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Sunday, June 07, 2009

It's alright, I'm not dead. I'm just dead tired. If only the eyes of glaucoma sufferers were as well drained as I am.*

To be honest, I haven't really done much this weekend apart from shampoo the carpet for a fourth time. The coffee stain's now looking less like espresso and more like a latte, but I think we might have to pass off the carrot as an avant garde design feature.

I did spend a bit of time this morning reading up on eye conditions and diabetes, so that the next time a patient turns to me in the middle of a visual acuity test and says "My recent HbA1c was 7.8, do you think that's ok?" I can do more than go "Um...". Either I need to increase my knowledge fast, or start pretending I don't speak English. Which could prove difficult when I've just been talking about the patient's cat for five minutes. I have to say, it's surprising just how much some of the patients want to chat, and how little of it revolves around diabetes and the eye. I got the full lowdown on one man's kickboxing career last week, and the fact that he likes to go windsurfing at the weekends. I only asked him if he'd had eye drops before.

Anyhoo, it's been a tiring week, but a pretty good one. Mile Oak on Friday turned out to be very nice. I particularly liked the biscuits in the medical centre staff room, and the GP magazines with entertaining articles about earwax. I also learnt how to fold up the foot rests on an electric wheelchair so that you can get the occupant within touching distance of the retinal screening camera. Although just fitting it with a zoom lens would have been easier. I'm back there on Thursday for an all-day clinic with a list of about thirty patients. I'll be taking plenty of loose change, as they charge 30p a cup for anyone not in the surgery tea fund.

But when I'm not eyeing up members of the public, I've been walking through an enchanted forest...

In an ideal world, you'd have fewer pots and more branches, but at least there's a stream nearby. A steady stream of traffic, that is. This is actually the Victoria Gardens in central Brighton, which for one week only has been transformed into The Forest of Valley Gardens, a 700-tree temporary forest designed by a Brighton University student. I wandered through it this afternoon, and it's all very nice, but by the time you've gone about twenty yards, you do start to feel less like you're strolling through a woodland glade, and more like you're walking round a garden centre.

* Trust me, that line would go down a storm at an optometrists conference. I should be doing corporate hospitality for Dolland & Aitchison.