This is how I looked one week ago after I got home from the Michigan Surgical Center in East Lansing. My ophthalmologist, Dr. Kevin Liu, had just performed surgery to relocate a lens implant inserted six years earlier that was starting to move downward.
It was my first somewhat major health situation as a newly-minted sixty year old. I was confronted face-to-face with some of the issues that I will face as a member of the first class of aging baby boomers.
Here's some background: About a week-and-a-half before I went to the ophthalmologist to get this checked out, I started seeing double for brief periods of time. It would go away when I blinked my eyes or when I moved them. Then I noticed that when I read content on the computer, it would blur out until I blinked or moved my head.
I tried to talk myself into believing that it was my eye glasses prescription. Then I started to believe I had a problem. I called my friend Carnell, who has had eye health challenges and asked for his advice.
He told me to get it checked out and not even think about it. My vision is to important to me, he said. Lose it and there's a good chance that you don't get it back.
I did call and that's where the challenge ramped up a couple of notches. Both of the doctors attached to the practice where I'm a patient where gone for a week. My heart sunk. They referred me to an ophthalmologist in another practice. I called and got an appointment for later in the afternoon.
First, the doctor I was scheduled to see didn't see me. The eye doctor I saw was a specialist who focused on cosmetic improvements to the eye area. But, he did tell me that my lens implant had relocated. He then sent me to be examined by a doctor from my practice who was examining patients at this practice before he went on vacation.
He confirmed the dislocation of the lens implant and referred me to another eye doctor from the on-call practice who could put the lens back in place.
On the next Tuesday, I was examined by that doctor who agreed with the diagnosis, but refused to do the surgery and insisted that my original doctor do it. My doctor was gone til Thursday. Meanwhile, I wasn't driving and my regular activities were reduced to going to the bathroom, eating and listening to television shows.
The saga continues with my Thursday morning appointment and my fervent hope to be operated on that day. The day before I was first told that I would probably need a physical for the surgery, somebody to listen to my chest and to take my BP. I was told that my eye doctor could do it if I couldn't get it done. I couldn't.
The surgical coordinator told me that I couldn't have the surgery without the exam. I told her what I was told and she said I wasn't told that. I knew what I was told and I shared that my frustration level was building. She checked and said the physical could be done in their office since this was an emergency situation.
I then had the surgery.
The day after the surgery, the eye pressure in my right eye was extremely high. I was given a diamox prescription. We are still working on getting it down.
That's the story. What about the observations? Those will come in another post.
But, let me share that I have complete confidence in Dr. Liu and his staff. I think they face some communication opportunities that can be taken advantage of by a . . . blog. Yeah, a blog. I will talk about that later.