The Assessment

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 5 (v.1)

Submitted: July 09, 2015

Reads: 112

Comments: 1

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Submitted: July 09, 2015

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Analysis

 

6 months later, no one has bothered to scan or x-ray my legs. Doctors know full well that that is where the main problem is, the one that causes me to be wheelchair bound. I have lost track of how many times I have pleaded with them, only to be told these scans are unnecessary, and other patients require help, that is necessary. I am told to see a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

After half a year of collecting data about the damage my body and brain has sustained, I am now told to go to the ‘main disability office.’

These doctors will now make the final assessment and conclusion. They will decide how disabled I truly am and how much money I will be entitled to received.

Finally.

The journey there is a long and unpleasant one. I am unable to sit up for long periods of time, as my spine is held together by metal, and I quickly begin to experience pain.

 

To my surprise, this ‘office’ does not accommodate wheelchairs.

My father does his best, as patients step aside and make room for me in the tiny hallway.

We wait for almost an hour, and a young woman doctor comes out. If anything, she seems to be incredibly angry. She quickly begins to yell at the poor disabled patients who are either leaning against the walls, or where lucky enough to find somewhere to sit.

“Separate your documents people! Easy to do... here I’ll show you. On one side we have original documents... on the other side, are copies or those documents. Understand?! Two separate sides. Not hard!

There is a photocopy machine located in the building next to this one. It will take two minutes to go there and make photocopies. Did everyone understand how to separate the original copies from the photocopies? Huh? Or do we prefer to sit here all day!?”

2 minutes to get there? I have seen how some of these disabled people walk or try to move around. It will not take them two minutes to do the simplest task.

We continue to wait in the hallway, and after about an hour, my name is finally called.

We make our way into this doctor’s office only to be shocked at how small it is. I am unable to get past the front door in a wheelchair.

All together there are two doctors and a nurse, and their tables and chairs take up most of the space.

An older woman doctor sees me, jumps up from her seat and approaches me with a smile.

“Are you able to walk at all.”

“Well, a little bit, but it does cause pain.”

“It’s only a few steps, and I will help you out,” she smiles reassuringly.

Taking me by the hand she helps me stand up, and holds on to my waist to make sure I do not fall. The younger woman doctor sits further down, and my mother is asked to step out. There is simply no room for so many people in this tight space.

I worry because sometimes I get so fatigued I forget what to say, but I am sure this older doctor has dealt with problems like mine and will understand. Plus, all the information she needs to know is written in my thick medical file. She helps me sit down and begins to sort through it.

I study the younger doctor, who does not look like she even belongs in a hospital, but is running late to a cocktail party and all of these incompetent invalids, who can’t sort and photocopy documents are taking up her time. It looks like she must have spent at least an hour doing her hair and makeup this morning.

 

“Alright, looks like we have everything here, so lets start. I have a few questions to begin with.”

My attention shifts back to the kind older doctor who is now smiling at me.

“Alright, so what is your address?”

“I think it should say in my file.”

“Yes, but I want to confirm it with you,” she says, still smiling.

I have no idea what my address is. I remember my old address by heart. I never had the need to learn this new one, as I never send mail to anyone. I have no friends. I rarely leave the apartment, and even then I do it with the assistance of my parents. My parents are always with me. I never had the need to memorize my new address.

“I’m sorry... but I really don’t know.”

“Oh... come on now.. Let’s not play dumb.”

Her demeanor changes in an instant. She now looks quite annoyed.

“You can ask my mother what the address is. She knows.”

“Alright, what is your phone number.”

“I don’t have one. Our home phone broke a year ago, and now my mother has a cell phone, but I don’t know what the number is.”

Now the doctor is becoming more agitated.

“I did suffer severe brain damage... some things are hard for me to remember.”

“I’m sure... but your own address? Come on now.”

I am beginning to feel very uncomfortable.

“Okay, now please let me know how you were injured. A car accident?”

I tell her my story that I have told hundreds of times. I do leave out the part about the police officer. I don’t want people to automatically assume I was breaking the law, so I refer to him as a young man I have never met before. I finish and look at her raised eyebrows.

“You should have sued him. You would have made enough that you would not have to get disability payments.”

“I did contact lawyers, but each one told me I had no case. The young man had informed the hospital staff that he saw me jump. I fell into a coma right away and was not able to tell my side of the story.

When I finally woke up three weeks later, and started talking, the hospital staff shook their heads, saying my brain damage was severe, and these were incredible accusations. I had no proof and was then placed on strong anti-psychotics, and had to see a hypnotist on at least one occasion.”

