The Good Doctor

It’s certainly comfortable having an ophthalmologist who not only is professional, capable, careful and precise in his injections and everything else concerning eye care, but to be fortunate enough as I am to have one who will take the time to answer all your questions and actually have a calming conversation is a blessing beyond measure.

We talked the other day, just prior to getting Eyela injected, about the reactions of people with AMD and how they react to the minor side effects of the injection.

Yes, he explained, many times you will have broken blood vessels in your eye. That’s a very vascular organ, he went on to say, and a doctor cannot tell precisely whether a vessel will break. It happens. It isn’t serious. It goes away in a day or so. Yes, he conceded, not unkindly, sometimes he has seen a patient complain they had a wedding to go to, an event to attend, something important happening where they wouldn’t look their very best because of a bloodshot eye. But if they looked at it from another way, if they looked at the long term vision possibilities and the short term esthetic result, perhaps they wouldn’t feel so bad.

It’s the same with headaches, he said. Some people might get a headache after an injection, be it from stress, or fear, or simply something different happening in their body. But they too go away, yet the result of injections might be powerful and sight saving.

Some do get pain in their eye, he conceded, but measuring it against the results might help ease the pain or at least make a patient understand it.

We talked, he got up and began to prepare my eye for the injection. I was comfortable, I kept on talking as he placed the spacers in my eye that would keep it open for him to see precisely where he was going to inject the needle.

I’m animated when I talk and all the nerves in my face move. Even those in my cheeks. They move enough and disturb my eye enough that one spacer the doctor had placed, just seconds before injecting the needle, popped out and fell on the floor.

He didn’t get excited he didn’t yell; he didn’t even look disturbed. He simply carefully put the needle down on an antiseptic cloth, took another cloth, cleaned my eye and my cheek carefully. He ensured his hands were clean, took out another sterilized spacer, inserted it, then picked up the needle and began again.

This is why we don’t like the patient to talk when we’re working, he told me calmly and matter-of-factly. It is so easy for an infection to get into the eye, we don’t like to take any chances on anything.

It’s the politest way I have ever heard telling me to keep my mouth shut! And he said it with professional dignity and courtesy, simply making a declaratory statement, not an accusation or a reprimand! I didn’t say a word!

When we finished, he handed me a small bottle of Refresh, a lubricating eyedrop. Put one drop in your eye every hour before your next appointment, he said. Sometimes the hydration from the drop soothes and relieves burning or irritation before the injection, and you might not feel discomfort when you come for your next injection. But I don’t ever feel any discomfort or dryness ,” I explained. He smiled and said simply, “Then don’t use it. But it’s there if you want it.”


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