So, this week has been pretty uneventful pathology-wise. Instead of a run of referrals, I had a couple of days of head-scratchingly silly problems.

First, the woman who had a lump on her eyelid that was giving her headaches.  The lump had been there for two years, had not changed in any way but was now giving her headaches.  There was no change in prescription and no other issues.

Then, the girl who told me that her eyes became itchy when she put on her glasses.  She was fine that day – this only happened in school, when looking at the board.  I couldn’t find anything to explain her symptoms – even her FTBUT was a solid 15 seconds.

Next was a woman who complained that her eyes became red randomly. It happened most days but not today. They would be red for a while and then they would go back to normal. There was no pain and no other issues, just this phantom “redness” that didn’t seem to have a cause.  She came in demanding an explanation and all I could find was a bit of blepharitis and dry eye, which may cause redness but would have more of a pattern.  At the end of the test, as I was recommending drops, she told me that she’s lost her sister to cancer a couple of months ago and she hasn’t gone a day without crying since.  While undoubtedly sad, I couldn’t believe she was unable to put two and two together.

I refracted a woman who answered “just the same” to every question, was 6/5 corrected and would accept +/-1.00DS and still “see” 6/5 (saying random letters and sometimes numbers).  Strangely enough, I refracted a student in uni who was the same, who believed he could see 6/6 when over-plussed by several dioptres.  I did find a change in her prescription and recommended new bifocals but she declared she was glad she didn’t need new glasses and wandered away before we could do visual fields (we called her and got her back).

So, as well as communication skills, you need patience. Or at least somewhere away from the shop floor you can scream now and again.

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