I thought it might be fun to start sharing more about the kinds of conversations I have with people here at the Dry Eye Shop. Who knows, perhaps something that arises from one of my calls will be helpful to someone who hasn't called, or can't call!
We had a very welcome, very calm, albeit busy Monday.
Good things happened... like finding out EyeLocc was about to arrive, and then having it arrive right then and there! So happy to have it back.
And not so good things... like finding out Genteal Ointment AND Genteal Gel aren't available right now from Alcon and wondering whether that's a routine backorder or... indicative of problems, just like with Refresh PM, and of course, no one can tell me. Sigh.
But the calls, as always, were great. I'm going to share a random few.
New PROSE user!
I love speaking with new PROSE and scleral lens users. Chaidie can sense those within seconds of getting on the call, and flagged me down right away to take the call over if possible. People who are brand new to this type of lenses are often so overwhelmed by it all, that even if they're getting awesome support from their provider (as this caller clearly was) they definitely seem to find it very reassuring to be able to talk to somebody else that knows what's it's like first-hand.
This new user was referred to us by her provider. She uses the Dalsey Adaptives lighted inserter stand, and is persistently working her way through the teething troubles new users sometimes face with the insertion process. Salines are another hurdle, and that's what she had called us about. Being advised about three different salines was a bit confusing (what isn't, to a new user!) so I tried to be informative without causing too much information overload! After all, the most important thing is to just make sure it's preservative free. Then, talking through the joys of peroxide and the old "brown bottle plus catalyst" trick, and locating just the right cleaning solution, and she was good to go.
New Quartz user
Later on at some point I had a nice chat with a relatively new user of the Quartz silicone shield for overnight dryness. We had emailed a couple of days earlier, but I think I had misunderstood what the issue was and understandably confused her with my answer. She is a CPAP user who needed something to protect her eyes while the CPAP is running, but I hadn't quite realized she would be using it for some time when not asleep. So the question had been about the clear silicone clouding, but actually, what was happening was that it was fogging up, which for dry eye is exactly what we want, and in a humid climate also unavoidable. Only, that's not so great when you want to, say, watch TV.
She was as nice as could be but after I got off the phone I suddenly thought I should have suggested maybe something like the lasik goggle would fit with her CPAP and let her watch TV with clearer vision. Lo and behold, I found a new lasik goggle in the freebies, so I'm going to pop it in the mail to her tomorrow just in case.
Frustrated Eyeseals user
This was the last call of the day. Super nice gentleman who had first spoken with Lindy back in the spring, and ordered Eyeseals, and liked it enough that he got two pairs - one dark, one clear. Lindy's notes included "disabled, brain aneurysm, paralysis of R eyelid, used to use swim goggle, limited computer use".
Today, though, he was looking for something new, something that would be more durable. It seems both of his Eyeseals had "come apart" after some months of use. Neither of them had been usable for the last couple of months. So of course first of all I wanted to look up his order dates and see if there was something covered under warranty, to avoid a new purchase. At first he didn't want to bother with that, but later on in the call I was able to persuade him to take the manufacturer's number, and I sent them a quick email heads-up as well.
One thing led to another and he mentioned he had been without his ointment for four months. And of course I brought him up to speed on what's going on with ointments... after hearing more details of his experience, I advised him to get the Walmart Equate brand, test it to see if his eyes responded ok, and if they do, to buy as much as possible to hold him through the ointment shortage. I just hate the fact that he was missing both his goggles and his ointment, all for want of information... and all this time he's had to tape his lids down. I learned in the course of the call that his wife is blind and on dialysis and that he has cancer, and I'm thinking all along about how beautifully upbeat he is and how he is so kind and appreciative of having someone to talk to about his eyes that understands the practical issues we face.
In the end I find myself trying to coach him through how to join our Facebook dry eye support group so he might have a chance to connect with others too.