A couple of weeks ago, I randomly cut my eye. As in my eyeball. I woke up one day, put on a contact, it started stinging, and I've been in glasses since. Now before you cringe, you should know that I've been wearing contact lens for over a decade now. I think every long-term contact lens wearer can relate -- this is just something that happens, and for me, personally, this is about a once a year occurrence. Once a year, I'll cut my eye or get pink eye or something like that and be doomed to glasses for a week or so. The first few times, I went to the doc's. As it started happening over the years though, I just learned to self-treat. Well, not this time.
This time the cut seemed a bit worse than what I had previously experienced, so wanting to play it safe, I of course scheduled an appointment to see an eye doctor ASAP, and I went through Kaiser. I thought that a cut was something that I needed to see an ophthalmologist for and I thought that was who I was going to be seeing at Kaiser, but apparently, optometry is more broad than I thought it was and I was unknowingly assigned to a optometrist.
I haven't been to Kaiser for an eye doc in nearly a decade since I have my own optometrist in private practice, so I was randomly assigned a doc, which happened to be Frank Zisman. And let me tell you, this was probably one of these best and most positive Kaiser experiences that I've ever had. Dr. Zisman is kind, warm, friendly, knowledgeable and patient and most important of all, he has genuine care and concern for his patients and looks out for their best interest. He's also hilarious, so many jokes were cracked and many laughs were shared.
This is in stark contrast to the 95% of other Kaiser appointments that I've had over the years where I felt like I was on a conveyor belt going through a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am experience with some jaded, exhausted, bored and overworked doctor who gave me a quick surface fix without really going to the root of the problem, and couldn't wait to get rid of me ASAP.
Dr. Zisman said that the cut on my eye wasn't actually that bad, told me to wear glasses for two more weeks, to start taking flaxseed supplements for my dry eyes, use rewetting drops and to use more oxygenated contact lens when I was ready to test drive them again. Prior to this appointment, I had no idea that I had a dry eye issue. Besides the cut, I also had a lot of questions about the health of my eyes in general, and about LASIK and he took the time to answer all of them in great detail.
My cut has healed completely thanks to Dr. Zisman's advice and I've actually continued to wear glasses since I have decided to get LASIK, once and for all cutting down my chances of getting eye cuts and pink eye annually. I further emailed Dr. Zisman for advice on LASIK, to which he responded promptly to. With a couple jokes thrown in, of course. Even at the appointment, he had given me quite a bit of information that was really helpful in narrowing the exact type of procedure I wanted.
I Googled Dr. Zisman because my experience with him was so positive that I wondered if he was in private practice so that I wouldn't have to go through the hassle of Kaiser the next time I wanted an appointment with him, only to find a bunch of glowing and nostalgic reviews from his former patients from the days when he had his own private practice. I think he's nearing retirement.
Though Dr. Zisman is no longer in private practice, former patients should know that he's still around, examining at eyeballs, except at Kaiser, either the Oakland or Richmond facilities and he still gives patients the private practice feel even though it's in a large hospital.
By the way, if you do see him, you should ask him how he came to choose between dental and optometry school. I'm sure he'd be happy you asked :)