Take Experts with a Grain of Salt

While intending no disrespect to experts like doctors, lawyers, etc. who spent years in school and in practice to learn their craft, I have learned to take what they say under advisement, but not as the final word. Experts are only human and they may sometimes have gaps in their knowledge, or just make a mistake, like all of us do.

For instance, for many years I’ve had strange semi-clear goopy things floating around in my eyes. Sometimes they get in the way of seeing things when doing close work. These are not the black, stringy floaters I’ve had for decades, those I just look past. These actually block my view as they drift across my eyes.

Four times in five years I asked eye doctors about it. One of them was an upscale ophthalmologist. None of them could offer an explanation.

Fifth time was the charm. The doctor I was sent to by EyeCareAmerica knew it was vitreous separation. Bits of the goop that fill the eyeball are separating and drifting in front of my vision. This is harmless (except for blocking my view) 85% of the time. The other 15% it takes the retina with it and that’s when you call the eye doctor.

A friend of mine had distressing symptoms. The doctor did tests and said, You’re fine. She knew she wasn’t fine. She insisted on further testing, and then even more testing. The preliminary tests somehow missed that she had significant blockage of the coronary arteries. Because she insisted, they found it and ordered bypass surgery. If she had accepted the first result, she could have died. And certainly would have continued to have a diminished quality of life.

If what your expert is telling you doesn’t answer your concern or doesn’t make sense, keep asking.

Ask another expert.

Google for more possible avenues to explore.

Get a second and third and in this case fifth opinion.

Thanks to the existence of online discussion boards, you may find ordinary people who have had the same experience and can share their results.


Vitreous Separation

Recently I posted about the program at Volunteer eye doctors provide no cost eye exams to eligible people who have no insurance.

Today I had a complete eye exam with a nearby provider. The exam was thorough and professional, and I got the answer to a question I’ve been asking for ten years.

I’ve had the little black thread floaters for decades. I learned to just look past them and they didn’t bother me. The thing no doctor before had been able to diagnose is the weird floaty things that seem like little snips of a jellyfish drifting by. I can’t see through them, and they interfere with close work, on the computer or reading.

This doctor could see them and knew right away that they are caused by vitreous separation. The ‘vitreous humour’ is the clear gel that fills the eye between the lens and the retina in the eyeball. It is full of tiny fibers that attach it to the retina. With age, these fibers gradually let go, allowing bits of the vitreous to float free, and block my view.

There’s no medical danger in this, unless it pulls the retina loose. If that happens I’ll see a curtain of darkness come down, and need to call the eye doctor right away. That only happens 15% of the time.

Their program is largely aimed at seniors, but they serve younger people also. If it’s been a while since you had an eye exam and you have no insurance, check it out.

Aging Eyes

Here’s some information for older people without vision insurance. offers free vision exams to qualifying seniors. Their questionnaire determines your risk factors. If you haven’t had an exam recently and have no vision insurance, they’ll connect you with a volunteer eye doctor in your area. Only the exam is free, not glasses or possible medical treatment.

Nice to set your mind at ease about the health of your eyes.

Wonderful review

I am so moved by this review. “Tightwad Gazette of the 21st Century” is exactly what I wanted people to think about it:

“Great book!, February 18, 2014

By Lita McRiley “Sorlina”See all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely (Kindle Edition)

This book is jam-packed with tips, ideas, and strategies for saving money. It’s the Tightwad Gazette of the 21st century… internet addresses for DIY help, encouragement for readers, personal anecdotes, this book has it all. To top it off, it’s delivered in a light, easy to read style that isn’t preachy or judgmental. A very helpful, and enjoyable, read!”

The Tightwad Gazette has been the “bible” of thrifty living. My hope was to make it the ‘old testament’ and mine the ‘new testament’, and it seems I have succeeded.