Friday, September 07, 2007

Why subjective experience is important -- an example

There is an online community of 1,493 retinal detachment patients at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/detached-retina/. I emphasize "patients" because there are no eye-care professionals in the group. If my cataract surgeon had been reading the group, he might have shown me "Catmaster's" recent post stating:
My second RD looks just like the photo (below). While the first RD stayed, the second would disappear. I was hoping it was an artifact from the cataract surgery, but it was not.
His second RD was like mine -- a sub-second black spot. Had I read it, my detachment would have been detected at least a week before it was -- before the fleeting shadow became a permanent blotch. Perhaps I could have avoided the scleral buckle. Perhaps I could have avoided the vitrectomy. Perhaps there would have been less retinal damage. Perhaps the odds of a recurrence would have been lower.

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