“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” ~ Jonathan Swift

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Happy New Year...?

Today was my first eye appointment of the new year. As usual, I couldn't sleep the night before and fretted all morning. I always manage to roll into these appointments completely sleep-deprived from anxiety. (If you are in my boat, please message me and let me know that I'm not crazy.) Anyways, then I did the usual last-minute damage control by looking for healthy things to eat. That's how I ended up being the girl in the waiting room at 7:45 a.m. shoveling oatmeal and mixed nuts. By the time the technician called me in, I think I had indigestion.

When it was time to read the eye chart with my affected right eye, I was able to easily read the first three rows. (Wait, does the giant E count?) Then the fourth line came, and I couldn't do it. At first, I saw four distinct letters but couldn't make them out. Then, they got blurry. Then, some of the letters seemed to actually disappear. The technician asked me if I could see anything. Starting to panic, I told her I needed a break. So that's what we did, and then I tried again and found two letters. That was enough work for one day. She asked me what I thought of my performance, and I told her today was lousy.

One of the fellows then came in to tinker around, shine some ridiculously bright lights into my dilated eyes, and asked me how I was feeling. My eyeballs were ready to fall out of my head, they hurt so bad. I told him I felt lousy and discouraged. He told me that he thinks my scars are changing shape (great...just great) and that they can distort my vision. Then he left.

Alone in the doctor's office with nothing to do...I sat and thought. And drank my coffee. And played with the hand sanitizer. And tried to read some educational pamphlets on macular degeneration. In the hallway, the technicians and doctors were talking about how one of their colleagues just lost her husband to a heart attack...on Valentine's Day. This was not a fun doctor's appointment.

Then my doctor came in, blinded me with more lights, and asked me how I was feeling. By now, I felt extra crummy and told him I felt like I was losing vision. He said "Why do you think this?" I told him that I really struggled on today's eye chart. Then he said, "That's interesting because you actually gained a few letters compared to last visit." Somehow, some way my vision improved. To be safe, I had an OCT scan (this produces a three-dimensional cross-section of the retina), but this also checked out nice and clean! No Avastin injection today!

Before leaving, I asked him if I could get Lasik eye surgery. As someone who has had glasses since age 4, I am ready ready ready to be done with bad eyes. He looked at me and said, "No." I asked again. He said, "If you were my daughter, I would say no. Absolutely not." There is a 4% chance I could lose vision after the operation, and he said that I couldn't afford to compromise a perfectly good eye. I said, "You've been saying no to me for the past six years!" Then he laughed and said I could finally get contacts.

So, that's the next project: contacts! I've never had them. How exciting. :)