The Eyes Have It……………….

I thought I would return for a moment to my caregiver roots and relay a story told to me by my Mom, yesterday.

My beautiful mother has been having some vision issues lately. She had cataract surgery a few years ago and has been seeing quite nicely, even without her glasses, since then. Recently, she noticed that her eyes were watering more than usual, and since she was happy about everything in her life (and why wouldn’t she be with a daughter like me), she was pretty sure she wasn’t crying for no good reason.

She went to the eye doctor. After a  thorough examination, the doctor declared my mother to have “dry eye” syndrome and also interference with her vision from droopy eye lids.

Now some people would be kind of excited about the prospect of a doctor declaring you a victim of droopy eye lids.  No one wants to look like a basset hound, not even a basset hound, I’m pretty sure.

See, if a doctor will state that it is medically necessary for you to have eyelid surgery for better vision or to correct the flow of your tears, you can have plastic surgery on your eyes and your medical insurance will pay for it! My friend, Lisa, who actually noticed her drooping eye problem affecting her vision has been fighting with physicians for months now to get it fixed.

My mother was then referred to an eye surgeon to look into correcting the cataract surgery as well as the droopy eye lids.

This is how the conversation went down:

Doctor: What seems to be the problem?

Mom: My vision has begun to get cloudy on the edges and I really can’t see well.

Doctor: Well, you know, with aging we just have to accept that things aren’t perfect.

See how pretty she is!
See how pretty she is!

Mom (a bright woman who is indeed aware that she is 87 years old): I certainly know that by now. But I was told that sometimes with cataract surgery fluid can get behind the lens and it needs to be repaired with a laser.

Doctor: Well I don’t see that with you.  I think you just need to wash your eyes real well with soap and water.

Mom looks at him like he’s a lunatic.

Doctor: Warm water, just use warm water.

Mom: I was sent to you by my eye doctor, and she saw that the cataract might have fluid behind it, so I wonder why there’s a difference?

Doctor: Well, I suppose I could do another test just to make sure.

Mom: Yes, let’s do that.

Cue Jeopardy theme song as Mom has test and waits to be called back into the doctor’s office

Doctor (with a chuckle): Well, well, well, I was certainly wrong about that!

Mom: What does that mean?

Doctor: You definitely are a candidate for the laser surgery, in fact in both eyes. But I would have to do one eye first, let it heal and then do the other eye. It’s kind of a pain to have to come back.

Mom: I’ll let you know.

Mom to me after relaying this conversation:

“First of all, (here she bursts into laughter), I don’t think I’m going to wash my eyes out with soap and water. And he didn’t even correct himself or say, “Oh I didn’t mean that!”. Second, so what if I have to come back two or three times? What else am I doing? I’m 87 years old. I would like to see!

Yesterday, my sister took her back to her eye doctor to get a new referral.

I wonder why people think age equals stupidity? I also wonder where that doctor got his medical degree and if he was last in his class. Nobody ever puts that on their wall, do they?

“You Just have to Laugh…………”

©2016 Cathy Sikorski

0 thoughts on “The Eyes Have It……………….

  1. I just got this. your mom is looking pretty good there (smiles!!). now I see where you got your looks. (not bad!!!) now back to that doctor. don’t blame your mom to look else where. he does not sound to bright. even thou he is a doctor. sad part you have to laugh and just wonder WTF!!!

    1. Thanks, Jerome. Yeah, my mom is pretty darn hot!!! And yes, just because you’re a doctor, doesn’t mean you’re to be believed without question. We would all do well to remember that!

  2. Your mom sounds like a lovely, smart woman. That doctor sounds like a doofus.
    Glad she got another referral. And no, we DO NOT have to always accept things as a result of age!

  3. I love your mom! She really is great. BTW I recently noticed my eyes watering and my doctor also said I have dry eyes.

  4. My fervent wish is that this doctor becomes the recipient of the same kind of patronizing behavior he showed to your beautiful mom. Kudos to her for not being intimidated. Like mother, like daughter, I expect.

    1. Yes, Judith. Turns out he is a pediatric eye surgeon. Really??? That explains the pandering, but why couldn’t he just say…” you know..this isn’t my wheelhouse…” but noooooooooooooo. Yea, I learned from the best!

  5. Your Mum sounds like a gem and I’m glad to hear that she realises that even at her age she still has a voice and should be heard.

  6. It is amazing how many idiots make it through medical school. My husband does his best to make sure such folks do not get above a “C” at best in his Organic Chemistry Class, and he is viewed as a meanie for it, but me, I am happy that people who cannot understand basic chemistry are not turned into physicians in the doctor mill. Now if we could only have them take logic and communication courses!

    1. Kudos to your husband. No he’s not a meanie,,,,,he’s protecting our future!! I would really love to teach a bedside manner course in med school…especially for geriatrics!!!