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Long friendships, memorable patients and lots of eye advice mark the long career of Dr. Parson

We have mixed emotions about this blog post. One of our doctors, Camilla Parson, recently announced her impending retirement. We’re happy for her, but boy will we miss her! Dr. Parson took a few minutes to tell us about her retirement plans as well as what she’ll miss about our ilumin team. She’s also sharing some of her best eye care tips she learned over her 31 years practicing ophthalmology at ilumin.

Q: What are your plans for retirement? 

A: I plan to travel when flights and countries open back up. The short list includes New Zealand. I also plan to spoil my 7-year-old black lab, Maggie, and maybe get a new puppy; visit my son in Chicago; play the piano; consider becoming a docent at the Henry Doorly Zoo; and most importantly, smile and enjoy each day.

Q: What will you miss most about working at ilumin? 

A: My partners, who are an interesting, intelligent and unique group of men who have put up with me! They should be applauded.

The staff. I have worked alongside some of these people for more than 20 years. They are family to me and always will be! They can’t get rid of me that easily, I know their e-mail addresses. And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my husband, Mike, and our son, Matt, who have also put up with me!

Our patients. The hardest part of retirement is telling people goodbye without being able to give them a hug, COVID be damned! I have taken care of four generations of some families, and I have seen them go through joy and tragedy. I have had the privilege of helping improve and maintain their vision, and they taught me a lot about how to walk alongside people in all walks and stages of life, and to find laughter and smiles throughout.

I will miss interesting patients who didn’t want to be interesting! Some examples:

A fish hook in the eye of a patient that took three people to cut out and be removed. The patient still sees 20/20, thank you God!

A farmer who had a piece of metal fly up and injure his eye. I had been in practice for three months, and the surgery took more than three hours. He still has good vision in that eye, and now buys safety glasses by the case for his grandchildren.

A long-time patient who refused surgery on one eye and ended up with no vision. We found out after the fact that he would have had to put his wife with MS in a nursing home, and he decided to take care of her instead of himself.

The many patients too numerous to count who overcame adversity, sacrificed for their loved ones or stood by their failing spouse. They demonstrated to me how to love unconditionally.

Q: What are some of the best eye care tips you’ve learned during your career? 

A: If you have a family history of lazy eyes, your children and grandchildren need to be checked at preschool age by a doctor.

If you have a family history of glaucoma you need to be seen regularly.  It can be diagnosed and treated long before you would ever notice it.

DO NOT SLEEP IN CONTACT LENSES.  It increases your risk of infection by 825%.  Not. Worth. It.

When you are having your prescription checked and they ask you “one or two”, “about the same“ is a perfectly good answer.

In summation…

It has been a privilege to be able to do what I always wanted to do with such a great group of doctors and staff and to be able to meet so many interesting and wonderful people.

We will miss you, Dr. Parson! Enjoy your retirement.

The rest of our staff are ready to see patients, old and new. Need an appointment? Make one by requesting an appointment today