Discrimination at a Dr’s Office
I have been going through some real bad headaches the past eight weeks. After much ado, I had been referred to the local neurology clinic. Because, at the time of my regular Dr appt, it was only a headache, I got an appt with a neuro PA. From the time of my Dr appt to the time of my PA appt, it was a time gap of 4 weeks. Not pleasant when you have a very intensive migraine that does not stop.
By this time, I was also suffering from other symptoms. I went into this appt telling the neuro PA about my other symptoms. At the beginning of the appt, I had to tell him my present medications and why I took them. I did. After this point, he no longer took any notes of what my other symptoms were. I did not know this at the time until a later conversation with his nurse.
At that time, the Dr told me I was to have a contrasting MRA. When I arrived at the test site, it was not to be a contrasting MRA. When I called the nurse about the test, she was not willing to listen. Then I told her my symptoms were worse. She told me that there not record of any other symptoms in my chart. She would talk to the PA, but that I would have to return to my Dr for another referrel.
I was furious. It was negligent for him to have not written down my symptoms. I contacted the Disability Rights Board in my state that I happen to sit on the board of.
Later I received a voice mail from the neuro office that I needed to contact my psychiatrist about my other symptoms.
At that point, I had my reason that this PA had not listed my symptoms. He had decided that I had a mental illness and therefore was not worth his care.
I have been in recovery for several years. I have not been in the care of a psychiatrist for several years; have not needed one. I am not suffering any symptoms of my mental illness.
I discussed this case with the local NAMI representatives who know me well with my work in the group. They know that I am not active in my mental illness. They offered to vouch for me if needed.
I talked with the agency mentioned above. I am taking steps to report this Dr to the proper boards so this does not happen to another patient in need of proper care.
I happen to be an advocate for people with mental illness who happens to be sick. What about those with mental illness who do not know their rights? Who do not have someone to vouch for them? Who do not know where to go for help?
If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your mental illness, you do have rights. There is a Disability Rights Board in each state. Most states it is named Disability Rights ___ by the state. Some states it is named something else. Please, their services are free to anyone who has a disability. Call them or go online to find out what they can do to help you. They get back to you quickly. They are there for you, no matter what your disability is.
With my case, I knew where to go. I sit on the board. I am also a board member of NAMI. I am an advocate for the mentally ill. This shocked me that a Dr would discriminate against a patient like this. But I am fighting back.
I will go to another Dr for care, but I will make sure this goes on this PA’s record. I will also use the power of the pen to make sure other people know. I sit on several boards in this town. I know a lot of people. He chose the wrong person to discriminate against.
We, the people with mental illness, do not have to sit still and let other walk over us. We do have rights. We just have to stand up and fight.
Today we can do it. Let’s join together.
One Day at a time.