Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A New Day at the Eye Doctor

A year ago, when this blog was young, I documented my visit to the eye clinic. Yesterday I had my annual checkup. Experiences are vivid, maybe because the eye is so vulnerable. I am hyper-sensitive during these visits. I bring hubby along and I am grateful that he drives me home. Drops are put in my eyes that keep my eyes dilated and keep me from focusing. For a brief time, my frenetic pace just stops. Until I can see again.

I noted some improvements from my last visit. Stations are now clearly marked with large signs, POD 1, POD 2, and POD 3 (large signs in an eye clinic. What a concept). But I get ahead of myself. I must first "report to the nursing station". Like last year, I take a number. I am 99. They are serving 98. Service was very fast.

I was directed to POD 2; much easier to find this year. There was still a hand drawn sign with a bold arrow, "Put your paperwork in the basket." the nurse was brisk, placing my paperwork in the basket and redirecting me to the POD 2 waiting room. I did note that she did not spare a moment for eye contact. So, despite the improvements, I still felt like a number.

The improvements needed now are human, and not as quantifiable. How many times a day are these nurses asked the same question? I can imagine how monotonous it can become...for them. For me, all is novel. How can they be engaged in their day so the experience is humanized?

As a side note, one of my favorite bloggers, Paul Levy, promotes Grateful Nation. Apparently, gratefulness is good for me. This I believe. I must learn more.

I am grateful that the tests for glaucoma so far come back negative. I treasure my eyes. I am grateful for a patient husband, who dreads the hospital even more than I do. I treasure him, too.