It was a regular appointment. Well, regular to me. I'd been seeing this doctor on a regular basis since 2001 and he'd always been very good at making sure there was an interpreter present. Or maybe I should say that his nurse had been good about that.
Anyway, I went into the appointment without knowing who would be interpreting. This happens often in the Deaf world. As I entered the room, I saw an older woman sitting in a chair and she smiled and signed, "I'm Candy." (a pseudonym) I responded and we sat and waited for the doctor to arrive.
As we sat, we started chatting and I noticed that she looked quite confused when I tried to interact with her. I asked if she was OK and she nodded yes, so I didn't really worry about it.
When the doctor finally came in with his nurse, they both proceeded to ask me questions and my interpreter stumbled. She continuously asked them to repeat or slow down. And when I say "continuously," I don't mean five times. I mean almost every sentence! What's worse is when I signed back to them, she couldn't understand me. I watched her lips and, from what I could tell, they were not flapping in the right direction, if you know what I mean. I got so bad that, finally, we had to resort to actually writing back and forth with the interpreter just sitting there! I was so upset! I couldn't believe that this woman not only was certified, but that she, a QA 1, was sent to this kind of appointment to begin with!
Oh, my gosh! It was truly hell. And as we closed the appointment, I was quick to write the nurse to make sure to tell the interpreting agency to never schedule that woman to interpret for me again! Awful! Awful, awful, awful! I'm still traumatized by this and may never heal. I am victim of bad interpreting. And anyone who knows anything about the Deaf community, knows that this could very well end in years and years of laying on my back on a couch, talking about my childhood to a man who sits in a chair, smoking a pipe. My life has now been drastically changed and I will forever live in it's doom. Melodramatic? Maybe. But doesn't it make the story that much more interesting?