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A Health Information Management professional, I survived a life-threatening emergency with information that only a person of my professional experience would know. And I’m sharing it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"I’m not sure my eye doctor did a good job!" It’s My Crisis blog Responds with Compassion to a Story of Retinal Bleeding

27 Tishrei 5768

On Sunday September 30 2007 I shared an interesting medical resource called “Patient School” with you. My journalism colleague Star Lawrence had written about it at her blog,

Things became more interesting after Star confided in me that she was facing a devastating medical problem with her eye: retinal detachment. I referred her to several top eye surgeons and retinal specialists within two days.

Star then sent me a message to share with visitors to my blog:

“Even though I am a health writer, I still have trouble finding an appropriate doctor and evaluating the care I’m getting…

When I had a medical emergency, bleeding in my right eye, the Emergency Department doctor consulted an ophthalmologist. That doctor recommended a retina specialist and because it was an emergency, I did not go through my usual doctor selection process. I endured four surgeries, but had issues with the way he ran his office, the anesthesiologist he used, and the fact that my vision ended up worse and my eye is cosmetically distorted.

I talked with Yocheved and other friends and she supported me in changing physicians, even at this late date. I sent the new doctor a letter ahead of time (which some of her colleagues not not approve as a tactic) and I met with him this week. He addressed every question in my letter and was candid about my overall medical situation... He hinted that my eye health might have turned out better if I’d consulted him first.

It is very threatening to even consider that things could be different. I am grateful to Yocheved for asking her physician friends about my situation and for supporting me. In the event I develop problems in my other eye,I will be seeing this new doctor.

I learned that friends can be helpful and supportive and word-of-mouth can be valuable. I appreciate Yocheved's willingness to speak to doctors on my behalf.

Despite all, I still write a health humor blog and call myself Health's Ass. I talk about doctor-patient relations sometimes--how could I not? Come visit:”

Star’s experience is a reminder: tact is important when we’re communicating with someone facing a medical problem. Here’s an article on how to be tactful, sent to me by a fan of this blog:


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To Your Good Health, Yocheved

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