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    The challenges of treating a loved one


    The sage advice of Dr. Ernie Bowling

    So, I called a friend. In this case, it was former classmate and Optometry Times Chief Optometric Editor Dr. Ernie Bowling.  After listening to the scenario, he gave his usual sage advice: “Mike, just let her live her life.”

    So we headed south toward The Big Easy. My wife is the Queen of Trip Planning and attacks a “to-see” list with the same amped-up intensity as she devours the powdery, freshly fried beignets at Café Du Monde. I pleaded with her, “Please promise me you’ll go half-speed, and try not to bounce around so much!”

    I don’t always incessantly text and quiz patients about their symptoms in the days following a PVD. Nor am I accustomed to sliding over and spooning one in bed in the wee hours of the morning and whispering in her ear, “Are you still seeing fireworks?” But when I do, it means I really care.

    “Stop worrying so much,” she murmured beneath the pillow. “If something happens, what better place to be than at an optometrist convention?” She sighed, no doubt rolling her eyes behind her closed lids, and dozed off.

    When I re-examined her after we got back, the PVD looked more complete, and the photopsia was slowing down. She still sees an occasional spark, though, especially when she moves her eye sharply in the dark, an enduring, entoptic token of recent intraocular events.

    But she survived the trip, the dark, touristy juju of Voodoo Lounge—and even me, The Grand Optometric Inquisitor—with her retina intact and her spirits lifted by the sights, sounds, and savory cuisine of New Orleans. And all because a good friend and colleague cared enough to tell me the truth I needed to hear.

    Click here to check out more Optometry Times blogs

    Michael Brown, OD, MHS-CL, FAAO
    Dr. Brown has practiced medical optometry in a comanagement center and with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in ...

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    • StewartGooderman
      Isn't it considered bad form to be treating your family members?

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