Basia – Story

My Story

I have had poor eye-sight for as long as I can remember. My parents noticed it first when I went to school. The teacher noticed that I could not see well so she asked me to sit close to the board, but it did not help. Finally I went to an eye specialist and started wearing glasses. Rapid development at the puberty period deteriorated my sight even more. When I grew into a woman, the defect reached -8 diopters.

It disturbed me in every-day tasks and work. I am a very active person. I regularly practice amateur sports and I love to be in motion. Nevertheless I missed fun when I was diving with my son and could not see the things he admired and loved. When skiing, I had to wear goggles over my glasses, which were constantly fogged up, thus I could not see a thing. When playing basketball or volleyball, I could not precisely tell where the ball was going and when to strike it. When I woke up in the morning, I could not see the time without my glasses.

I was very happy when I heard of an improved availability of eye-sight corrections with an aid of laser technology. After consultations and considering all the “for and against” with my family, raising funds for the operation, I have entrusted the doctor who was to improve my sight. I went to a private hospital in my city and was informed that the doctor who conducted operations was an excellent specialist. He had already operated over 1500 (fifteen hundred) patients. During the op, the shape of my cornea was modelled with the laser. The defect of one eye was reduced to -1,5 ( one and a half) dioptres, and as regards the other, unfortunately the doctor did not manage to enter the cornea properly, which sometimes happens during such procedures, and to prevent complications, he stopped the procedure. Only one eye improved. It was a holiday time. Contact with this doctor was very hard. Practically, I could only consult him by phone. Then he went away for a holiday, and finally changed jobs. I felt helpless and deceived.

Someone advised me to contact a similar centre in Warsaw, which I did at once. Once a week my husband drove me 150 kilometres to treat my ill eyes recovering after the operation. I could not see for a long time. I could not drive, work nor treat myself to such pleasures as going to the movies or fitness club. My whole family supported me. They were driving me, buying all the medication, changing dressing. This situation lasted about 3 months, although in the case of a correctly conducted operation, the healing process takes 3 -4 days.

Once the eye which was treated with the laser, but remained uncorrected, recovered, it turned out that the difference between the two eyes was about 6 dioptres. That was another surprise. I could not find appropriate match of lenses. The difference between two eyes was too large – one was 8 dioptres and the other 1,5 (one and a half). The “fight” with lenses started. My eyes could not get used to it, kept crying. They were red, sore and irritated. Only after 2 years I could undergo another operation to reduce the defect and difference between the two eyes. It was successful. I was operated in the Warsaw centre, the one which had treated me after the unsuccessful operation in Łódz.

I wanted to get rid of glasses, and as a result, I caused myself a lot of problems. My sick leave was very long. I spent several thousand zlotys and engaged my whole family. My husband regularly had to take time-off work to drive me to the doctor’s. I neglected my work and suffered from depression.

Due to this, I got interested in the situation of patients helpless of irresponsible doctors. I contacted a Commissioner for Physicians Responsibility, who told me that every patient is able to claim his or her rights if he or she thinks himself or herself a victim of a medical error. I was very angry with the attitude of the Łódź doctor, who neglected my eyes and did not take appropriate care of me after the operation. I decided to go to the courts. After two years, I won the case – the doctor paid me compensation with his own funds, however this has not compensated my pain, suffering and problems of not being able to function in my every-day life and duties. Now I can see quite well, however I remain under regular medical care. I will have to undergo another operation as due to the correction, I suffer from corneal haze.

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