The eyes have it


When I was younger the doctor I was seeing asked me about my family history.  He was speaking, of course, about our family medical history.  Genes.  Heredity.  That kind of thing.  As I recall, it was because I had relatively high blood pressure for a guy in his twenties.  300 over 250 or something.  High.

So, I asked my mom, “Do we have any history of heart disease in the family?”

“No dear.” she smiled.

But then I got to thinking………….“Well, what did aunt Hilda die from?”

“Well, She had a heart attack, dear.”

“And, auntie Joan?”

“Well, that was a heart attack, too, sweetie.”

Uncle Sammy?  Gwyneth?  Granpa?”

“They were heart attacks, too, dear.”


“We don’t, sweetie.  There was no history.  It was bam!  They just dropped dead on the spot!”

And so it goes in my family.  I have no real idea about them.  It is not like we are close.  Plus, my parents have passed.  But I think those of us who are left love each other plenty.  Kinda.  You know, if there is nothing else going on at the time.  No appointments to keep or something.  We’re good.

But we live outside each other’s sphere.  I don’t really know my brother and sister as well as I would like.  Not on a day to day or even month to month basis.  Sometimes not even on a year year basis.  They get busy, ya know?  Still, I get a call now and then.

The one good thing?  We do seem to understand each other.

My brother called.  We got to talking about eyes.  His have never been very good and now I have to see to mine.  “Yeah, I said, seems I have cataracts.  Need an operation.  Hate that.  Hospitals are places where you get sicker than you were when you went in.  Don’t wanna go there.”

“Yeah.  Feel the same way.  Had cataract surgery myself a year or so ago.  They almost made me permanently blind.  Not good.” 

Seems he had high eye pressure and, if it gets too high, it kills your eye.  His was beyond eye-killing levels but the doctor who had operated wouldn’t bother seeing him after the operation.  “If you have any problems, go to emergency.”

All this is by way of saying that I am not overly impressed with the current state of our health care system.  ‘Course, I am not alone on that.  Still, I can ignore the system’s problems when I am well.  I really only focus on the damn thing when I need it.  Pathetic.

It’s like politics.  You only think about it when it is too late to do anything about it.

For the record: best health care experience I ever experienced was in Thailand.  Sal fell ill.  We went in an ambulance to the hospital and a doctor greeted her at the emergency entrance and didn’t leave her side until every thing that needed to be done was done.  Then she was sent to a hospital room that was better than our hotel.  Came with a kitchenette and a bed for me.  All the nurses were really cute, wore white high heels and tight uniforms and worked like little bees to keep Sal comfortable.  And every once in awhile a nurse would make sure I was doing OK, too.  I actually had a good time!

Service?  Like the Ritz.  Skills and proficiency?  Like NASA.  Cuteness factor: almost equal to that of the patient.  Cost?  Less than dinner out in Vancouver.

I am thinking of going to Thailand for eye surgery.

How weird is that?


6 thoughts on “The eyes have it

  1. You might think from my complaint that I am not a supporter of govt. funded health care. But I am. The trouble is that the system is corrupt. Doctors cheat. Nurses want more power, less work. Hospitals are mired in red tape. Rules seem to triumph over reason and the patient is the last to be served. It really doesn’t have to be that way.

    Paying as you go is madness. Helping someone in need FOR profit!? Immoral. Not everyone has the money. And no one can adequately prepare for a major health failure or accident. Hell, some people are born with major flaws. Waddya gonna do? People need help in times of crisis. I think as long as there is a government, then HEALTH CARE is one of it’s prime duties.

    But I sure don’t think they do it very well, that is for sure.


    • My doctor sees twice as many patients as he is paid to see. Doctors can only bill for so many patients per day but he sees more. He runs a very efficient clinic organized to see the maximum number of patients per day with visits lasting according to the patients needs. He does not ration care and he does not discourage patients from just dropping in. His methods of care if commonly followed in our medical system would reduce costs. If doctors were not paid on a per widget basis like factory piece work the medical system could move from a ‘limit of service model,’ end waits, and increase patient satisfaction.


      • You are right. Some are good. I worked with quite a few. But some are bad. I worked with them, too. Worse, I have had a few of the bad ones. Still, it is not a blanket condemnation. I just wish doctors like yours were not only the norm but that there were no bad ones. And that all nurses were really cute in white high heels and provided wonderful service. It is the Disney influence.


  2. i think you should go to thailand for surgery…. Brian and I will meet you there in the summer… mind you, we’ll leave your bed side to go scuba diving, but we’ll at least drop in and say hi!


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