The Eyes Have It!

What Big Eyes You Have!

What Big Eyes You Have!

Have you ever had one of those years?  You know the ones…where you seem to hop from one crisis to another?  Well, no sooner have I gotten through the latest dental surgery when I started to notice some suspicious floaters in my left eye.  Then yesterday I noticed white flashes of light starting up in the same eye.  Yikes!  This was deja vu all over again from the retina detachment scare from last year.  Of course it was the weekend (and a long holiday weekend, to boot).  My brother had just had a bout with the flashing white lights several months ago and had to have retina surgery to repair a tear in his retina.  He reported to me that the surgery was “horrible” and “no fun”  You can imagine my state of mind last night and this morning.

I knew that I couldn’t afford to ignore the symptoms.  I use my eyes for so many things and my two great loves – knitting and reading- are heavily eye-dependent.  I couldn’t even read my Kindle last night in bed because the flashing was driving me nuts.  So this morning, I called my mother’s retina specialist and explained the nature of my emergency.

“You need to see your eye doctor first,” the receptionist told me.

“My eye doctor told me to immediately go to a retina specialist if I ever had flashing lights,” I explained to her.

“You need to see your eye doctor first,” she said.

I waited until the eye doctor’s office opened, called them and explained the situation.

“You need to see a retina specialist,” the receptionist told me.

Grrrrr!  I explained that I’d just contacted the specialists and they had wanted me to see my eye doctor first.

“Well, she isn’t in today.  Call them back and tell them that and they should see you.  If not, you could go to an ophthalmologist,” she offered.  She gave me the name of the ophthalmologist that they use and I hung up.

Are those my pupils?

Are those my pupils?

I called the retina specialist back and relayed the message.  They couldn’t see me without me first seeing my eye doctor.  I hung up and dialed the ophthalmologist.  I got further this time.  They could see me in 45 minutes.  After heading yet again to the bathroom (stress has a way of cleaning me out better than any colonoscopy preparation), we drove over to the office which just happened to be quite near our house.

They put all sorts of drops in my eyes and did the usual exams. The initial doctor kept admonishing me to “breathe” as she tried to take the pressure in my eyes.  I guess she thought I looked like I was going to pass out.  Not to worry.  I wouldn’t have gone far.  My head was in a vise.   Then the actual ophthalmologist came in and put MORE drops in my eyes and the real fun began.  He was calling off numbers and single words to the nurse sitting at the desk, sounding for all the world like a manic drill sergeant.  I was REAL tempted to yell “Hike!” at one point when he’d been counting off a series of numbers but I decided not to confuse him.

Blink, Darn You!

Blink, Darn You!

One test that I found quite interesting was when he inserted a contact into my left eye that seemed to be attached to some kind of magnifying glass.  He slid it all over my eyeball as I had to look in different directions.  When he finally popped it out, he remarked, “You’ll probably feel like that eye is a little heavy.  It’s because it is numb and it had gel inserted in it so I could move the lens around.  We’ll wash it out with water but it will take some time before it feels back to normal. ”

I would have batted my lashes at him but I couldn’t quite get my eye to close.

The final diagnosis?  It seems that I’m having another posterior vitreous detachment in the left eye now.  He explained that when you have a detachment like that in one eye, you usually have one in the other eye at some point.  Gee, it would have been nice of them to tell me that in Texas when I had the incident last year.  He also told me that I have cataracts in both eyes.  SAY WHAT?  Not to worry, he assured me.  They are only at a “1” and a “2” which are plenty early and perfectly normal for someone my age.  “Everyone gets them,” he told me once you are in your 50’s and 60’s.

He wanted to know if I’ve ever had glaucoma in the family.  It also seems that my eye pressure is right on the line between normal and low-abnormal.  Oh, just great!  I told him that I didn’t know of anyone in my family who had ever had it but that my mom had bad macular degeneration.

“Don’t worry about your maculas,” he told me.  “They look great.”

I’m to go back in four weeks and have him take another look to make sure the retinas are doing ok and he will also do a full glaucoma test.  I’ll take over a list of readings from my past eye exams of my eye pressures in case that’s the norm for my eyes.

When I signed out at the receptionist’s desk, I told her, “I feel like I have a bionic eye.”

“OK,” she said.  “I don’t hear that very often.”

“Really,” I told her.  “I feel like it’s one of those Cyborg eyes, you know, with metal parts.”  She just looked at me and turned back to her paperwork.

Honest to goodness, the darn eye was on like a two-second delay when it came to things like blinking.  My other eye would blink like normal but the left one would slowly close and open again.  Oy!

Bottom line, praise God that I don’t have to have that retina surgery.  This morning, when I couldn’t sleep, I came downstairs to read my Bible and it opened up to this verse:

“and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Psalms 50:15

Indeed I do, Lord, from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

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