I just finished my second informational meeting with Dr. Holland and must say it was excellent. I cannot begin to describe the differences in the staff between the Corneal Surgeons’ staffs between Lexington and the Northern KY team. They are more professional, friendlier, and more knowledgeable at every step of the way. I am not going to call out the Lexington surgeons by name here, I’ve no intent to stir things up, but if you’re in the area and needing Corneal work, you owe it to yourself to visit more than one.
Off to Edgewood.
After “working” half of a day in Lexington, I grabbed the GPS and an audiobook and made the 1:15 drive to Edgewood, KY (essentially a suburb of Cincinnati on the Kentucky side of the river.) After a yummy lunch at Panera and a few minutes checking email on my laptop, I went to the office. I saved their office as a “Favorite” on the GPS because I have a feeling I’ll be coming here a few times!
Checking in was the usual – insurance card, verifying contact information, etc. at the desk went quickly and I noticed that the waiting room was full of people. I also noticed that the average age of people there was well, well older than me – possibly by 25 years or more! I sat down to read my RSS feeds and noticed that they had a very strong public WIFI for us. Nice! I barely got the first one on the screen before they called my name . I felt mildly guilty, like you do in the “Fast Pass” line at Disney… until I realized that the other patients were there to see the cataract specialist, not the cornea doctor.
Feelings During the Visit
I realized as I walked to the back rooms that my anxiety about today had turned into a sort of strange excitement. Still concern, but I felt like I was doing the right thing and taking steps to make life better – not only for me, but for my family who has to deal with my grumpiness when my eyes are hurting. Dr. Holland’s reputation and the staff’s treatment bolstered this feeling.
Staff Knowledge about Keratoconus is Critical
I sat and spoke with a technician, who asked why I was there – did a basic vision test, including a pin-hole check. . I quickly established a great rapport with her and realized that she was not only smart about corneas, but it seemed more informed than the doctors I’d met about my condition earlier in Lexington. She knew a ton about the transplant – having sat in on many operations, including the DALK procedures. I was able to get a whole different perspective on the surgical process, etc. from her. She also wanted to do a topography – and I told her my cone was too steep for the equipment, but we did it anyway. Sure enough, the computer choked on my data as usual. I’ve not had a successful topography since 2003… the equipment just isn’t able to help after a certain point.
My eye pressure was checked and they dilated my eye to examine the retina and optic nerve. Doing it only in my left eye made me look kinda cyborg-like, and my daughter got a kick out of it. All was golden – my eye is very healthy. Except for that damn cornea.
Find a Great Cornea Specialist… even if you have to drive or fly there! Go to someone who does 50 or more grafts annually, preferably a mix of DALK and PK who has surrounded themselves with knowledgeable technicians and staff. Your eyes are your window on the world – this is not the time to compromise.
I also ended up talking to a good, retina-surgeon friend on my front porch last year – and she made quite an impression with her recommendations… “don’t compromise when it comes to cornea surgery, period.” So I’ve learned a lot.
If you have Keratoconus, and feel that the Doctor is treating you like the rest of his patients or that the technicians don’t understand the disease due to the “rarity” you owe it to yourself to find another expert, even if you have to drive or fly