Three of a Kind.

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Lelouch, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest


    Stories from the Clinic

    4. Three of a Kind.

    By Emily C. Lierman.

    George, Gladys and Charlie are three children who came to the eye
    clinic of the Harlem Hospital at about the same time. They were all of
    the same age, nine years; they were all suffering from about the same
    degree of defective sight; they all had headaches; and they got into a
    very interesting three-cornered contest in which each one tried to
    beat the others at getting cured. George and Gladys are colored, and
    Charlie is a white boy of a most pronounced blonde type, with fair
    curls and blue eyes.

    George was the first of the trio to visit us. He had been sent from
    his school to get glasses because of his headaches, and it was easy to
    see from his half-shut eyes and the expression of his face that he was
    in continual misery. My first impulse was to try to make him smile,
    but my efforts in that direction did not meet with much success.
    "Won't you let me help you?" I asked.
    "Maybe you can and maybe you can't," was his discouraging reply.
    "But you are going to let me try, aren't you?" I persisted,
    stroking his woolly head.
    He refused to unbend, but did consent to let me test his vision, which
    I found to be 20/70, and to show him how to palm and rest his eyes. He
    also continued to come to the clinic, but for three weeks I never saw
    him smile, and he complained constantly of the pain in his head.

    Then came Gladys, accompanied by her mother who gave me a history of
    her case very similar to that of George. Her vision was 20/100, and in
    a very short time I improved it to 20/40. At her next visit it became
    temporarily normal, and this fact made a great impression upon George.
    I saw him roll back his eyes and watch Gladys while I was treating
    her, and later, when he thought I was not looking, I saw him walk over
    to her, and heard him say:
    "You ain't going to get ahead of me. I came before you. I wanna get
    cured first. See?"
    I separated the two children very quickly, for I foresaw trouble; but
    all the time I was very grateful to Gladys for having, however
    unintentionally, stirred George up.

    Next week Charlie came. He looked very sad, and his mother, who came
    with him, was sad also. His headaches were worse than those of the
    other children had been, and were actually preventing him from going
    on with his studies. Promotion time was near, and both mother and
    child were very anxious for fear the latter would be left behind. They
    hoped that by the aid of glasses this tragedy would be averted. Of
    course I explained to the mother that we never gave glasses at this
    clinic, but cured people so they did not need them. Then I tested
    Charlie's sight, and found it to be 20/100. Next I told him to close
    his eyes and remember a letter perfectly black, just as he saw it on
    the test card. He shook his head in dismay and said:
    "I can't remember anything, the pain is so bad."
    "Close your eyes for part of a minute," I said, "then open them
    just a second and look at the letter I am pointing at, then quickly
    close them again. Do this for a few minutes, and see what happens."
    What happened is that in a few minutes Charlie began to smile, and
    "The pain is gone."
    I now showed him how to palm, and left him for a while. When I came
    back his sight had improved to 20/70. I was very happy about this, and
    so was Charlie's mother. She was also very happy to think that he did
    not have to wear glasses.

    Charlie continued to come regularly, and was an apt pupil. One day he
    told me that he had been out sleigh-riding with the boys, and that the
    sun had been shining so brightly upon the snow that he couldn't open
    his eyes, and his head ached so that he had to go home and go to bed.
    "Why didn't you palm for a while and remember one of those letters
    on the card?" I asked.
    "That's right," he said. "I wonder why I didn't think of it."

    The next time he came there had been another snowstorm, and he could
    hardly wait to tell me what had happened.
    "I went sleigh-riding some more with the boys," he said, as soon as
    he could get my ear, "and the pain came back while I was having fun.
    But this time I didn't go home and go to bed. I remembered what you
    said, covered my eyes with the palms of my hands right in the street,
    and in a little while the pain all went away. I could look right at
    the snow with the sun shining on it, and I didn't mind it a bit."

    From the start, the two colored children were greatly interested in
    Charlie, and thinking that a little more of the competition that had
    proved so effective in George's case would do no harm, I said, "See
    who beats." They needed no urging from me, however. Every clinic day,
    an hour before the appointed time, the black and white trio was at the
    hospital door. If there was a crowd there, the children forced their
    way through without much ceremony, and then started on a dead run for
    the eye room. There they practiced diligently until Dr. Bates and I
    arrived, and I fear they also squabbled considerably. There was no
    lack of smiles now in the case of any of the children, and as for
    George, he had a grin on his face all the time.

    Charlie was the first to be cured. In just a month from the time of
    his first visit his vision had improved to 20/10. Usually patients do
    not come back after they are cured, but this boy kept on with the
    practice at home, and returned to show me, and incidentally his two
    rivals, what progress he had made. We had a visiting physician at the
    clinic that day, and I rather suspected Charlie of trying to show off
    when he walked to the very end of the room, a distance of thirty feet
    from the card. To my astonishment, and the great annoyance of George
    and Gladys, he read all the letters on the bottom line correctly. The
    colored children made haste to suggest that he had probably memorized
    the letters; so I hung up a card with pothooks on it, such as we use
    for the illiterate patients, and asked him to tell me the direction in
    which those of the bottom line were turned. He did not make a single
    mistake. There seemed no room for doubt that his vision had actually
    improved to 30/10, three times the accepted standard of normality. Not
    more than one other patient at the clinic has ever become able to read
    the card at this distance. Charlie returned several times after this,
    not from the best of motives, I fear, and I took great pleasure in
    exhibiting his powers to the nurses and to visitors.

    George and Gladys were cured very soon after Charlie, both of them
    becoming able to read 20/10. I was sorry that they could not have done
    as well as Charlie, but since their vision is now twice what is
    ordinarily considered normal, I think they ought to be satisfied.


    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. II - June, 1920 - No. 6

    Lelouch, Aug 2, 2009
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  2. Lelouch

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Since this is a science-based forum, can you present any evidence that
    Bates' methods work better than placebo (a control group NOT receiving

    Neil Brooks, Aug 2, 2009
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