Friday, May 13, 2011

Say Cheese

Active Adult Committees have the ability to make or break a doctor’s reputation. If a doctor falls out of favor with a patient, word spreads quickly from the tennis courts to the card rooms. Conversely, if miracles happen and a doctor restores health to someone near death, that word spreads like lightening also.

Recently, during lunch in the clubhouse cafe, I was telling my friends that Hubby was going to have cataract surgery on both eyes. Someone at the next table overheard. Since I’m still considered new in this area, she felt it was her assigned duty to inform me who the “biggest” doctor in town is.

To me, a big doctor is one who needs to shed over 100 pounds, but I didn’t think she’d smile if I asked her how heavy her doctor was. Instead, I politely thanked her for her unsolicited advice—something common in Seniorviles and believe it or not, more helpful than not. I told her I preferred the specialist who did mine several years ago. Others within earshot responded with horror and disbelief that I was going to travel 25 minutes—an overnight trip to some folks in my environ—when there were so many “big” doctors within ten minutes.

For reasons unknown to me, maven number one seemed upset I was not willing to switch to someone “two minutes from here who always has perfect results.” She confided what she thought was an important tidbit of information, meant to prevent Hubby from a botched job. “You know he (my doctor) never does the surgery. The doctors who work for him do the procedure.”

I knew her concern was real and wanted to reassure her we were in good hands. I told her he successfully operated on both my eyes several years ago and recently restored vision to a friend who had her surgery done incorrectly elsewhere. Her red face and stiffened body posture was a sign she didn’t agree with my decision.

The morning of Hubby’s surgery, I went to the area in the outpatient clinic where several closed circuit televisions were set up so those interested could see the doctor at work. Hubby did this during my procedure years ago. (Permission to film the procedure was signed in advance.) I began to watch the operation, gagged, and went to the other end of the room to watch live news.

The surgery was the morning after bin Laden was killed. Even if the story on TV was of less importance, sucking a lens out of any eye and inserting another is not my “thing,” even if it is Hubby’s baby-blues on the screen. Occasionally I glanced at the closed circuit TV screen to check Hubby’s status. I knew when the doctor was done because Hubby had forewarned a camera flash would go off. For some weird reason, this doc takes a picture with his patient when the surgery is over, and then he waves to his unseen audience. The next day, during the post op visit, the patient receives a copy of the picture.

When Hubby went for his post op visit right, he was given the gruesome photo along with a DVD of the surgery. Since I knew I would dump the photo as I did mine and never view the DVD, I asked the nurse not to waste time snapping the picture when his second eye was operated on.

“Never,” she said. “By seeing the picture, patients can be reassured that the doctor did the surgery.”

I thought back to the false accusation that I had heard about my eye surgeon and decided to show the photo to the doctor maven in my development. His reason for the photo-op suddenly made a great deal of sense. Then a thought hit me like a ton of bricks. I am so glad the doctor who does my colonoscopy doesn’t have the same problem proving to patients he really does the procedure.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Glass Houses

“I have a fantasy,” my husband said recently, “that we can leave the house without you having to spend half an hour looking for your glasses, your keys, or your handbag.”

The missing keys and purse have been causing me grief for years. While I search for the eluding article, I keep repeating to myself something Atlanta son says, “Matter doesn’t disappear,” and Hubby keeps reminding me I have to focus on what I am doing. Experience has taught me that if I keep retracing my steps, eventually the missing item magically appears.

My problems with misplaced specs started after my cataract surgery about four years ago. Since this procedure, I only need glasses for reading. Before my surgery, I wore glasses 24/7 therefore, I only took them off to sleep or shower. Post surgery, I tried the string on the earpieces and let them dangle from my neck when not in use, but the string irritated my skin. Now I have the bad habit of just leaving them the last place I needed to wear them. If glasses were available with the same gadget that I press to let me know where I parked my car, I would buy the gizmo ASAP, regardless of cost. (If any of you know of such a device, let me know:).

Now to the gut of this blog. Hubby had cataract surgery this past Monday on one eye. He gets the other one done next week. In the meantime, his old glasses are useless and he has a definite depth perception problem. Last night, at dinner, he accidentally knocked over his water, drenching himself. I mopped, and he changed.

Since the surgery, he can see clearly out of his operated eye, but, like me, only needs glasses to read. Yesterday, I gave him one of the several store bought glasses I keep in various rooms to use to read when I can’t find my good ones—the ones that correct my distance stigmatism (for driving), and have progressive lens, which I prefer for computer work.

This morning, as the sun was rising in the east and we were getting ready for our early morning walk, Hubby came into the kitchen and said, “My wallet isn’t in the jeans I wore yesterday.” He was visibly upset.

Could Mr. I Never Misplace Anything handle evidence that he was a mere mortal like me, and when he is tired, he forgets simple things like changing out of wet clothes into dry ones? I was enjoying the moment. I didn’t point out that he had to concentrate more on what he was doing or any of the other bits of wisdom he gives me while I frantically search for glasses atop of my head. I had a better plan. Instead, I simply went into the bedroom, picked up the shorts he had changed into last night, brought them into the kitchen, put my hand in the pocket, and . . . voila! Mr. Organized, Mr. I Always Know Where My Things Are, fell off his pedestal and turned red. He plopped into his chair, picked up the morning newspaper, and stared at it. Then he coughed, looked at me, and said, laughing all the while, “I can’t find my reading glasses either.”

I guess everyone lives in a glass house, but sometimes the dwellers don’t know it until the curtains are opened. Welcome to the “Did you see my reading glasses?” world, Hubby dearest. Now our biggest problem will be whose wearing whose glasses, and I hope that that remains our biggest problem. Then life will be good, as long as one of us knows where the car keys are.