This is an early entry to the blog, as far as mornings go, but fresh on my mind and near to my heart I thought I would share a quick note/experience from last night’s patient care. This is why I do what I do, who could ever orchestrate the events that I detail following?
A mother set out to seek my opinion (as a second one based off a prior visit with another eye doctor) regarding her son’s vision. He plays sports and recently noticed that the vision in one of his eyes was compromised. He was evaluated by another doctor previously and we started our visit with the customary preparation of the patient, taking his vision, asking how long the vision had been like that, if he had noticed worsening with time, etc. It was during this conversation that it was revealed to me that the young man’s father was affected with a condition called keratoconus. This is a chronic, progressive deformity of the cornea that is usually passed down through generations and has some very strong hereditary connections. It is not a terribly common but also not something I would see even on a monthly basis. Upon preliminary evaluation of his visual acuities, it certainly appeared that he was not seeing well in his right eye, and with our technology the initial scan of his prescription surely pointed toward a diagnosis of keratoconus. I immediately ordered a scan of his corneal curvature, called a topography, to verify my initial suspicion. Yes, the scan came back as a classic presentation of keratoconus.
Here’s where things get very interesting. I just happened to have just finished seeing an adult patient who traveled all the way from out of state for me to evaluate his condition a few weeks back. I diagnosed him with keratoconus and suggested a treatment option for him which he accepted and we were finalizing his treatment 10 minutes before I saw the younger patient in the room next door. How does this happen? An existing patient that travels from out of state for me to take care of his condition hanging out after the visit whilst I am examining a new patient (about to deliver the news of a lifelong, progressive, chronic condition) and they happen to have the vision issues–again, how does this happen? Divine intervention? Chance? We were able to get them to connect in the office, have a conversation about the condition and bring a sense of comfort about the new diagnosis. After reflecting on it, doing what I do with passion, integrity and what I was called to do, I believe….
I am forever grateful for the opportunities that this profession has provided me. Not just to take care and spare vision for patients to but to invest and take care of people. I look forward to experiences to touch lives daily, thank you for everyone who has trusted me with their eyes and my clinical judgement.