After 17 years of ongoing eye consultations with my brilliant Ophthalmologist, she’s retiring.
I’m feeling stuck, alone with my warped vision. Alone with the deficits that she has diagnosed, understands and has managed with me for years!
“She’s retiring Mum” I whine.
I understand that she was destined to leave, but the prospect of relaying my never-ending eye problem list to a new specialist is terrifying. “Where do I begin?”
What’s more establishing rapport with yet another person seems so exhausting.
“It’s tough Em, but she’ll refer you to someone great – she always does!” Mum says reassuringly.
Like my Mum said, my current Dr’s thorough handover to her colleague and high recommendation eased my nerves.
‘Be Proactive here Em!”’ say to myself, thinking of things I could do to make meeting this new Dr a bit easier.
Brainstorming a long list of the eye issues I wanted to address and taking my dad to absorb the new Doctor’s words, definitely helped.
Throughout the consultation, my new Dr’s ability to address me directly, pose questions in terminology that I understood and apply his recommendations to my everyday tasks, was brilliant. What’s more, he took time to explain everything clearly and really listened to my responses.
I left feeling so chuffed. I felt so heard, so valued and so much confidence and respect for him.
“I’m impressed!” said Dad
I nodded in agreeance and let out a sigh of relief.
I never expected that it would go so well.
In fact, he is a specialist in corneal surgery and in November I’ve scheduled a corneal graft to minimise the blurry, double and fly screen-like vision in my right eye.
I’m sure many health professionals feel that by referring people on to another person somehow implies that ‘we don’t know’. Many even may question their own competence. However, from a person’s or patient’s perspective, my Dr’s referrals have only strengthened my respect for her. I trusted that she would refer me to someone when the issue was out of her expertise.
That transparency is invaluable.
So although in 17 years my Ophthalmologist was never able to ‘fix’ my double vision, nystagmus and multiple other deficits, her care, treatment, referrals and rapport over the years has made it all so much easier. She has travelled with me- that’s what matters.
Thanks to her, I am now having a procedure I never thought I would be able to have.
New visions, hope and possibilities ahead for sure!