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

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Lukewarm Appointment

Last Monday, I had an eye appointment to track the progress of my eye. After going through the usual pre-appointment anxiety attic (which included getting short with some of my students), I finally trekked on over to the doctor's. Here, I found out that my referral had never been processed, thus risking a cancellation of the appointment or forking over my credit card to absorb the charges. I figured that I wasn't going to waste all my time and anxiety, so I handed my credit card to the receptionist.

The day was off to a grand start.

Eventually, my eyes were dilated, and I was ushered into a technician's office. While I had 20/20 in my left "good" eye, I struggled to read pretty much everything with my right eye. I began to get a sinking feeling in my stomach, but I told myself that perhaps something had changed when I switched out my usual contacts for my occasional glasses. It was a nice consolation until I remembered that I read perfectly with my left eye.

The sinking feeling persisted when I finally saw the doctor. He was taking an awfully long time examining my eyes. Then, he took out a wooden stick and rammed it just below my bottom lashes to keep me from involuntarily flinching. It was becoming an atypical examination. Furthermore, he kept directing me to look down, leading me to believe that he saw something troubling.

While he did not see any evidence of wet macular degeneration (wet = presence of blood), he did notice that my vitreal jelly had begun pulling away. This means that I will most likely face a retinal detachment. However, whether the detachment occurs today or in a few years is unknown. All we could do was monitor it and hope for the best.

So, I'm calling the appointment lukewarm. I left without an Avastin injection, which is always good. But I also left knowing that my retina can detach any moment now. I am also beginning to wonder whether my right eye will always cook up something new for me to fret about. The complications seem endless and as I approach my 8th anniversary since diagnosis, I begin to wonder what else may be in store. 8 years sounds like a long time, but I'll probably still live much more than 8 years. What else can happen?