Through Elli’s Eyes: HOUSE CALL
Elli Altman is the Community Outreach Manager at Vision Specialists of Michigan. Before Elli was the outreach manager, she was a patient. Now she chronicles her journey and those of the patients she meets.
What does a doctor do when the call comes to help a young man who suffers from anxiety, making it unbearable for him to venture more than five minutes from his house?
A couple years ago, we received a call from the therapist of a young man in his late teens. The therapist, very familiar with the work done at Vision Specialists, knew that his patient was in dire need of our help, but could not get to our office. Indeed, this teen had been homebound for seven years, leaving him isolated from school and friends. The doctor at Vision Specialists had to go to the patient – but the necessary equipment is not portable. So, an optometric practice (very close to the patient’s home) was ‘borrowed’ on a Sunday afternoon. The doctor brought along the additional equipment not normally found in a traditional optometric office.
During the vision exam, the patient told the doctor that his world had been ‘jumping around” in front of him since he was nine years old. During the exam, the doctor found that his vision was misaligned. With the new aligning lenses in front of his eyes, the world was finally still. Still. Living life as if he was constantly on a carnival ride was now over. Still. The sort of stillness that allows the anxiety to dissipate.
With his new aligning glasses, he has a new life. He takes his dog on long walks. He drives to the grocery store. He ventures out to see places he’s never been. And, recently, he wrote a note to the doctor. He’s enrolled in college!
From being housebound to being college bound! All with a special pair of glasses.