Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eye Check

I go to a very thorough ophthalmologist once a year mainly because I want to be sure I don’t have any melanomas on the back of my eyeballs.  Every year I get a clean bill of health after about a two-hour wait.  Although I have gotten used to the routine, there were several things about today’s visit that annoyed me.
First of all there is Purell everywhere and my doctor uses it liberally in between patients.   Today I asked him if he really believed it was effective and he said he was thoroughly convinced it was because his daughter who is a pediatrician had told him so.  I wanted to ask why he preferred it over soap and water, but he was already squirting drops in the next patient’s eyes.
The second annoying thing is their cell phone policy, which is plastered liberally on the office walls.  It doesn’t just say to silence your phone, but rather it prohibits the use of cell phones.  People all around me were talking to each other, so I decided to test the phone policy, figuring my talking quietly on my phone was far less disruptive than the general dull roar.
Soon thereafter an office worker I dubbed the cell phone police came over and verbally informed me of their policy.  I pointed at what was going on around me and asked why.  She was most afraid that my cell phone might ring.  My assurance that it was on vibrate wouldn’t do.  So I quickly concluded my conversation and sat reading a book on my phone, fully expecting she would return and tell me I couldn’t do that either.
I can never figure out why it inevitably takes 2 hours to get out of that office.  The total time seeing the technician who does the eye check and then the doctor amounts to no more than 15 minutes.  But true to form, my appointment was at 9:45 and I walked out at 11:45 with blurry vision and the good news that my eyes are a year older but just fine.


Blogger e said...

Melanomas on the back of eyeballs???That would be scary...Do they make you wait a period of time after putting drops in your eyes? They did that to me when I went for my exam... The check in and check out also take time as there is usually a line.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

E -- Anyone who is diagnosed with melanoma, no matter how small, will be routinely followed up annually by a gyn and an eye doctor to look for these deadly things in places no one usually sees.

I did have to wait a while after the drops went in, but I also waited at least a half hour before anything happened. The in/out lines have never been the problem.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

One of my pet peeves is being made to wait at the doctor's far past my appointment time. I know they are trying to catch up with their own workload, but being made to wait just says to me that they overbook patients in order to maximize profits, and that they consider their time more valuable than mine.

I've never heard of screening for melanomas within the eye -- it never occurred to me they could appear there. You learn something new every day!

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that you were much more circumspect than most in your cell phone use. Many folks have blaring "ring tones" and/or talk very loudly when on their cell phone. I have a phones-off policy in the waiting area outside my sublet studio, and ditto inside my home studio (with exceptions for doctors on call or anyone with a sick relative or young child)...the environment is much more peaceful and folks seem more grounded...but I can understand how the policy could be annoying to some!~ :-)


8:52 PM  

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