An Appointment, An Injection, and Improved Vision
In the six weeks in between each of my Retinal Specialist appointments, I am constantly checking. And rechecking, daily. How does the eye chart look today? Any new obscuring blobs afloat? How about those wavey lines? The same or even more wavey. I am constantly checking.
The day of the visit starts off typically. Check-in, sit in the “socially distanced” waiting area to be called back, trying hard to not be too pessimistic, hoping beyond hope that this time will be shot free. Please. The young girl calls me back, and so begins this month’s appointment.
Like every time before, the pre-testing begins. First, it’s the pressure check to ensure good numbers there, followed by the simple eye chart. First the “good” eye, always praying it has stayed good. Then the affected eye, the big E seems a bit clearer, still wavy, still clouded but I definitely can tell which direction it is facing. Reading further down the chart, yes, I can see most of that third line and perhaps something from the line below it. Like a school kid at a spelling bee, I felt I had passed. I was quite pleased to hear “your vision seems a bit better this time”. A slight glimmer of hope, maybe no shot this time?
Next, it is the eye scan, the true window into the eye. What do you see? Have things settled down a bit? Have I maintained? Are there potentially no bleeds to report? Only the next step will really tell. So off to the actual doctor’s examining room I go.
In these awkward COVID-19 times, greeting the Doctor feels a bit odd. The greeting consists of a hearty wave from him to me from across the space of this small, little examining room. He quickly approaches the computer screens where the pictures of my eyes are waiting to be examined. This is what will determine the next course of action. Using the same, almost droll dialect, he recites the medical jargon that when translated brings me down just a bit. The bottom line is this: slight bleed noted in two different areas, recommends injection to nip this in the bud. Again.
After a few more examinations involving the huge scope and a very intense light, peering deep into each eye, I wait. First one eye and then the other, with a constant monologue of letters and numbers being dutifully noted by the assistance in the room for my records. While in my mind I am thinking, another shot. Dang, it.
Another room, an eye full of drops, both antibiotic drops and numbing drops. Too many to really count, again waiting for the injection process to begin and end. Instructions to look down, eye prepped to stay open, crinkling of paper holding syringe, you know it is coming. Just as quickly, it is done.
Things look so much better...
Propped back up in the chair, instructions for aftercare are given. One quick comment made it all feel so much better, the specialist said “This time things really looked so much better”. Scheduled the next visit, bumbled out the door (dilated eye challenges) all the while repeating to myself, things looked so much better.
Which activity do you find most difficult with AMD?