AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 13

It only took me a few hours after my
diagnosis to understand why our patients
sometimes seem glum, or grumpy, or worse.
I imagine it isn't any better to lose vision
gradually over several years or suddenly
overnight. It is still a shattering loss.
vision loss, I had either acute brain
block or sudden hearing loss.
It took me only a few hours after
my diagnosis to understand why
our patients sometimes seem glum,
or grumpy, or worse. I imagine it
isn't any better to lose vision gradually over several years or suddenly
overnight. It is still a shattering loss.
AFTERMATH
My doctor had recommended
waiting before determining next
steps. The weeks crept by. I studied
vitreomacular traction. I studied
the five stages of grief. I'm from a
big, tough, New England family,
so when I would get sad, I could
hear a small voice telling me to
buck up and stop whining. At
work I tried to not snap at anyone's chatter about great weekends;
since I couldn't fly, half of my fun
weekend activities were out of
reach. My family didn't understand
why I was so quick-tempered-after all, my eyes looked perfectly
normal. My pilot friends kept
asking where I'd been flying and
didn't understand how my vision
could just suddenly go bad.
After two long months, my
doctor brought up my options.
My vision had worsened; waiting
longer for the traction to release
on its own could result in blindness. I could be injected with a

gas bubble to try to break the
adhesion pulling on my macula;
that, too, could risk blindness.
Doing nothing was a terrible
option, so I agreed to a gas bubble.
Now my anger was quickly replaced
by the same panic I had felt earlier.
I got my gas bubble the next
day. The nurse who checked me
in was kind and calm. During the
procedure, the doctor spoke in a
gentle, slow voice so I was able to
follow his instructions despite the
near-panic pounding in my head. I
felt no discomfort during the injection; I went back to my desk with a
patch on my eye, determined not to
let a little surgery interrupt my day.
That evening I was able to take
off the patch. I thought my vision
was better-nah, I was just being
optimistic. That is my nature, to see
a glass half full.
But at my post-op appointment
the next day, my vision tested
better. I felt like I was walking on
air. I now understood why post-op
patients were so giddy after eye
surgery. The relief is overwhelming!
JOURNEY
It was awful to lose my vision. The
panic and anger were devastating.
But I learned several things firsthand. When I was being checked in
(yes, I went through check in!) the
smiling professionals who had me

sign forms and were nice to me all
at the same time gave me confidence that this team knew what
they were doing. The empathetic
and caring work-up technicians
extended that confidence. The
support staff's good teamwork set
me up to appreciate the doctor's kindness, professionalism,
and confidence.
I am one of the lucky ones. I had
a happy ending. The gas bubble
ever-so-slowly resorbed, giving me
back near-perfect vision. I started flying shortly after, elated to
be back in the air. My world had
reopened, and flying now filled me
with inexpressible joy.
I also gained a new understanding of how the practice staff's
professionalism impacts a patient
facing vision loss.
When you encounter a cranky,
angry, or dejected patient, remember that even relatively normal
people can go right off the rails
when threatened with vision loss. I
sincerely hope you will never have
to take this type of journey yourself,
but that you can maintain empathy,
kindness, and a sense of calm with
every patient, especially when a
patient loses vision.
We all have the ability to make a
difficult journey just a little easier.
After all, isn't that why we are in
this business? AE
Ellen Adams, MBA,
COMT (617-3142640; eadams@
eyeboston.com), is the
Director of Compliance
at Ophthalmic
Consultant of Boston.

www.asoa.org // AE

13


http://www.asoa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2

How We Can Successfully Lead
Advanced Administration: Administrator Success Factors—Needing a Tune-Up Is Expected
Advice for New Administrators: Introducing the Administrator Beginners Circle—The Go-To Resource for New Administrators
Business Operations: Some Things to Know About Professional Liability Insurance
Customer Care: Making a Diffi cult Journey A Little Easier
Fast Practice: Breaking Down Practice Cliques
Human Resources: Recruiting Strategies for Ophthalmology—Where to Search for New Physicians
InfoTech: Cloud Computing— Storms or Blue Skies?
Reimbursement: Embracing Change to Thrive in an Evolving Reimbursement World
Technicians: Creating a “Feeder Program” to Staff Your Clinic
Washington Watch: MIPS in 2018—Key Changes for Ophthalmic Practices
Taking Your Practice to the Top
Use Podcasts to Increase Practice Visibility—and Thrive
Trailblazing— How to Implement Career Pathing in Your Practice
Ocular Surface Disease: Reimbursement Considerations for the Evaluation and Management of Dry Eye
Retina: Should Retinal Specialists Be Integrated Into a Multispecialty Practice?
Asked and Answered
ASOA News
Bookshelf: Off Balance On Purpose: Embrace Uncertainty and Create a Life You Love
COE Corner: Preparing for the COE Exam – Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Focus on a Practice: Ohio Valley Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PLLC, on Operating a Practice in Two States
Gamechanger: Karen Bachman, COE, COMT, OCS, ROUB
Advertisers’ Index
Peer to Peer: What’s Your Favorite Technique for Holding a Productive Staff Meeting?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover1
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover2
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 1
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 2
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 3
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 4
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - How We Can Successfully Lead
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advanced Administration: Administrator Success Factors—Needing a Tune-Up Is Expected
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 7
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advice for New Administrators: Introducing the Administrator Beginners Circle—The Go-To Resource for New Administrators
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 9
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Business Operations: Some Things to Know About Professional Liability Insurance
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 11
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Customer Care: Making a Diffi cult Journey A Little Easier
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 13
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Fast Practice: Breaking Down Practice Cliques
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 15
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Human Resources: Recruiting Strategies for Ophthalmology—Where to Search for New Physicians
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 17
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - InfoTech: Cloud Computing— Storms or Blue Skies?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 19
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Reimbursement: Embracing Change to Thrive in an Evolving Reimbursement World
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 21
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Technicians: Creating a “Feeder Program” to Staff Your Clinic
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 23
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Washington Watch: MIPS in 2018—Key Changes for Ophthalmic Practices
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 25
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Taking Your Practice to the Top
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 27
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 28
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 29
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 30
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 31
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 32
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 33
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Use Podcasts to Increase Practice Visibility—and Thrive
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 35
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 36
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 37
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Trailblazing— How to Implement Career Pathing in Your Practice
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 39
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 40
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 41
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Ocular Surface Disease: Reimbursement Considerations for the Evaluation and Management of Dry Eye
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 43
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Retina: Should Retinal Specialists Be Integrated Into a Multispecialty Practice?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 45
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Asked and Answered
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 47
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - ASOA News
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 49
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Bookshelf: Off Balance On Purpose: Embrace Uncertainty and Create a Life You Love
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 51
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - COE Corner: Preparing for the COE Exam – Keep Your Eye on the Prize
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 53
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Focus on a Practice: Ohio Valley Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PLLC, on Operating a Practice in Two States
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 55
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Gamechanger: Karen Bachman, COE, COMT, OCS, ROUB
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 57
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advertisers’ Index
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 59
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Peer to Peer: What’s Your Favorite Technique for Holding a Productive Staff Meeting?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover3
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover4
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