FYI and ** warning **. It’s Sunday morning, I just had Thai tea loaded with sugar (first time in weeks), no food, and things are going towards beyond entirely unprofessional today. Yes, more even than usual. Perhaps this is that time not to read a blog entry.
I swear, this is true.
I just decided, literally yesterday, to stop with the dramatic blog titles. This isn’t an entertainment venue, kittehs, and we don’t need to get all clickbait-ey on these topics.
But the shocking bit you’re about to read, how else can you summarize it, in a title?
From my Facebook page (which I basically never check, don’t send me messages there):
Hi Jake, before i start on the reason why I decided to email you allow me to congratulate you for being so upfront and honest about this whole optometry/Lasik industry. Why am i writing you? Lasik! I’ve had it done in 2010. I was a -7 in both eyes and my surgeon assured me that “I am ready for it”. I was overwhelmed with the news and confident that everything is going to be fine and that I will finally be able to kiss my spectacles good bye! Which I did, for 2 years. Then my vision slowly became blurry again. Went in for a second time for enhancement on both eyes. Back to happy status for another 18 months. Then again my vision became blurry. This time the surgeon decided to do PRK on each eye at a time. The right eye was the first in line. No happy days as i ended up being over-corrected. For the next 18 months I’ve put up with myopia (-.5 left eye) and hyperopia (+1.5 right eye). It was horrible. Headaches just about everyday, squinting, frowning etc. 3 months ago my surgeon said one more prk. The aim was to achieve 20/20 vision so we can then start focusing on fixing the left eye. Yesterday I went to see my surgeon. The refraction check up measured -1.5 on the left eye while the right eye now measures -.5. I must mention that he wants me to use steroid drops for 2 more weeks because when I attempted to stop them a month ago the vision on the lastly operated eye became quite blur. For the moment, due to the drops, the vision seems to be stable but i am not looking forward to stopping them. I guess my curiosity is to know what your thoughts are. I must say i am quite worried and i would love to know when this myopia development is ever going to stop. I am already 33 years old. I really look forward to hearing from you. Monica
I’m literally picturing a guy high on his own meds, in a lab coat, crazed look in his eyes, fiddling with a scalpel. Muttering with his head twitching, “ok fine, fine, fine. Let’s operate again, shall we?”
This stuff happens in real life to real people, kittehs. It happens every single day.
It’s absolutely no different in “medical care” quality than ice pick lobotomies from the last century. And we’re blind, metaphorically speaking (and soon literally speaking, with these mad clowns running the show), raised to trust anyone with the title “doctor” in their name.
Monica is going to wind up blind, or at least with seriously mutilated vision. You know that, just by reading her story. And that doctor will keep doing the same thing, with complete impunity.
Also, try on the efficacy of the whole “doctor” title. Call me Dr. Steiner, in your mind. Just once, right now. Picture me with a grave look on my face, dress shirt and tie under a white doctor-coat, behind an imposing desk, giving you “the news”.
You’d trust me. Dr. Steiner.
It being Sunday morning and Jake being high on sugar, I’ll make a small confession to you, right now. I’ve researched the laws (or rather I e-mailed my G.C. – general counsel, who is basically getting paid for doing nothing 95% of the time). I say, Eduardo (you don’t get a fancy British-Anglo named G.C. with the money I’m paying). Eduardo, what if I want to give full on medical advice. I mean, I’m putting on a lab coat, I’m posing in an ophthalmologist office, with diplomas on the wall, and I proclaim, this kittehs, this is gospel. Dr. Steiner hath spoken.
Eduardo replies, pretty quickly too, which is generally a sign of either a) me doing something exceptionally stupid or b) having forgotten to approve the monthly payment transfer for his services. He says, Jake. I advise against it.
Which is always what he starts literally every e-mail to me with. I think it’s an actual MS Outlook template. “Crazytown-Jake-reply-template”.
He says “Jake, I advise against it. But if we were to look at a hypothetical situation that required this course of action, you could in fact pursue the requisite certification in a jurisdiction with relatively lenient requirements and in fact advertise medical advice if you so desire. Note though however that you may still not be permitted to dispense and specifically charge for licensed medical advice in other jurisdictions, subject to local laws and requirements.
And on and on and on his e-mail goes. TL;DR, Eduardo.
Short version, I could become a degreed, licensed, certified Cambodian ophthalmologist-slash-retinal-surgeon in fairly expeditiously short order. Isn’t this exciting news? And then I would tell you, as Dr. Dr. VanderJakenSteinen, that you will f%#@ your eyes completely by doing LASIK.
This begs the obvious question. Do the ends justify the (highly amusing) means?
Part of me considers that just for effect, just to highlight how thin the veneer of the medical profession truly is, that it would be hilarious (and also frightening obviously) to take the route of Jake-M.D. If you have the money, and the right G.C., you can do whatever the f&#$ you want to do (an assertion extensively tested in the most dubious of real world scenarios).
Wouldn’t you love it, @endmyopia, with Dr. Dr. Steiner at the helm? So serious. So credible. So fully and correctly sanctioned.
Are you shaking your head right now? Or laughing?
Don’t worry. Unless the establishment forces my hand, we’re not going to go all armed to the teeth with legalities and diplomas on this front. Of course I realize the double edged sword nature of going to further extremes.
Long story short, de conclure, mes chatons.
If you trust guys with sharp knives (or lasers) just because of a few letters after their name, and a piece of paper framed on the wall, then your gullible self is going to get whatever is coming to you. You’ve got Google Scholar now, you’ve got Google and the Internet in general, to give you a starting point to weigh things carefully, before you go have the thirteenth elective eye surgery done by the same whacko who screwed up the last twelve. Life is no joke, poor decision making can cost you dearly. Eyesight included.
So don’t be a d%@# fool. Whenever somebody asks you for money, they’re running a business. Caveat emptor, accordingly.
** Update** Video version of this rant:
Like, subscribe, comment. 😉
Housekeeping: Big changes to the BackTo20/20 invite system, to make it a bit easier for me to control the sign-up volume. If you were in the pipeline before yesterday, you probably got kicked out of the list. E-mail if that’s the case. If you’re just getting invites after today, you’ll probably notice that the invite works across devices, and has a neat new reminder / expiration heads-up. On the flip side expiration is now much more cheat-proof than before.
And if want to guess at possible invites in the pipeline, the trick is to look at the forum posts. If there are a lot every day, you can be pretty sure that I’m locking down and closing new invites. If it’s quiet in the forum, there’ll probably be invites.
Lastly, if you like unhinged blog posts and want more of those or video, encourage the behaviour by posting comments over on Youtube or Facebook or Twitter (no comments here on the blog currently, due to overwhelming spam issues). Content here is highly dependent on your feedback, so make this resource whatever you’d like to see.