We have been seeing the same eye doctors for about 30 years, Tom McCauley is a great ophthalmologist and Michelle Palazzolo is that good an optometrist. Since the health maintenance organization Harvard Health decided to close the operation in Rhode Island they teamed up to open their private practice. Tom was the first one to diagnose the root cause of Jan’s eye problems and he has been treating her since.
Last Wednesday we went to their office for Tom to treat Jan’s eye with a laser procedure. A similar procedure was done on her other eye a while back, now it was time for the right eye as a preventive measure against glaucoma. This time I wanted to be in the room and photograph the procedure, Tom gave me permission to do that. I am planning to photograph the empty exam rooms with their elaborate equipment sometime later and this session would serve as an exploratory as well as documenting the procedure itself. We started with Michelle doing the preliminaries and then went into the room where the laser procedure would take place.
The room was ready with the laser gear out of its box and attached to the scope they use to look into the eye. His assistant asked me to put on a pair of orange goggles to protect my eyes since the laser could bounce off something and hurt my eyes. Tom turned the laser device on, a diode laser he said, and it warmed up for a short while. Adjusting the power level he proceeded to put an intermediary lens before Jan’s eye and started activating the laser which gave a visible green flash around her eye. I started photographing, hoping that I could synchronize with his rhythm to catch the green flash. That proved to be exceedingly difficult until the very last frame I photographed. For insurance, I recorded a short video and extracted one frame from it for the opening photograph.
After the 50 or so triggers, Tom was satisfied with the result as the pressure in the eye went down markedly. He wanted to measure the pressure in about an hour again, so Jan and I went downstairs to the mezzanine level to have a quick lunch at the small café. While waiting for the sandwiches to be ready we took each others’ photographs and after lunch we went back upstairs. First one of Tom’s assistants measured the pressure then Tom came and checked everything once more. After giving Jan a small tube of cream and some eye drops, he sent us back home to see him in 10 days or so. Due to a minor complication, we saw him on Monday to find out that Jan developed a cold-sore in her eye which needed steady treatment with a new eye drop. Monday afternoon she used it once every hour and yesterday once every two hours. This afternoon we will go see them again to hear all is well and thank them once more for keeping our eyes healthy, well as healthy as they can be.