Editor’s Note: Ophthalmology Times introduces “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs will be an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series kicks off with this blog by Mark Packer, MD, FACS, CPI, who travels a cautionary surgical journey with a husband and wife. The viewpoints expressed in these blogs do not represent the viewpoints of Ophthalmology Times and UBM Advanstar.
"Old Hank" came to see me with a special request. This was about 12 years ago, and he wasn’t really that old. Also, his name was not actually Hank, but he had recently retired from truck driving, so he had the air of an old timer. He had a respectable beer belly, spoke slowly, and repeated things a few times to make sure you understood them.
Hank had been driving a truck around the United States for more than 40 years. His wife, Carol, had always stayed home. Now that he was retired, he wanted to show her all the places he’d been while she was raising the kids. He told me about the RV he planned to buy, and some of the routes he had in mind. And there was one more thing.
“I am sick and tired of wearing bifocals,” he said, “and I don’t want to have to mess with glasses to drive or read maps.”
He had heard about Refractive Lens Exchange from an interview I had done on a local TV health program, and if the surgery worked for him, he wanted his wife to have it, too, so they could both enjoy the sights.
Hank was farsighted and had a small amount of astigmatism, so without his glasses everything, near and far, was a blur. Otherwise, his eyes were healthy. He didn’t have cataracts, and except for the big belly, he looked like he was in decent shape.