Dr. Graebe – This Writer Becomes A Patient

For the past nine years, I have collaborated with Dr. Rick Graebe on his monthly column that appears in our magazine.

I have learned much over that time from Dr. Graebe, who is a behavioral optometrist in Versailles specializing in Vision Therapy.

Vision Therapy, as we have written many times in these pages, is a kind of physical therapy for the eyes, brain and body.

I learned that from Dr. Graebe along with much about eye health, macular degeneration, amblyopia (lazy eye) and the difference between eyesight and vision.

In our relationship, I played the role of student to Dr. Graebe’s teacher, a role I have enjoyed immensely.

Recently, I assumed another role with Dr. Graebe – patient.

On a warm Thursday morning, I took a pleasant drive out Versailles Road to his office on Crossfield Drive off Route 60.

After all these years of discussion, I would now see Dr. Graebe in action.

I entered his exam room needing a complete checkup and a new prescription. Dr.  Graebe greeted me wearing casual clothes and a warm grin.

Throughout the exam, he explained all that he was doing and why – a practice I appreciate as a patient.

He checked my macula for signs of degeneration (Good news! The test was negative.) He also tested my eye pressure and general eye health, and made sure that my eyes were tracking, pointing and working together. Thumbs up on everything.

After a thorough exam, I then hit him with my complaints and concerns.

I have trouble seeing at night when I’m driving (Normal for a person my age whose eyes let in less light than they once did).

When I read at night in bed, I find myself using only one eye. (No problem. My eyes are tired after a long day, and for close-up work where depth perception is not an issue, one eye is just fine.).

Afterward, Dr. Graebe wrote me a new prescription and then did something I really appreciated. I work at a computer all day and suffer from occasional neck and shoulder pain.

Unsolicited, Dr. Graebe recommended an osteopath – one that he had seen himself for his shoulder discomfort.

I liked that Dr. Graebe saw me as a complete person, not just an eye patient.

All in all, I felt taken care of. I had been checked by a professional who was interested in me in a holistic way.

I was in capable hands and my needs had been addressed in a caring, friendly manner.

That’s a medical exam home run.