The Other Side

In Family Doctor on June 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm

No doctoring for me today. Instead I got a reminder of what being a patient can be like.
Several weeks ago I read a news story on a new therapy for migraines. By finding and filtering out the color of light that triggers migraines, some people get relief.
Since I’ve been looking in vain for relief from my frequent migraines, often far from mainstream medicine, I immediately googled the Colorimeter the article mentioned.
The nearest optometrist with this fancy tool is 200 miles away? Sign me up!
I called Dr. Lederer that day and got an all-day appointment as soon as I could clear time in my schedule. Now here I sit in the waiting room, through with the first few hours of testing he recommended and waiting to hear the results.
Will it work? Can he help my head? Will the lenses he prescribes be pink? According to the article that started this odyssey for me, the most common color lens is yellow, with pink being next most common. Dr. Mary has been hoping I’ll come home wearing rose-colored glasses and I’m desperate enough to get rid of these #%¥| headaches that I’d wear them!
Dr. Lederer and his staff have been great, even as they put me through torturous eye calisthenics. Dr. Lederer is exactly the type you’d want as your doctor, energetic, excited, but down to earth about Internet cures. Bummer.
I was hoping he’d sell me some yellow-tinted glasses and I could be on my way back to Indiana before Chicago rush hour hits.
No such luck. Whichever way this works out for my eyes and head, it has done my mind and heart good to remember how foreign it all seems to the patient. My medical training is about useless in an optometrist’s office, so I have clueless sounding questions that I’m afraid to ask. I have no idea (and no warning) that one test will make me feel like I’m spinning and the next one make me wish I’d skipped breakfast.
A patient doctor with a kind and gentle staff goes a long way to calm this patient’s fears.
Thank you Dr. Lederer and Mary and Anne and Wendy and Kathy – you were all great. Here’s hoping it works!

  1. Wow, I hope this is helpful to you. Migraines are hideous (I just wrote a post about my migraines – if you get a minute check it out). Good luck.

    As a nurse, I think we should subject ourselves to a couple of procedures a year to remind us how our patients feel….

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