Monday, January 4, 2010

Third Times The Charm

Rocketman's exact words. He had a follow-up visit with the doctor that performed the cataract surgery on December 30th. His sight in the detached eye (for lack of a better description) was still horrible even after cataract surgery. She was very concerned with swelling she saw in the back of his eye and told him he needed to see his retinologist ASAP. It wasn't an emergency like right this minute but it was advised to get in the next day. He came home really dazed and confused by it all.
Luckily for Rocketman, his sister-in-law (my sister) is a eye doctor so I called her immediately and had him describe exactly what the doctor said. He then gave the phone back to me and she said to call the retinologist immediately. This was serious. He had had a late in the day appointment as it was and now it was after 6 pm.
I phoned the emergency number for the retinologist and left a detailed message including that two eye doctors felt that Rocketman needed to seen the next day which was New Years Eve. He called back and talked to Rocketman and we were to be at his office by 9 the following morning but he really didn't think it was a big deal.
Before I continue the story I want to comment on this particular retinologist. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard and I'm sure a very smart man but from the first visit he has hovered between being condescending to outright insensitive. He may be very skilled at his discipline but it's clear to me that he didn't have any courses on patient treatment or he just doesn't care. He never hide his feelings about patients who are engineers which Rocketman happens to be. He dismissed and didn't care about our concerns from the moment of Rocketman's detached retina until now.
I wasn't happy when I heard we had to go back to see Dr. NBM (no bedside manner) but I went hoping at least he may have a tad of compassion for Rocketman who has not seen out of his left eye since June and his right eye has also decided to get worse for some reason. We were put in a room right away and Rocketman along with myself (I just can't keep my mouth shut when in a doctor's office) repeated everything that he was told by the cataract doctor. His eyes were dilated and we waited for Dr. NBM.
He came in and looked at Rocketman's chart. The first words out of his mouth were, "You know this COULD had waited till next week." I bit my cheeks to keep my mouth shut. He then looked in Rocketman's eye a long time and said he had scar tissue on his macula. He needed surgery to remove it. It is a serious surgery called a vitrectomy. We asked questions and he answered. I asked about travel since Rocketman is going to CHA with me in a few weeks. Dr. NBM asked where we were going and I told him LA. He then asked me why and I said that I had a craft trade show. He said flippantly, "Oh like scrapbooking and beading." I said, "Yeah, right." My blood pressure had to be pretty high by then.
He wanted Rocketman to get an I.V. die x-ray to confirm how bad the scarring was. All told we were there four hours. I did meet a lot of interesting people again. Two older guys were telling their retina stories to each other to see who's was better. Neither of them had had a retinal detachment but I kept my mouth shut. I met another older lady that was telling me how she had to be careful not to send out her bills to soon. Sometimes her social security check came after the bills hit the bank and what a mess that was. She then asked my how our Christmas was and I told her that it stunk. She asked why so I told her about the intestinal bug we had. Rocketman is still mad at me for saying anything. He thought a quick, "We had a great Christmas" would have sufficed. He should know me by now, I wasn't going to lie. He just thought I didn't need to go into the details so much.
You may wonder why we don't switch from Dr. NBM and the answer is another doctor would not want to take over at this point and so you are kinda stuck. I've been really upset about Dr. NBM because he is just a kid really, in his 30's, and I thought NBM was relegated to older doctors. I really thought training now dealt with the the clinical and mental aspects of patient care. Oh well.
So tomorrow is surgery day. I'm bringing some maedeup to do while I wait. It's a wonderful way to take your mind off your problems and time flies. It will be another six months for his eye to heal and we see results. The poor guy has been through so much already.


  1. So sorry to hear about your DH's eye troubles. I know it's small comfort, but when my Mom was having eye troubles, we also encountered an eye doctor with NBM - maybe it's a special degree they get? I'm just glad those guys didn't go into another speciality like paediatrics or gerontology.

  2. Oh Becky!!! So sorry! Please let me know how he does!!!

  3. I'm so sorry Rocketman is going through this. I have had multiple detached retinas in my right eye. I've had a scleral buckle, a vitrectomy, and multiple other procedures. Luckily the retinal doctors I've dealt with have been wonderful. The best one was in Florida and I would highly recommend him to anyone - he had a great bedside manner.

    I would seriously consider seeing another specialist. Really, you don't need the heartache of being treated rudely.


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