The best news about eyes & Birmingham
Just returned from the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery congress in Copenhagen. The sun was out and Copenhagen was beautiful. But more importantly, there were fantastic new developments and technologies to share and see with over 5000 other eye surgeon colleagues.
The government can't provide top notch, free and prompt healthcare with the current budget.
So, junior doctors, nurses and others are being told to do more for less in the NHS. So, health professionals are leaving the NHS for the private sector, leaving the country or leaving the profession. So the NHS pays private sector staff to work in NHS hospitals or pays private hospitals to do operations (especially cataracts). So the government tells the NHS not to spend the precious budget on private hospitals and staff. It's a lose-lose dilemma.
So what is going to happen? Either we accept that we won't be getting top notch, free and prompt healthcare or taxes have to increase or we will have to pay for the NHS services we use or we pay privately for healthcare ourselves. It's simple household budgeting: If we don't pay for it somehow, we can't have it.
Heather wrote: "... I stepped into the 15.1 degree Atlantic Ocean at Stroove Beach, with the vast Foyle River to my right, the Innishowen headline to my left and in front, pretty much just horizon as far as the eye could see, other than a slim line where I knew Port Stewart was roughly straight ahead ..."
And we're so pleased that you could see across the bay and that you made it. And congratulations on raising nearly £4000 (to date) for Outdoor Recreation NI & The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI). To donate, visit Virgin Money Giving.
Read more in Heather's blog about her laser eye surgery: www.swimforportstewart.com/swimblog/an-honest-account-of-eye-laser-surgery
Birmingham Laser team training
We're regularly training to use new & updated instruments, doing refresher courses & updating our skills or training on new instruments because we want to be the best & care for you the best we can. Most of the training we use every day, but we even train to do things we have never had to do, and develop skills we hope to never have to use such as emergency resuscitation.
We are pleased to report that the resuscitation dummy Annie survived the day to be resuscitated again next time! To read more about this A-team, see: http://www.lasereyesurgerybirmingham.com/about
Read about her big swim next month here: www.swimforportstewart.com and what she has to say about the laser eye surgery that will help get her to the other side: www.swimforportstewart.com/swimblog/an-honest-account-of-eye-laser-surgery
"I was escorted through to a lovely waiting area, there, a lovely lady who I had met at the initial consultation, went through forms and put drops in my eyes. My surgeon then popped in to see me, which I have to say I wasn’t expecting, and it was lovely to see him so happy and calm ready to do crazy things to my eyes.
Mark and his theatre team all spoke to me and confirmed what they were going to do. They did my right eye first. Then it got interesting, from this point everything was like being at the bottom of a swimming pool and opening your eyes, and just seeing people and things above the surface. I could see the outer lights of the laser which formed two dotted circles. Cyber lights started firing up and whizzing around, it did all feel a bit like I was going to be beamed up onto the Starship enterprise, which only lasted (I think) for under 10 seconds. You can’t feel a thing, it is fine. After that (a contact) lens was flipped back over onto my eye, and oh my goodness it was incredible. I could still only see the light dots but they were perfectly clear, I could tell my eyesight was MUCH better already. The same was done to the other, and then I was finished. Probably 7 minutes on each eye I would say.
I stopped myself from high fiving the team as I had wanted to and after thanking them all profusely, sat down with my mother, who was incredibly relieved to have a daughter with two eyes return to her. I sat and looked at everything around me. I could see their faces, I could see the detail in the pictures hanging on the walls and I could read signs already, such relief, and an amazing feeling of joy. Do you know its relaxing too. Spending your day squinting at things isn’t relaxing at all, perhaps my face might have fewer wrinkles too now as a result as I grow older. Mark soon popped in to check on me and asked me to read the time on the clock (which I could!) and checked everything was ok and after being given copious amounts of eye drops and instructions on when to apply them, I was good to go, popped on my Ray Bans and waved everyone fairwell."
Thanks Jean for sharing your experience and for drawing us the picture.
Heather is swimming from Donegal to Portstewart in July. It will be more than 13 miles and very cold. The swim will officially be observed and recorded by the Irish Long Distance Association (ILDSA). Heather says: "I will be raising money for charity and achieving a lifelong dream. Since I was a little girl growing up in Portstewart, sitting on the strand beach, twiddling the sand between my toes, I have looked across the sea to Donegal and wanted to swim to the other side. The swim is likely to be more than 13 miles long, as with the tides and currents around that area, I will swim quite a zig zagged route increasing the distance of the swim. I also need to take into account the fast flowing waters of the River Foyle and the River Bann which I will cross en route. But I have a training plan, and a lot of great friends and professionals on board to help me prepare myself the best I can both physically and mentally."
We are excited and inspired by Heather's dream and honoured to be on the team. Thank you, Heather for chosing us to do your laser eye surgery. At least you won't have to worry that losing your contact lenses during the swim ends the dream! You can follow Heather's laser story here or her swimming story at www.swimforportstewart.com
Myth #9: Laser eye surgery is a new procedure with a short track record.
Fact: New York ophthalmologist, Dr. Steven Trokel performed the first laser surgery on a patient's eyes in 1987. And there have been many improvements in the lasers since then. But some things haven't changed since then, such as the "billion dollar" ego!
Mark Wevill has been correcting vision with lasers since 1996 (click to read more).
Would you like to help a charity that's building a medical centre in an orphanage in Uganda? Kampala Children's Centre gives orphaned Ugandan children a home, an education and the warmth of a family in such a loving way that they themselves become agents of positive change? Destiny Africa Children's Choir is an energetic dancing and singing group of talented children from KCC who have performed in stadiums, theatres, in front of presidents and prime ministers in the UK, the USA and Europe.
The Kampala Children's Centre has only been in existence for 10 years, but in this time a primary and a secondary school has been built on site and now a medical centre is being built which will serve the centre as well as the community. To raise funds to equip this centre, a gala performance and dinner is being held at The Forest of Arden Hotel in Meriden at which the choir will be performing throughout the evening with their usual vibrant energy and enthusiasm. Tickets cost £45 per person. Contact us for details & bring your friends to one of the best evenings of singing and dancing that you will see in a long time.
Read more about them at: www.destinyafrica.org
Performing brain surgery on conscious patients is a common practice and it is even more common during eye surgery. Did the French patient see anything unusual during his brain surgery? We don't know, but eye surgery patients do see interesting sights ... more later.