Disturbing experiences 1

A disturbing experience related to Double Vision.

Back in 2010, patient XXX was referred by an Optometrist to an Ophthalmologist, Dr AAA, for help with the double vision he was experiencing. He spent 3 or 4 hours in her rooms, seeing her, a colleague Dr BBB and her Orthoptists, which cost him 3 or 4 hundred dollars, from which he learnt nothing.

He kept being told that double vision was very difficult to diagnose and treat, and perhaps very serious as it could be brain related, but, in his case, was most likely related to his cataracts.

All of this led to him making a complaint about Dr AAA to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission – he was very naive about these matters in those days, thinking that he did this he might get somewhere!!! Of course, with the HCCC, those who are complained against can say all sorts of things in their defence, requesting that what they say be not disclosed to their complainant, be not given the opportunity to counter or comment on on what they say in any way – something which is quite horrifying, especially to those with any sort of legal background. But, in this case, it can be imagined what Dr AAA said, as, she subsequently wrote in an email sent to Patient XXX, at 10 o’clock at night, perhaps while she was drunk, “You were a difficult patient to treat as you refused to have an operation on your cataracts as was “clinically indicated.'” Anyhow, for whatever reasons, the HCCC dismissed Patient’s XXX’s complaint.

However, there’s a happy ending to this story, in two ways.

Firstly, in the more than 7 years since consulting Dr AAA, the various Optometrists and Ophthalmologists Patient XXX has seen, have all, without exception, advised him that his cataracts are not an issue – in particular, an Optometrist he has seen in the last few days has expressed amazement at how little a problem he has with them, for someone of his age.

Secondly, soon after seeing Dr AAA, Patient XXX saw another Ophthalmologist, Dr CCC, who solved his problems in 2 minutes. After advising him that his cataracts weren’t a problem, he said, “Considering all the circumstances, it’s incredibly unlikely that your double vision is due to anything serious, but if you want to remove any doubt, you could have an MRI of your brain,” – which he did, and it was clear. And, “The best way to deal with your double vision is to wear glasses with prisms in them,” – prisms hadn’t even been mentioned by the 4 or 5 Optometrists and Ophthalmologists he’d previously seen, he’d never heard of them. But he started doing it, and it was like he was 30 again.

Readers, in case you haven’t realised it, there are lots of doctors out there like Dr AAA. They are doing so well out of carrying out a particular medical procedure that they try and talk anyone who consults them into having it done, whether it’s appropriate or not.

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