“Well... that is really unfortunate.”

The doctor sighs and seems to be sympathetic.

“Now we must do a quick physical exam. There is a bed behind the curtain at the back of the room.”

She points in that direction, and I swallow hard.

She can sense the tension right away, and assures me that she will help me walk to it, and hold on tight so that I do not fall.

 

Behind the curtain stands a small cot, and I am asked to undress to my underwear. I ask if someone can call for my mother to help me do this, and they gladly call her in.

I feel cold as I sit almost naked on the cot and wait.

The older female doctor comes in with a stethoscope, and begins to examine my body.

“Oh my! What happened there?” She points at my stomach and the long scar running down it.

“Well because of the fall, some of my organs were lacerated, and doctors had to cut into my body to stitch them back up. They actually had to do it more than once.”

She nods and looks over my body some more.

“Now, can you please stand up?”

“Yes, but I might not be able to do it for long. I am in pain and feel very tired.”

“Just try. I will hold on to you just in case.”

I stand up and quickly bring attention to my right leg, which is unstable and moves from side to side. I have difficulty keeping it straight.

“The kneecap in this leg is held together with metal. When I attended rehab, I was not allowed to put any weight on it... because as you can see it is very unstable. Doctors worried that it might just snap.”

“Okay... I need you to close your eyes and touch your nose with your right hand.”

I of course miss my nose and touch my cheek. My head starts spinning.

“Now, do the same with your left hand.”

This time I touch my chin.

“Hmmm.” is the response.

“I feel very dizzy. Can I please sit down now?”

“Sure, sure. We are almost done.”

The older doctor leaves, and the one fresh from the beauty salon comes in.

“Please take off your bra. I need to check your heart.”

What? Again?

I undress further , and let her listen to my heartbeat with her cold stethoscope.

The older doctor comes back, and does not take her eye off me.

“You have an amazing body, I must say. So slim and fit. You must love dancing.”

My jaw drops. This must be a cruel joke.

“I can hardly walk...”

“Hmmm.”

 

“Now where do plan to work?” asks the younger doctor.

“Excuse me?”

“What plans do you have when it comes to finding a job?”

“Well... I am physically disabled, and rarely get out of bed... so none.”

“Did you finish school?”

“Yes, I graduated from the University of Toronto.”

“Well there you go! Lots of jobs are available. You just have to be willing to look,” she raises her perfectly plucked eyebrows at me and nods.

I sit in my panties, cold and uncomfortable, unable to process what these doctors are trying to get at.

 

“Okay, should we call your mom in to help you get dressed?”

Not realizing I’m about to make a mistake, I say, “Oh no, it’ okay. I can get dressed.”

I just want to not be naked as soon as possible. They on the other hand see it as me not needing any assistance in getting dressed or undressed. Or anything else for that matter.

This time no one helps me back to the table where the doctor who is dealing with me sits. The walk back is certainly not an easy one, as I hold on to any table and chair I can get my hands on, just to keep my balance.

I finally make it back to my seat, and my doctor gives me a smile.

“Looks like we have all the information we need. I just need some time to look over all of your medical files, and we will let you know our conclusion. Now you need to go back into the hallway and wait there as I look over everything.”

“How long will this take?” I ask, as I can feel my back starting to hurt more with every minute.

“About 40 minutes. But it’s going to take longer if you stick around and keep chatting,” she says with a chuckle, and I smile. There is something comforting about this doctor. I have no doubt that when she looks through just a quarter of my medical file, she will be assured that there is no way I can possibly work, and I will receive a decent disability check. I know it will be modest, but I know it will help keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach.

I thank her for being so kind and considerate.

I slowly get up and carefully make my way to the door where I see my mother waiting for me with the wheelchair.

“Why did they not call me in!? Did you have to walk a lot?”

“They asked me if I needed your assistance to get dressed and I said no. I was already too cold, so I guess they assumed I didn’t need your help for anything.”

“Very unprofessional... they should have notified me instead of making you walk all by yourself.”

I finally sit down in my wheelchair and my mom rolls me down the hall, where there are some decent benches. I make myself comfortable, and my father asks, “What were they questioning you about for so long?”

“Just asking me what happened and my address and phone number that I don’t know. Then they undressed me and looked me over. The doctor said it will take 40 minutes to decide how disabled I am and how much money I will be receiving.

We sit and wait.

20 minutes pass and my father says he will stand by the door and listen for them to call my name, then he will inform my mother and me when I am called on.

?


© Copyright 2018 Criss Sole. All rights reserved.

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