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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Encore Post; I love my ophthalmologist!

Originally published January 16, 2011
In April 2009 on the spur of the moment I asked my GP for a referral to the eye specialist whom I had not visited for nearly 10 years. I don't know what made me do that because I had just been getting my eyes tested at a big Optometry chain and the specs organised by them. A friend's daughter worked at this chain and was always so helpful in finding frames etc that were flattering (well sort of flattering) and knew lots of 'tricks' to help disguise how thick the lenses had become over the years. Maybe I should digress here and give some history of my eyesight! ... I first had trouble seeing the blackboard in Grade 8 but not much notice was really taken until in my Grade 9 year I went into our next door neighbour's yard where her son and some other local boys were shooting with their air rifles. I asked them what they were shooting at and they said 'the toy cowboys and indians' on the retaining wall. Well for the life of me I couldn't see them. Then one boy lent me his glasses and when I put them on I could see all these little plastic figures on the wall...magic!

So from 14 years old I wore glasses and hated them! Then before I married, I got contact lenses in 1971. Even though it was great not having glasses I was to have various problems with infections etc over the next 25 years. Then in the mid 1990s I suffered a detached retina and after the painful treatment I vowed it would be a long time before I put a lens in my eye. (there was no medical reason to stop wearing the was all in my head...) Unfortunately my specs now had very thick lenses...horrible!!!

I think this photo shows how thick the lenses were; especially the right one

Any way back to 2009...I was not able to get an appointment until July. By then I had been pondering how I would still be able to afford the high price that my specs had become when I had retired. Even with private health insurance, I still had to pay $450+ and often every year or 18 months. I knew that my eyesight was 'too bad' to completely cure with laser surgery but I thought it could improve my sight so that the specs would be thinner and possibly because of that I wouldn't need all these 'extras' that used to camouflage the thickness. I decided I was going to ask the doctor about laser surgery. When I did, he deflated me by saying it wouldn't work for me. But then he said that I had cataracts developing on both eyes. That explained the 2 instances that year when I awoke with blurred vision that lasted till morning tea break. Because I had cataracts my health fund would pay all the expenses for inter-ocular implants. These implants are often done on people with poor vision but they are charged nearly $3000 per eye and the health funds don't pay out. The doctor promised me that 'I would be a new woman'... and he was right. I had one eye done at a time with 5 days between. Within hours of the op I could see out of that eye. I had to lie in a darkened room for a few days and had to use drops constantly. A few days after the second op I woke up in the morning and realised that I could see a neighbour's garden down the road a bit! I had become so shortsighted over the years that I saw nothing clearly beyond 6 inches from my face...

One thing though, I couldn't things close up. The doctor said to buy reading glasses of 2.5 magnification from the chemists, which I did and they were great! Then a friend said that the 'cheap shops' have reading glasses for as little as $4! So I checked them out and bought some of those. Now I have a pair beside the computer, beside the bed, on the kitchen bench, on my sewing table, on the coffee table in the lounge and a few pairs in handbags. My former hairdresser used to call me 'Elton' because every time I had my hair done I had a different pair of lairy glasses to put on to read the mags!

My 2.5 reading glasses bought over the counter. This collection ranges in price from $4 to $20. A lot different from the full priced $700 ones I used to have!

One of the best things though is the fact that I can wear ordinary sunglasses! And people can see my eyes not the thick, thick lenses !! I do love Dr Waldie!!


Dorothy said...

I had cataract surgery on both eyes last year and am thrilled with the results. Have worn glasses all my life and after the surgery, no need for glasses at all except for reading. Wearing glasses didn't worry me so I opted for multifocal lenses with clear glass in the top section and the readers in the bottom. Works well for me as I got sick of putting glasses on and off all day. Its amazing how much and how ofter you read each day. Glad you're happy with your eyes. xox

Lin said...


Sue Niven said...

I am so glad that you can now see! My mum had cataracts and this changed her perception of colour and when she had her eyes done, All the colours had changed! A new wardrobe ensued. But the funniest thing was seeing her cook, She was absolutely mesmerized by the gas flame stove, (before she had her eyes done she had had an electric stove top) The colour of the flame she could not get her head around for quite some time!

Susan said...

What a great story Maria - things have come a long way - so glad the drs could "fix you up".

Julitta Czerwinska said...

i really appreciate you glad to know about you story .
Okulista Wroclaw did great job..thanks for sharing your experience it motivated me a lot

NC EENT said...

It’s good to know that you’re satisfied with your ophthalmologist, Maria. It’s really an advantage to have a reliable specialist on your side that could give accurate solutions to your eye problem. I hope you can share some of your pictures with each of your eyeglasses.

Bruce Kassebaum