Stories From the Clinic

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Zetsu, May 25, 2008.

  1. Zetsu

    Zetsu Guest

    [...1. Joey and Patsy

    By Emily C. Lierman

    [Editor's Note: Mrs. Lierman wore glasses for thirteen years. She was
    cured six years ago, and has since acted as a very enthusiastic
    assistant in the laboratory and clinic of the editor. She is not a
    physician, but obtains results, having never failed to improve the
    sight of any patient whom she has treated - a wonderful record.]

    Joey is a little Italian boy who was struck on the head a few months
    ago in an automobile accident, and injured in such a way that he
    became almost totally blind in the left eye. Patsy Is Joey's brother,
    and from him it was learned that when the accident occurred Joey was
    at the head of his troops, conducting a strategic retreat after a
    fierce conflict in which he had been obliged to yield to adverse
    fortune. His face was to the foe and the automobile was behind him.
    Hence the catastrophe.

    A week later he was brought to the clinic of the Harlem Hospital by
    his aunt. Dr. Bates examined him and found that he was suffering from
    optic neuritis and retinal hemorrhages of the left eye, as a result of
    which the vision of this eye had been reduced to mere light

    The child was now brought to me for treatment, and never have I seen a
    more forlorn little specimen of humanity. I did not know then that a
    gang of street boys had once looked up to him as their leader, and I
    never should have suspected it. There was not the shadow of a smile
    upon his face, and he had not a word to say. Both his face and his
    clothes were dirty. The latter were also ragged, while his shoes were
    full of holes. His teeth were wonderful, however, and beneath the
    grime on his small countenance one could catch glimpses of the
    complexion of perfect health. I told him to rest his eyes by closing
    and covering them with the palms of his hands, and after a few minutes
    he was able to see the largest letter on the test card with his blind
    eye. I told him to do this six times a day for five minutes at a time,
    and to come back on the next clinic day.

    The next time I saw him, he not only had made no progress, but was as
    blind as he had been at the beginning. His aunt said:

    "You scold him. Tell him you will keep him here, because he will not
    palm or do anything he is told to do at home."

    I answered: "You do not wish me to lie to him, do you?" Joey looked up
    into my face, so sad and worried, waiting for me to defend him again,
    as his aunt replied: "Well, I will leave him here and not take him
    home again."

    "All right," I said. "I live in the country, and perhaps Joey would
    like to go home with me and play in the fields, and watch the birds
    build their nests, and learn how to smile as little boys should."

    Well now, you should have seen that dirty little face flush up with
    excitement and pleasure.

    "Joey," I said, "you are going to love me a whole lot, because I love
    you already; but you must mind what I say, because if you don't you
    will go blind."

    Joey then consented to palm for a few minutes, and his sight improved
    so that he was able to see the large letter of the test card three
    feet away. He now made an effort to see the next line of two letters,
    but not only did he fail to do so, but he also lost the large letter.
    The strain had made him blind again.

    How I wish I had more time to spend on a case like this! But the room
    was full of patients, and more were coming continually. I had to
    attend to them. So I asked Joey, very gently, to palm and not take his
    hands from his eyes until I came back. After ten minutes I returned
    and asked what he could see. To my surprise he read five lines of the
    test card with the blind eye. Much encouraged I sent him home, and he
    promised to palm six times a day. He stayed away almost a week and I
    worried about him, for I knew he would forget what I had told him to
    do. Then one day he turned up with his brother Patsy, who, I believe,
    is twelve years old. My, how Patsy did talk! Joey had not a word to
    say, and did not smile until I asked him to. Patsy said that Joey did
    not practice, and that his father hit him on the head and threatened
    him with all sorts of things to make him do so. It was quite evident
    that he had not practiced. When I asked him to read the card, all he
    could see was the big letter at the top at three feet.

    Poor little Joey! I gathered him in my arms, patted his dirty face,
    and told him that if he would count six fingers for me and practice
    palming as many times a day I was sure Santa Claus would have some
    toys for him at Christmas time. Joey was all smiles, and stood with
    his eyes covered for a long time. When he again looked at the card he
    read the fifth line. Meantime Patsy was telling me all about the
    accident in which Joey had been injured, and also all about the rest
    of the family. His big brother was going to be married, he said, but
    not until another brother, eighteen years old, was out of prison.
    Patsy talked like a man and his voice sounded like a foghorn, but I
    saw that he had a gentle nature and I enlisted him as my little
    assistant. I asked him if he would not try to get Joey to palm more,
    and told him that he must always speak kindly to him. I also asked him
    to ask his father not to hit Joey on the head again, because that made
    the hemorrhages worse and Joey would go blind. Bless Patsy's heart! He
    promised to help me all he could, and I am sure he deserves much of
    the credit for what I was afterward able to do for Joey.

    After this Joey's progress was steady. He responded to kindness as a
    flower responds to the sun. But if I ever forgot myself and spoke to
    him without the utmost gentleness - if I even raised my voice a little
    - he would at once become nervous and begin to strain. One day I
    remonstrated with him because he had not done what I had told him, and
    a few moments later when I asked him to read the test card with his
    left eye, he said, "I can only see the large letter." I began to pet
    him, telling him what a great man he might be some day and how
    important it was for him to see with both eyes. He smiled and palmed,
    and in a short time he again read five lines of the card.

    At a recent visit he was very conspicuous because he had had his face
    washed. I could see that he wanted me to notice this, which of course
    I did, giving him high praise for his improved appearance. He smiled
    and started to palm without being told to, and his sight improved more
    rapidly than at any previous visit.

    His last visit was a happy one. He saw all of the bottom line at ten
    feet without palming.

    One day Patsy appeared at the clinic wearing spectacles. "Patsy, for
    heaven's sake, what are you wearing those things for?" I asked.

    "The nurse in school said I needed glasses and my father paid four
    dollars for them - but I can see without them." His vision without
    glasses was 20/100. After palming five minutes it improved

    "Do you want to be cured without glasses?" he was asked.

    "Sure, I don't want to wear them."

    "Well, you ask father's permission and I will cure you." Fortunately,
    father had no objection, and now Patsy sees much better without
    glasses than he ever did with them. He says that the blackboard looks
    blacker than it used to, and that his lessons do not seem so hard. His
    vision is not normal yet, but after he has rested his eyes for part of
    a minute, simply by closing them, he can read the bottom line of the
    test card easily at ten feet...]

    - BEM, February 1920
    Zetsu, May 25, 2008
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  2. Zetsu

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Thanks for yet another unverifiable, third-hand anecdote.
    Neil Brooks, May 25, 2008
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  3. Zetsu

    Jan Guest

    Zetsu schreef:
    Major snip in an old story
    Zetsu schreef:

    By keeping your eyes open and your mouth shut when reading the messages
    in this newsgroup.

    Jan (normally Dutch spoken)
    Jan, May 25, 2008
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