Article Date: 9/1/2008

I Never Saw Her Before in My Life
lessons learned

I Never Saw Her Before in My Life

Does parting make the heart grow fonder?

JACK RUNNINGER, O.D.

Dr. Joe Lasusky, Concord, Cal., e-mailed me about an interesting situation that occurred in his office recently. He was examining a new patient, Jim Clouseau, and while he was waiting for him to finish his automated perimetry, he stepped out of the exam room to check on the next patient.

It was also a new patient, named Linda Clouseau. He introduced himself and told her he was just finishing with her husband, and would be seeing her in just a few minutes. She looked confused, and said she wasn't married. A few minutes later he came out of the exam room with Mr. Clouseau, and the lady said, "Hello, Jim."

"I see you do know each other," said Dr. Lasusky.

"I never saw this lady before in my whole life!" replied Mr. Clouseau.

"Your name is Jim Clouseau," said the lady. "You were born in 1951, you married Linda in 1972, and got divorced in 1974."

"You must know my ex-wife, Linda."

"I am your ex-wife Linda!"

It turned out that they hadn't seen each other since their divorce more than 30 years ago. Apparently it wasn't pleasant and they had not seen each other ever since.

Any side effects?

I continue to receive from OM readers episodes of strange office occurrences, like the one above. Dr. Don Dye, Elberton, Ga., tells me of a robust 78 year old Superman (or lying braggart?), who asked him, "Does taking too much Viagra cause any eye problems?"

"Side effects are rare. A blue visual hue and blurred vision are the most common, and very rarely loss of sight can happen," replied Dr. Dye.

"Good!" said the elderly gentleman. "I just wanted to make sure since I take one every day Monday through Friday. On weekends I do okay without them."

► When checking the acuity on a seven year old boy, Dr. Charlotte Tlachac, Alameda, Cal., decided to see if an incentive (a trip to the treasure chest) would make him try harder toread the 20/15 line. He stared at it intently for awhile, and then sighed despondently, "My brain is stubborn. It won't tell my eyes what to say."

Hindsight?

► "I had a female patient," emails Dr. Marianne McDaniel, O'Fallon, Ill., "who was very serious when she told me that a few years ago she had had a rectal detachment, and hadn't been able to see well ever since."

It occurs to me that this possibly could also have affected her "hind" sight, and maybe evenhave caused her to have a crappy outlook on life.

► "When I receive compliments from patients on the efficiency and friendliness of my staff," says Dr. Ted McElroy, Tifton, Ga., "I always say, ‘Thank you. I have kissed a lot of frogs to get the princesses I now have.’" A great description of the learning experiences involved in ending up with good employees.

Unbecoming glasses

► Dr. Dye sent another episode. He had aligned a seven year old girl behind the phoropter, when she started crying uncontrollably. When he asked her what was wrong, she sobbed, "I don't want glasses like this. I want some like my friend Susan!"

► Medical offices also obviously have strange patient occurrences. I remember reading in Medical Economics many years ago about the invalid patient who was asked by her physician, "How long have you been bedridden?"

"Not since my husband died 10 years ago," was her reply. OM


JACK RUNNINGER, OUR CONSULTING EDITOR, LIVES IN ROME, GA. HE'S ALSO A PAST EDITOR OF OM. CONTACT HIM AT RUNNINGERJ@COMCAST.NET.

Optometric Management, Issue: September 2008