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I fire another opthalmologist

Submitted by Maurice Dubois on Thu, 12/02/2010 - 5:58pm

My new ophthalmologist came highly recommended; he works in a large, modern office with three other ophthalmologists. The first time I saw him he pretty much dismissed my tonometer; I was disappointed at his attitude. He asked why I'd come to him and I explained that the previous one would not give me a prescription for the tonometer (personal connections got me the prescription). "I wouldn't have given you a prescription either," he answered.

I almost did a double take. "Why," I asked.

"People do funny things to their eyes," was his response; he dropped the subject. He was a likeable enough fellow, and he appeared to have a good understanding of his business so I swallowed the discomfort I got from his attitude to self tonometry.

About three months later I saw him again. He paid a little more attention to the tonometer figures I showed him, but he dismissed the corneal response feature of the 7CR. Without paying much attention to my figures, he asked what my average IOP was. I told him that with his Goldmann it would be in the 15-16 range. He was satisfied and he proceeded to do his Goldmann test, which came up with a 15 on one eye and a 16 on the other.

If you have Glaucoma and don't have a tonometer, you need to get one. There is no way that an ophthalmologist can know what your IOP is doing with an IOP test performed once every few months. First of all, my tonometer tells me that when I have a reading of 17 on the Goldmann tonometer my real IOP might be 19, or sometimes 20; my Mom, who is 91 and in great health except for Glaucoma, will have a reading of 17 on the Goldmann when her real pressure is 15. Secondly, my tonometer has allowed me to time the three types of drops I take to optimize my IOP throughout the day's 24 hours. Finally, I'm finding that lots of things affect eye pressure: Stress, exercise, alcohol (lower it in my case), and sleep.

While I wasn't overly happy with my new ophthalmologist, I wasn't ready to fire him; however, when I sat at his office last week for an hour past my appointment time along with the other zombies who accept poor scheduling from their physician, and I still had not been called, and I knew I'd never make my afternoon appointments, I excused myself and rescheduled my appointment; I'll cancel it when I find a better ophthalmologist as I'm not in the habit of burning bridges before I find a boat that will take me to the other side of the river.

There are plenty of ophthalmologists in the DFW area; nevertheless, I find myself in the difficult process of searching for a Glaucoma specialist who accepts the idea that self tonometry isn't just a good idea, but absolutely essential in Glaucoma treatment.

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