Corridors, compliments and consultants

Greetings one and all.

One of the inevitabilities of living with sight loss is that every now and then a trip to the local eye hospital is usually in order.

I had already had to move this appointment twice before due to my college commitments, but there was no getting away from it, so this week Commando and I finally headed to the local eye infirmary for a check-up.

Typically these appointments tend to follow the same path.  Arrive at the eye infirmary, wait around, feel sorry for the poor nurse who has to try and get an accurate pressure reading from an eye that doesn’t really want to co-operate, more waiting around, then in to see the consultant.  Have a quick chat, a quick examination, and often in the past, hear less than encouraging news that although things are getting worse there’s not really anything that can be done, then off home with another appointment.

But this time things were going to be slightly different.  This time Commando was coming along for the ride.  This time it would be me who was delivering news, and for a change it was going to be nice and positive.

We arrived at the eye infirmary, and immediately the compliments and aww’s were forthcoming for Commando.  Now, keep in mind, that as an eye hospital there have no doubt been many Guide Dogs through the doors, in fact I was told that there had been one in earlier that day.  But despite this Commando was clearly receiving a great deal of praise.  Both staff on the reception desk would have, by their own admission, gladly taken him home! 

We eventually managed to get away from reception, and made our way through the corridors to the clinic.  Usually I would just be holding onto whoever was with me, but this time Commando and I took the lead, moving with our usual confidence, and Commando’s usual new place speed, towards our destination.

We arrived, and found a seat in the first waiting area.

Shortly thereafter my name was called and with a few directions from me, we moved nicely into the examination room for the usual fun and games with the eye pressure tests.   Once the tests had been done we moved out into the second waiting area to be seen by the consultant.  As soon as Commando was spotted a few people came down to say hello, and indulge in some petting.  I think, for all concerned, the presence of a dog was a nice and unexpected change to their routine.

I was a little concerned that Commando may get in the way, as there isn’t much space in the second waiting area.  I think that this may have crossed Commando’s mind as well as it took him some time to settle into a spot, and even then he seemed ready to move at a seconds notice.  But, he must have managed to assume an unobstructive position as fortunately no one tripped over him whilst we were waiting.

Although I have been to appointments a few times in recent years, for one reason or another I haven’t actually seen my regular consultant. 

So, as yet he hadn’t met Commando, or heard about all of the changes in my life that had come about, and were hopefully going to come about, thanks to Commando.

My name was called from the other end of the corridor, and a few quick commands from me had us in the consulting room and sitting down.  My consultant is a dog person, so was very taken with Commando.  We sat for a while and I outlined everything that had happened to me in the 2 and a half years since we had last spoken.  Since he was, naturally involved in everything concerning the deterioration of my sight and all that entailed, I was really pleased to be able to sit there and rhyme off a rather nice list of every positive thing that has happened to me in recent times, and outline the very achievable hopes that I now hold for the future.  As well as state just how instrumental Commando had been in all that had happened, and what is hopefully yet to come.

This meeting was given added poignancy when I learned that my consultant was to retire in a few months, and so this would be our last meeting.  I was truly very happy to be able to deliver so much good news pertaining to how things were going for me.  Especially considering how many less than positive conversations had taken place between us in that room over the years.

The meeting concluded, and Commando and I headed off once again, with another appointment, and I suspect some staff members counting down the days until Commando comes strolling through their doors again.


Jean, 11:32am Tue 17 Jun 2014:

Craig this sounds very similar to my attendance to Sunderland Eye Infirmary. Toby is very popular there. My Consultants both love to see him, and recognise how much he does to improve my quality of life. Amongst all the negatives of deteriorating vision Toby is an amazing positive. Our hospital visits are a very long days work for Toby, but he just takes it in his stride.

clare , 7:33pm Thu 22 May 2014:

Aawh lovely to read your blog at last Craig! Missing Commando already!!

Add comment

* - required field




Craig And Commando

Craig is in his early thirties and completely blind. His blog details the day-to-day adventures he experiences with his first guide dog, Commando.

Read Craig and Commando's most recent adventures.