The ‘best and easiest outpatient visit’ of my life

This account, from the Macular Society, reminds us that it’s important to keep seeking medical attention as normal, despite any concerns we might have about Coronavirous.

As many people remain frightened to attend their local eye clinics because of the coronavirus, one patient in Aberdeenshire has described her experience as the ‘best and easiest outpatient visit’ of her life. Margot Kennedy, aged 78, recently attended her eye injection clinic at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and said she had nothing but positive things to say about the service she received.

She said: “The clinic was absolutely exemplary and I can’t praise them highly enough, I was delighted. The whole thing ran on rails, quickly.” Margot was diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2012 and has since received more than 80 injections in her left eye.

Coming from a family of doctors Margot said she wasn’t frightened to attend and knew all she needed to do was take all the right precautions.

She said: “I have grown up in a very medical family and have been married to an anaesthetist, so I have learnt a lot about infection control. I took a lot of advice on how to protect myself before I went to the clinic and followed that advice.”

Margot was keen to take all the precautions she could as she said she did not want to put her sight at risk by missing an injection.

“I’m not prepared to lose my sight,” she said. “I have wet macular degeneration in my left eye. I also have dry macular degeneration in right eye. I’m very aware of the fact that I could lose the sight in my right eye and in case that happens I really need to keep looking after my left one.”

“I find it hard enough being old and not being able to do many of the things I used to do. If I was blind I don’t think my life would be worth living at all.”

If you are worried about attending your appointment, Margot has shared her top tips to keep yourself safe:

  • All the clothes you wear should be totally washable and it will be easier when you get home if they all go on the same wash, and preferably a fairly hot one.
  • Take several pairs of disposable gloves with you.
  • Wash your hands and face thoroughly before you leave.
  • If you live too far away to walk, get the “cleanest” transport possible. This is likely to be a private car.
  • Once in the hospital use hand sanitizer every time you see some.
  • Put gloves on to enter a lift, remove them when you leave the lift. You could take a plastic bag with you to collect used gloves. If you need the loo, put gloves on before you go in and remove them after you come out.
  • Keep using the sanitizer.
  • As soon as you get home go straight into the bathroom, strip off totally, absolutely everything, go into the shower shampoo and wash incredibly thoroughly, being extremely careful not to get any water in or near your eyes. Pay particular attention to your hair which could be a nice little trap for a virus which could be more easily washed off your skin.
  • Put clean dry clothes on.
  • Put a fresh pair of gloves on and put the clothes you wore at the hospital into the wash, as hot as the fabric will stand.