Atrophy of the Optic Nerve

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Lelouch, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest


    Stories from the Clinic

    8: Atrophy of the Optic Nerve

    By Emily C. Lierman

    About twenty-five years ago a patient came to the New York Eye
    Infirmary with well-marked atrophy of the optic nerve. According to
    all that we know of the laws of pathology he should have been totally
    blind; yet his vision was normal. The case was considered to be so
    remarkable that it was exhibited before a number of medical societies,
    but it was by no means an isolated one. On February 8, 1917, the
    editor published in the "New York Medical Journal," under the title,
    "Blindness Relieved By a New Method of Treatment," a report of a case
    in which the vision was improved from perception of light to normal.
    He has had quite a number of such cases.

    Some time ago a colored woman was led into the clinic by a friend. She
    had heard of Dr. Bates, and had come to him in the hope that he might
    be able to restore her sight. The doctor examined her eyes, and found
    that she had atrophy of the optic nerve complicated with other
    troubles. She could not count her fingers, nor had she any perception
    of light whatever. The doctor turned her over to me saying:
    "Help her, will you?"
    She was the real "mammy" type of negro, very good natured and
    motherly. She greeted me with a smile and said:
    "May de good Lor' bless you, ma'am, ef you can gives me again de
    light oh day."
    The words came from a very humble heart, and were very hopeful. When I
    heard them I can tell you that I lost some of my courage. It might
    turn out that I could do nothing for her, and I dreaded to disappoint
    her. My work is not always easy; yet I like some hard cases to come my
    way, because when I can help them I feel that I have done something
    worth while.
    "Won't you tell me how long you have been blind?" I asked.
    "Yes, ma'am," she replied. "I's hasn't seed nothin' for two years,
    I's been in the hospital all dat time an' de doctors says dat mebbe
    I's nebber see again. Some friend oh mine says to me, 'You jes goes to
    de Harlem Hospital Clinic. Dere you find de doctor what makes you
    see.' So I jes come; dat's all."

    I told her to cover her eyes with the palms of her hands and asked if
    she could remember anything black. She replied:
    "Yes, ma'am, I 'member stove polish black, all right."
    "That's fine," I said. "Now keep remembering the black stove
    polish, and that will stop the strain in your eyes. When your eyes
    first began to trouble you, you strained to see, and every time you
    did that your eyes became worse. Now let us see what will happen when
    you stop the strain."

    I stood her against the wall to make things easier for her, for we
    have few chairs at the clinic, and left her to treat other patients,
    telling her not to open her eyes, nor to remove her palms from them,
    not for a moment, till I came back. Presently I became aware of a
    strange sound, a sort of mumbling. I was greatly puzzled, but tried
    not to show it for fear I would disturb the patients. All of a sudden,
    as I approached my blind patient, I discovered where the sound came
    from. She was saying in a low tone, "Black polish, black polish," just
    as fast as she could. I now held a test card covered with E's of
    various sizes turned in different directions a foot away from her
    eyes, and told her to take her hands down and look at it. The doctor,
    the other patients and myself were quite scared at the outburst that
    "Ma'am, dat's a E; dat's a sure-nough E. I's sure dat's a black E
    on some white paper."
    This was a large letter on the first line, read by the normal eye at
    two hundred feet.
    But the next moment it faded from her eyes. That was my fault. I was
    not quick enough. What I should have done was to have her close her
    eyes and palm again the moment she saw the E. But I was greatly
    encouraged, not only because the patient had had a flash of vision,
    but because Dr. Bates had said he was sure I would help her to see
    again. I again told her to palm and remember black, and when, in a few
    moments, I asked her to take down her hands and look at the card, she
    again saw the E, and blacker than the first time. I now told her to
    close her eyes and open them for just a second, alternately,
    remembering the stove polish as she did so. She did this for a time,
    and was able to see the E each time she opened her eyes.
    "Now," I said, as I raised my hand and held it one foot from her
    eyes, "how many fingers can you see?"
    "Three," she replied, which was correct.
    I told her to rest her eyes by palming many times a day, and to come
    and see me three times a week. I also gave her some advice about her
    diet, and told her that enemas were quite necessary to relieve her

    Next clinic day she saw the seventy line of letters at one foot, and
    they did not fade away as did the E the first time she saw it. I told
    her to palm some more, and in a few minutes she counted my fingers
    correctly every time I asked her to, with only one exception.
    "If dis here seein' keeps up, ma'am," she remarked, "I sure will be
    able to earn mar livin' again. De Lor' bless you ma'am."

    She continued to come and made slow but sure progress for a time. Then
    came a time when she stayed away for several months. As I was very
    anxious to cure her, I worried about her considerably during this
    time. Then one day she turned up again. She seemed to be very much
    frightened about something, but her eyes looked much better. I was so
    glad to see her, and she seemed so much upset, that I refrained from
    scolding her, as I felt like doing, and in course of time I discovered
    the reason for her absence. She had been under treatment for some
    other troubles, and some doctor or nurse had scared her into
    discontinuing her visits to our clinic. She had, however, continued to
    palm several hours a day with most gratifying results.
    "Do you know, ma'am," she said, "I's can see every house number as
    I go visitin', an' I goes out to a day's work once in a while."

    She continued to come quite regularly, and her improvement continued.
    Sometimes I would find that she did not see as well as at her previous
    visit, but immediate improvement always followed palming. Her
    gratitude was pathetic, and every little while she would bring a
    bundle, saying:
    "Dis here is fo' you, ma'am. You sabe me from blindness. Yes, you
    did, an' I's mighty grateful."
    These bundles contained gifts of various kinds—a cocoa-nut from the
    West Indies at one time, grapefruit and cucumbers at another, and a
    third a necklace made of tropical beans of various colors.

    The greatest day of her life came a few weeks ago when she washed a
    full set of Dresden china for her employer, without breaking a single
    piece, and earned four dollars and twenty cents by her day's work. If
    she continues to practice the palming, which she now forgets
    sometimes, I have no doubt that she will, in time, obtain normal
    vision. She now sees the largest letter on the card twenty feet away,
    and reads the headlines in newspapers. Recently Dr. Bates examined her
    eyes with the ophthalmoscope, and found the appearance of the optic
    nerve very much improved, more blood-vessels being visible in the
    papilla, or head of the nerve.

    Imperfect Sight Can be Cured Without Glasses
    You Can Cure Yourself
    You Can Cure Others

    Better Eyesight
    A monthly magazine devoted to the prevention and cure of imperfect
    sight without glasses
    Copyright, 1920, by the Central Fixation Publishing Company
    Editor—W. H. Bates, M.D.
    Publisher—Central Fixation Publishing Co.
    $2.00 per year, 20 cents per copy
    342 West 42nd Street, New York, N. Y.
    Vol. III - October, 1920 - No. 4

    Lelouch, Aug 20, 2009
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  2. Lelouch

    Otis Guest

    MikeOD> Magical thinking is common in schizophrenia.



    So Dr. Bates and all second-opinion people (who you disagree with)

    1. Are schizophrenic, and/or
    2. Magical

    If you "rule" applied for all time, then:

    Ignaz Semmelwise was both.

    No doctor would be "washing his hands" because:

    Belief in the existence of germs is "magical".

    Q. E. D.


    Otis, Aug 20, 2009
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  3. Lelouch

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Continually trying to put words into the mouths of others is
    tantamount to lying ... and ... in your case ... indicative of some
    untreated pathology.

    You're a sick f**k, Uncle Otie. Thank GOD you didn't procreate!
    Neil Brooks, Aug 20, 2009
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