My Magic Shoes: An Answer to Pre-Injection Worry
Last updated: June 2023
Yup, me too.
The pre-injection worries
I get the pre-injection worries, angst, fear and disquiet. Not quite the blues but close. I worry that my vision will be worse than it was at my last visit. I squirm with the drops and the waiting. I dread the silence of the room where we wait for our turn with the tiny needle.
The waiting is the worst
The truth, for me? The waiting is far worse than the actual injection. The uncertainty of what the photos will show outweighs that 10 seconds.
Two things have helped enormously.
Grooving to the Beatles
First, my new bluetooth equipped hearing aids and iPhone. Before that combination, I would simply have to sit and wait to see my specialist. Dilation meant that I couldn’t read or knit. Bored, my mind tended to wander to the worst possible outcomes.
Now, I can listen to a podcast or calming music. And I can do that without disturbing other people. Well, unless I start grooving to the Beatles.
Second, the Magic Shoes. They are custom Vans slip-ons with a colorful swirl pattern. I added bright colors to the basic design. Even my teenage grandchildren think they are “cool.”
More than that, my magic shoes are a way of connecting with the techs who do the actual pre-injection work. They are all youngish women. (When you are 75 even 30 is youngish.) They wear scrubs and white sneakers.
“Love your shoes” is usually the first comment. Once we start talking about my shoes, how and where and why I got them, my nervousness ebbs away. I have made a human connection. I ask questions about their life. They tell me a bit about themselves and their job. In not much time we are laughing and the darkness slips away.
Finding ways to connect
Too many of our daily interactions are so anonymous. Who is the telemarketer trying to sell me a new Medicare policy? The nameless person at the other end of the phone call I need to help me with a billing issue or a scheduling problem? It is far too easy to live an impersonal, detached existence.
I will admit that until my AMD (age-related macular degeneration) diagnosis and this pandemic I was more often cranky than kind, more abrupt than patient when I didn’t get what I wanted, when fear and exasperation took over.
My goal now is to have these conversations end with either a kind word or a laugh. I want the tech at my visit to go home and tell her family that she met a funny lady today, that while her patient was losing part of her sense of sight her sense of humor was in great shape.
What a great gift from one pair of shoes!
Do you find that fear interferes with your ability to regularly go to eye specialist appointments?