Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Tale of Two Doctors -- It was the best of .......

Welcome two new followers of my blog: Darla and Kittie Howard. I'm looking forward to getting to know you. Kittie, I will write a post about an old-fashioned Swedish Christmas and all the traditions that go with it. I can't wait, actually! (Kittie responded to something I said in a blog comment and said she would like to see a Swedish Christmas post.)

On Thursday, I went to Bakersfield to see two doctors, the orthopedic surgeon and my ophthalmologist for my annual retina and eye exam. Last time I saw Dr. T., the ortho doctor, he spent three (3) minutes with me and was very condescending. So this time, I came prepared. I dressed much, much better than usual in some expensive stuff from days gone by. I put on lipstick – that's as far as I went with makeup, but I felt prepared and powerful. I had six questions for him. His office walls are thin and he has a loud voice, so I decided to time him when he saw the patient in the room next to mine. Three minutes, most of it about her visit to Italy – he asked her about it! When he came to see me, he stood over me, like he was ready to just leave!! Well, I drove 60 miles one-way to see this dude, and I came prepared. I said: "Sit down, will you. I have six questions and they all lead up to something I need to know from you." He looked a bit shocked and said he had a bad back, but he did sit. I got most of my questions answered and it felt so good to have taken control of the situation.

Afterwards, I sat in the car and ate my sandwich and enjoyed the magnificent display of fall colors put on by the trees in the parking lot.

The fall colors were not very good in our town this fall, so this was a treat for me

and made up for seeing the arrogant doctor. Oh, yes, I did get ten minutes of his time!! After lunch, I drove to my other appointment. Where it looked more like summer,

with palms, flowerbeds and even bees.

Outside the offices, there is a pretty courtyard with water features, little mini-waterfalls, and pools. Very Zen and peaceful. I was early, so I sat for a while and listened to the water. 

And took a few pictures

of the pretty flowers and

the fallen leaves. The staff and doctors inside the office are just as nice – a huge difference from the orthopedic doctor's office. 

My eyesight changed just a little over the past year, not enough to warrant new glasses. And even better: There is no damage to my blood vessels and everything else is great as well. Phew! The doctor even said that for someone who has had Type 1 diabetes for 22 years, I'm taking good care of the management of my disease. She saw nothing at all wrong. So a great visit for me. But I want to leave a comment here for anyone with diabetes who may read this post.

I asked the doctor if I would be able to tell if I had bleeding behind my eyes. She said that usually a patient doesn't know until it is too late and a lot of damage has been done. Therefore, it is extremely important for people with diabetes to have their retinas examined once a year.

My sister-in-law's husband also has Type 1 diabetes and, as far as I knew, used to take care of it pretty well. Then he neglected to have his eyes examined for three years in a row. And now he is blind. His brother is also blind from diabetes complications.

If you have diabetes, please remember to have your annual retina and eye exam. It may save your eyesight.


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