Thursday, February 11, 2016

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, No Pirate Patch for Me

Holy Health Scare Batman!  So here's the whole shebang in a nutshell.  I was seeing a flash.  Actually it was more like a glowing blob that would appear in my vision for about half a second and then be gone.  It had been happening for months but it seemed to be getting more frequent so I went to the eye doctor.  He said everything looked fine but had me come back in two weeks for a recheck.  I went back and to be on the safe side he referred me to a retina specialist.  "You'll be the youngest one there by 30 years." he said.  "they'll check you out and laugh and say I was crazy for referring you," he said.  "Well this will be a grand waste of time," I thought.  But I went.  I WAS the youngest person there and the triage portion was long and boring.  I had the pleasure of being snapped at by a nurse with RBF big time.  (That's Resting Bitch Face for those of you who don't know.)  Come to find out throughout the visit that it wasn't just RBF.  She was just a bitch.  Anyway, I finally got in to see the doctor.  He looked in my eye and blinded me with a bunch of shiny things.  I was fully prepared for the "I don't know why he sent you here.  You are fine."  I waited to hear those words when he reclined me and began poking and prodding at my eye.  I waited to hear those words when he said, "Give me a moment to make some notes and then we'll chat."  I waited to hear those words as he made scribbles and marks on the eye diagram on his computer.  I was still waiting to hear those words as he began to "chat" with me about my RETINAL DETACHMENT!!!   What?!?!?!  Did I just say retinal detachment?  Yes I did!  He started with that and then went on but all I heard was "wah, wah, wah wah wah wah."  All of a sudden he was Charlie Brown's teacher.  He said something about gel in the back of my eye and something about being prone to tears and something about a tear and a hole and surgery.  My mouth was hanging open.  My husband's mouth was hanging open.  When he realized I was in shock, he slowed down and explained my treatment options.  There were three.  Number one:  Do nothing which he said wasn't really an option.  Number two:  Have laser surgery to forma scar around the tear/hole to prevent it from expanding.  This option does not stop the flashes but may prevent them from getting larger and more intrusive in my vision.  Number three:  Have traditional cutting surgery.  It involves anesthesia and a band around your eye and then "wah, wah, wah wah wah wah."  Risks include bleeding, infection, and a bunch of other things.  "Ok," I'm thinking, "I really need to do some research and thinking about which I want to do."  No such luck!  The doctor slams me into a state of shock again with the news that the laser surgery would be done today and the traditional surgery would be done the day after tomorrow.  Well there goes the research and the thinking.  He ushers us into another room to decide and I want to burst into tears.  My hubs who thought he would be back to work in an hour quickly cleared his meeting schedule.  While he was doing that, I was left to decide my fate.  The laser would be quick but not painless.  The surgery was more invasive but may fix the flashes and they would knock me out for it.  I had no idea what to do.  My only bright spot (pun intended) was maybe I'd get a pirate-style eye patch to wear home.  That intrigue was short lived as I imagined the laser zapping my vision away if I accidently looked in the wrong spot.  I thought of the recovery period after the traditional surgery and wondered if they put stitches in your eye.  There was no one to answer any of my questions.  Everybody acted as though there was no decision to make.  I ended up opting for the laser surgery which was scary as hell.  It felt like I was getting a tattoo on my eyeball.  Like someone was snapping the inside of my eye with a rubber band repeatedly.  They finished the first portion and put me in the waiting room with juice and crackers to recover a bit.  After about an hour, it was time for round two.  My eyes were tired and uncooperative but the cod managed to do what he needed to do.  Once I could see again, we made our way home.  My eyeball was sore from all the drops and poking and prodding and zapping.  It felt swollen and it ached.  I now know what to look for as signs of retinal detachment but am totally paranoid about every little light or shadow I see.  Eventually I'll get back to normal but knowing I am more vulnerable to going blind in the future - well, I kind of sucks.  The most disappointing part was I didn't even get an eye patch.  Ahoy, no pirate look for me matey.  Arrrrr!!!

***If you see flashes, floaters, shadows, or black spots, please see your eye doctor right away***

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