Four years ago I ended up at the Gulani Vision Institute because I had no place else to turn. I was suffering from chronic eye infections and multiple chalazia on my left eyelid. I had seen well over a dozen other ophthalmologists who all maintained my only option was the standard cookie cutter approach to treating both, ...antibiotics and steroids for the MGD, and a scalpel to cut out my chalazia. The problem was I had done some research and also had a friend who ended up with permanent severe Dry Eye in one eye due to a botched chalazion surgery. So, the standard care both didn't make sense to me based on my understanding of Dry Eye, and also scared me silly. As a result I ended up going on a whirlwind tour of several ophthalmologist's practices searching for someone who could, I was desperately hoping, think out of the box and offer me an alternative. I made my case each and every time to succeed only in butting heads with doctor after doctor, arrive home crying with frustration, and then pull myself together and get back onto Google to keep up the search for someone who had something different to offer. After four long months of this pattern, I came across a video of Dr. Gulani performing MGP, found his contact info and was on a plane to see him inside of a week. I arrived exhausted and emotionally worn down from what had become a disillusioning medical odyssey. By then, I was barely clinging to the hope that when I presented my reasoning once again, my concerns would be considered and possibly answered with an alternative approach. Or, in other words, I was scared I would be shot down yet again and be treated as a mistrustful, demanding patient asking for special treatment.
In no way could I have imagined what was to ensue. Within the first few minutes of conversation with Dr. Gulani, I began to realize I was dealing with not only a doctor, but an individual the likes of which I had never encountered before. He was fully engaged with me and my experience as a human being with a health issue that deeply concerned me and impacted my quality of life. He is a fantastic listener. He genuinely sympathized and indicated that he also shared my concerns that standard care and chalazion surgery were quite likely not going to be successful in addressing the root of my Dry Eye symptoms adequately. He congratulated me on research well done and expressed that he would not only treat me that week, but closely monitor my care in the ensuing months. Unlike previous doctors, he clearly showed an interest in earning my confidence person to person, as opposed to automatically expecting me to trust him based on his title. He took his time to reinforce my confidence in MGP as an appropriate treatment for my case with excitement, sharing with me his past successes with it. His tone was never matter of fact nor authoritative. Rather it was full of passion, confidence and a sincere pleasure to be able to offer me the help I needed.
After I had read and signed all the necessary paperwork and as I waited for the freezing cream applied to my eyelids to do its job, Dr. Gulani came around to chat with me. When he learned I was a teacher, he expressed great respect for my choice of profession which was in service of others. To honour that respect he told me he was going to give me a significant discount. I was shocked. I could not believe how much respect he genuinely wanted to show he had for me as a person, not through the sort of flattery anyone could offer, but through a significant gesture. It was at that point that I stared to cry a little. I wanted to cry a lot, but I had to mind the freezing cream! The tears were tears of relief. After months of being treated like a can on a conveyer belt that more or less fit the specs for a certain standard issue lid, I not only found a doctor who saw my case as unique requiring a tailored approach, but also recognized that I was indeed more than just a patient or client, I was a human being who as such, deserved as much respect from him as he did from me. It was outstanding to me that he was clearly making an effort to
earn my confidence and trust when in the position of a doctor, he could simply lean on his authority to take it for granted.
That sincere contact and respect evolved into a life changing experience for me. I had become very passionate about Dry Eye and the limitations of one size fits all standard care for addressing it, and likely any other health issue. I had already done a great deal of research in an effort to help myself, and since I was seeing Dr Gulani every day that week so he could monitor his work and my healing, I had ample opportunity to discuss my thoughts with him. He was so responsive and supportive that he infused me with enough confidence in my ability to effectively research and share information vital to Dry Eye suffers that I decided to write a book for patients to help them with their own individual Dry Eye journeys.
In short, I arrived in Dr Gulani's office a desperate emotional wreck seeking medical assistance and one week later, left not only as a revitalized human being and satisfied patient, but an aspiring author with a world renowned eye surgeon in her corner. I could not have been more pleasantly shocked and exhilarated. Honestly, a published book, website and a growing readership later, I still can't quite believe what happened and continues to happen.
Dr. Gulani has not only stayed in touch since that first visit four years ago, but he was the first person to read my book and extend copious advice and assistance. He is a very busy and successful man who has shown me great kindness and generosity by taking time out of his packed schedule to call me personally offering his congratulations and ongoing encouragement.
All of this confirms to me that even more importantly and powerfully than being an excellent ophthalmologist and world renowned eye surgeon, Dr. Gulani is an exceptional human being who has sincerely and humbly dedicated his life to improving that of others. His medical practice is his means of being of service to others. It is not his profession. It is his passion. It is a passion he freely shares with others until it becomes contagious. I am forever grateful that he shared it with me, so that I can continue to pass it forward and share it with others.
Through the confidence he gave me to write my E-book, "Dry Eyes, Chalazia and Styes, Causes and Cures," I have been able to connect meaningfully with other Dry Eye patients around the world and offer them hope and advice they might have not found elsewhere. It has given me great personal fulfilment to receive feedback such as the following testimonials from some of my readers.
"I found your e-book on dry eye most helpful in that so many possible treatments are covered. It has made researching so much easier! And the future seem brighter. " Rita Royals - Jackson, MS USA
"Read your book. Loved it. Beyond helpful. Beyond eye opening." Shawna Citron - Toronto, ON CA
"Hi Jelena. Just wanted to let you know I really got some very useful information from your ebook. I now have a better understanding of chalazions, and why I might be having a problem
with them. Again thanks for the book it has invaluable info for dry eye suffers, especially people who suffer from chalazions and styes." Mary Thorne - Chicago, Illinois USA
Teaching is my passion, but before I encountered both Dry Eye and Dr Gulani, it was limited to one classroom at a time, teaching writing to college students. Now, I have the ability to reach anyone around the world which is an amazing feeling.
I owe a great deal of this success to Dr. Gulani's generosity with his time and his genuine kindness towards others. As much as his patients believe in him, he believes in them and makes sure they know it. Beyond caring for his patients eyes, he truly cares for them. He shared with me that first and foremost, his wish for his own medical students is that they understand and always keep in mind that the most important thing they must consider when treating any pair of eyes is that they belong to a human being. Patients are not to be worked on, but to be worked with. They are not just a collection of body parts, but individuals who are always much greater than the sum of their parts. Nonetheless, when any of those parts are damaged or ailing, the whole individual suffers greatly. As health is our most precious asset and number one determiner of quality of life, it should be clear that every single person deserves optimal and not just standard health care. This philosophy, which in Dr Gulani's office becomes a reality routinely, is one I deeply admire and am proud to share with others through my writing.
To read more about my personal Dry Eye journey which lead me to the Gulani Vision Institute as well as Dry Eye in general. Please visit my website at: www.dryeyecausesandcures.com.