Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cheating on Tests

Even though I am horribly sick I do have some limited control over how functional I am on any given day.  Need a shower?  Plan it on a day with few activities and take it at a time when most functional and get the most mileage out of it (I'll look clean for that doc visit the next day).  Have a doc apt?  No cooking, cleaning or trips outside the house for a few days prior and lots of rest the day before.  

I can also throw things in the other direction.  Taking a cognitive function exam?  Eat a nice wheat filled dinner and lunch the previous day and go for a walk and long car ride day off.  I'll look like I've lost my marbles on the test.

I've done this a couple of times for various tests.  I did make myself worse for a cognitive exam.  However, I have a high IQ so I made myself  appear normal.  Poop on me.  I also did it for my driver's exam last July.  I rested up for the entire week prior.  Had hubs drive me to the town where I had to take the exam hours early so I could recover from the car trip.  Ate breakfast, drank coffee and had a donut to load up on sugar.  The caffeine and sugar improve my cognitive and physical coordination so I was better able to cope with driving.  I passed the test.

So now we come to the ethics portion of the program...
Is this ethical?
I can tinker with my physical and cognitive abilities just enough to throw tests in my favor.  I can make myself appear more or less sick.  Of course this is temporary and I have hell to pay afterwards via gastro problems or more often becoming bedbound for days afterwards.
Does this mean I should be working?
Does this mean I should loose my drivers license?
Does this mean I should do my best or worst on my medical tests to show that I can't work?

I am sick.  I am horribly sick.  I'm on the low end of most functionality scales.  While I can take care of most of my toileting myself I still can't shower everyday.  I consider it a waste of my precious energy.  I can often cook breakfast but not dinner everyday.  I can't walk more than 50' without needed to sit down or risk passing out.  I can't read for more than 20mins without severe and rapid cognitive decline.

So, how does a 15-20min snapshot test represent my full capabilities or lack thereof?
Throwing the driver's test only shows that on a good day I have no trouble driving.  It doesn't show that on my bad days I cancel appointments, call taxis, have a friend drive me or use public transport for the disabled.  It doesn't show that I am very well aware of when I shouldn't be driving and on those days I don't drive.  The test doesn't take into account that I'm staying off the road on my bad days.  

What brought all this on?  My doc is threatening to have me road tested again.  There is a box on my handicapped placard application that asks if he considers me a threat.  Last year he ticked it off which lead to a whole world of hurt for me.  I had to call the registry daily for FIVE months before I landed an appointment slot for SEVEN months after he triggered the test.  Phone calls are very hard for me with this illness.  They tire me out very easily and guess what.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.  I was on hold for at least 20 minutes with the registry before I could even talk to someone.  ARRGGH!  I had to borrow someone's car for the test since mine doesn't meet the criteria required by the registry for the test.  I did nothing the week prior and ended up in bed for days afterward.  My hubs had to take the entire day off work to drive me to and from the test and to sponsor me.  He was livid that he had to loose a day of income for this.  So why am I ranting now?  Just a short six months after passing my road test with flying colors my doc is threatening to tick off that box on my application again.  I might have to take another road test.  Right now I'm in negotiations with him.  Trying to make him see reason but this really makes me wonder if I should keep my license or surrender it.  I do have good days.  More so now than last year.  On good days I can drive myself to local appointments and even out for dinner or coffee if I pick someplace that is less than 100' between car and counter service.  I have some limited freedom with my license.  Am I evil that I know I can throw this test once again?  My doc can't win this but he can make me suffer horribly in the meantime.  Is it worth it?  Is it right?


  1. You ask some good questions. Disability is such a subjective term...in my view, you know when you can do something safely, so fake away to pass the test then just be safe....

  2. My shrink said the same thing. He said that my being able to drive when I feel well is important for my mental health. He also knows I'm responsible enough to not drive when I'm feeling lousy.

    It does suck being well enough to drive one day and then needing a driver the next. It is very aggravating!