Monday, March 8 – Sunday, March 14, 2021
The Week in the Eyes Have It: My Mom had urgent retina reattachment surgery this week The surgery went very well. Science and medicine really do incredible things.
The pre and post op bureaucracy about killed us, though. From the second we got into the pipeline, we were on Cincinnati Eye Institute time. We were non-entities who did whatever they told us.
The person who did the initial evaluation was new. Both me and my Mom are very patient with new people, but she ran into some kind of difficultly. I could see she was getting frustrated. She called another aide in and that didn’t help. Finally, I asked what the trouble was. She was checking to see if it was safe to dilate my Mom’s eye. I said it was dilated that morning. “Oh.” She saw we had come from the ophthalmologist, it was on the chart and we talked about it. That was my first clue things were not going to be easy.
The Fellow came in, treated my Mom like an inanimate object as he moved her head and the reclining chair she was sitting on. He recommended surgery in the next day or so. I very specifically said that my 80 year old Mom was scheduled for her Covid shot the following day, hoping he would realize the importance of getting her vaccinated. “No problem,” he confidently said, then scheduled her for an appointment at the office furthest from where we lived for noon the following day.
Beginning at 8 am the next day, CEI began bombarding my hearing impaired Mom with phone calls, despite that I asked to be the main contact. Once they finally started contacting me, I asked each and every one about the Covid shot scheduled later in the day. “No problem.”
Anyway, in the post op debriefing the nurse assured me everything went fine and that Mom could not have a Covid shot that afternoon because she had to keep her head pointed down. She said there was “no way” they could have predicted this would be the outcome. No way, not counting that this particular outcome is actually printed on their take-home post-of instruction sheet.
I was furious. They mislead and misinformed us. They sent us to a facility that was unnecessarily inconvenient, seemingly to fill in a surgery spot they had open, with no regard for the patient or the care giver. Even the prescription for eye drops was called in incorrectly causing me to have to scramble at the pharmacy. By the next day for the post op doctor visit I was resigned to how horrible their customer service was. It was laughable really.
To top it off, they handed my Mother, an elderly woman they just did eye surgery on, her post op instructions for the following week. They printed the instructions in smallish print, on blue paper, with some hand written instructions. It’s like they are trying to be awful. The surgery went great, but I hope we never have to deal with CEI again.
The Week in The Eyes Have It – A Note on Taking Things a Tad Too Lightly: My Mom had told me on Monday morning that she thought she needed her eyes examined because she thought her vision had changed. Somehow, there was an opening that day and I thought we were going in for a regular eye exam. I went back with her, the eye doctor pointed to the wall and asked her what she saw. She said “nothing.” It was the E, the big E, alone on the wall. That’s when I knew the week had changed course. It’s hard to tell with my Mom what really needs attention and what doesn’t. In fact, when people asked me why I don’t get worked up about stuff I can say that I come by it naturally. My family is notorious for going with the flow. “Oh, I can’t see out of one of my eyes?…Lunch, anyone.”
The Week in Dip: I popped into Avril’s on Court and in the butcher case they had homemade spinach dip. One of the things I miss during Covid is dip. Dips are a social food, and while I’ve treated myself occasionally over the last year, it’s not the same as being at a party, walking up to a table of random dips and digging in. Anyway, like spring itself, my draw to the spinach dip seemed like a sign of my social-ness awakening. It’s a reminder, too, that when pieces of spinach (etc.) get stuck in that space between my molars, I’m going to have to find a more socially respectful way of dislodging it then my home alone version. So much to do before we all go out again.
`The Week in Good Deeds: The pharmacy inside the Kroger I go to is right next to the bank. I was standing there in my line when a man in the bank line got his turn at the teller and asked for a specific teller by name. He stepped aside while they went to get her. When she came out, it was clear she didn’t know who this guy was or what he wanted/ He very quickly said she had waited on him yesterday and gave him an extra $20 and handed her the bill back. She took it and said yes, her till was $20 short and thanked him profusely. I kid you not, it was such a beautiful moment people in both lines were wiping away tears. We are a tender population right now!