Legal Quandary

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Optical Elusions

I am a questioner. When I go to the doctor, I tend to ask them why they're doing whatever test they're doing, how medications work, etc. Yeah, so basically, I'm a problem patient because I like to understand what's being done to me and why.

I'm starting to believe that optometry might be a bunch of smoke & mirrors though - mainly because it's really hard to get them to actually answer my questions.

To be fair, when I asked about dilation, OD (that's Doctor of Optometry), assured me that this helped him judge the overall health of my eye, check for nerve damage, diabetes, etc. Ok, fair enough, but I guess I knew that much. He became totally evasive when I asked about the Glaucoma "puff of air" test. When I asked what it measured, he dutifully responded "intraocular pressure," which doesn't really tell me anything. He became even more wishy-washy when I asked how it measured it, and whether higher numbers are better or worse. He told me "there is no better or worse," which makes me wonder why measure it then? (The likely answer? Helling v. Carey. See the worthless things law school teaches you?) I'm not sure if he didn't know how it worked, didn't think I'd understand, or just sort of wished I'd go away. I'm sure there are good answers to my questions, he just wasn't giving them up.

It reminds me of a similar experience an old co-worker of mine, Rob, had. Rob is also a questioner and I remember him telling us about how he'd asked the optometrist about how something (I forget what) worked.

OD: Well, what was your major in college?

Rob: Why is that relevant?

OD: It just helps me figure out how detailed of an answer to give you. If you were an engineering major, I can give you a more in depth answer than if you were, say, a history major.

Rob: Well, I was actually a history major, but I'm a pretty smart guy - why don't you try me?

At my last eye doctor appointment they had fancy machines that cut out the necessity of the eye puff test and the dilation thing. It even read your prescription for you, so that was pretty cool.
I just had my eye appointment also. I thought that only an opthalmologist could check for glaucoma b/c it required a prescription med. I could be wrong, but that's what i've always been told. I didn't think that checking eye pressure had anything to deal with glaucoma. I thought it tested more of intracranial pressure. Again, I took my opthmalology class last year so I am not fresh on all the info anymore.

Sil - J
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