMG!!

    Dr actually feel so stupidest to think it is have a ear infection or something. Glad you insulted to Doctor.. ER or other specialist always act so DUMB! I keep wonder why medical field did not training to Doctor in All of 50 states?

    I cannot understand and cannot stand doctor being stupidest!

  2. C
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 15:00:51

    I think this happens to most of us. Pretty ridiculous. Have to steer them back on track and focus on why you’re being seen in the first place. 🙂

  3. deafchipmunk
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 15:56:09

    I just shaked my head about the doctor! It is unbelievable.

    I am glad you just shoo’ed him out of the room!


  4. Mishka Zena
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 16:46:48

    Ouch. Some doctors have the wrong priorities. I’m glad you redirected him to the real problem!

  5. Bobby Lopez
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 18:30:40

    Doctor needs to be educated about Deaf.
    Thumbs up!!
    Bobby L.

  6. DT
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 18:56:35

    I’m sorry; I know this isn’t funny but you got me busted out laughing. Ooops, slinking away….

  7. Ann_C
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 19:49:15

    Wondering if that doctor’s encounter with you was his first one with a deaf person– you know, “medical gawking” at what he considered a medical condition he saw for the first time. The fact he wasn’t attending to your symptoms first was not very professional or timely, considering you entered with a running fever in ER of all places! Your response was certainly appropriate.

  8. Sean
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 20:24:40


    You know, most of the doctors out there, graduated in bottom of their class. Since when and who says they (doctors) are always smart people? They barely passed the medical exams enough to become a doctor, yet they act like they know it all. *sheesh*

    Funny, I had a somewhat similar experience. When my son was born, he came with one ear failed (he has unilateral hearing loss…) in initial hearing test a day after being born. The doctor immediately expressed sympathy and quick start to introduce me the “auditory solutions”.

    I interrupted the doctor and told them we are two intelligent parents with hearing loss. My wife is a doctor herself. I’m an engineer myself. I do not see how is it possible to become a deaf is a problem.

    By judging the doctor’s expression, he felt so stupid and immediately changed the subject.


  9. Ella Lentz
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 00:15:44

    giggling here…oh yes I know NOT FUNNY!!! sorry dear…

    hey, did you realize that doctor is now getting an award for a new theory that fever is caused by being Deaf…and is now the rage in the medical world….and the media is now burning with hot warnings to stay away from Deaf folks or to pour cold ice upon our passion?

    seriously, thanks for sharing. We gotta get more stories like this out there…more more more…until everybody realizes it’s not worth to be hearing! and that it’s wise and smart to be Deaf! giggling again…and kidding….

  10. drmzz
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 09:37:59

    Ha, like the close up of your ear. Yup. Always looking up there instead of elsewhere. The focus of any conversation. Hello, the pain’s over here! Jeez.

  11. pdurr
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 22:02:14


    me giggling now too

    id love to see someone do a comedy routine of all the medical / hospital stuff that goes on for Deaf folks

    i know a CODA who called a hospital to find out how his elderly Deaf father was doing – he was checking in with the nurse discussing interpreter covering for his dad etc and at the end of the conversation the nurse asked – would you like me to transfer you to your dad’s room now so you can talk to him?

    so the CODA said – well, given that my dad is Deaf like we have just been talking about and he wont hear the phone ring and even if he could by some miracle, he wouldnt be able to understand what i am saying on the phone and…

    the nurse quickly whispered “never mind” and issued a hasty goodbye

    much peace


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