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A woman is seen smiling and happy in two scenarios, split by a dark square showing her nervously looking at a syringe.

Shoot. A Shot.

Sometimes, the time between retinal rechecks feels like a honeymoon of sorts. Definitely not the holiday at the beach kind of honeymoon, more like an escape from the real world honeymoon.

The honeymoon period of macular degeneration

Daily vision checks feel stable, nothing looking out of the ordinary. The new ordinary, that is, until that one day. My right (good) eye seems the same, left (mmd) eye maybe is a bit off. It’s kind of hard to describe the tiny details that just aren’t quite the same.

Time for another eye appointment

Checking the calendar, then realizing that my appointment is right around the corner. The honeymoon has come to an end. Now is another its time to check, yet again, what’s going on.

Retinal appointments during the pandemic

Checking in during COVID time is pleasant enough. Your driver waits in the car while you proceed inside. Name verified, information is exchanged, and you are directed into the waiting room. Once seated there, carefully socially distanced from other patients, we are all masked, and clearly wishing time would move a bit quicker already.

Up next for an eye exam

Then you’re called, the first series of checks are performed. Eye pressure is taken, this is followed by the basic eye chart exam. It is here where it's confirmed, things are not looking/seeing very well. Dilating drops are administered and off to the next room for the Retinal Imaging scan. This scan is truly the window into the eyeball, revealing what is going on now.

Anticipation, hoping for the best

When the Doctor begins the reading of these scans, I find myself holding my breath in anticipation. Watching the almost alien-looking screen image that is my eye, seeing what’s going on, trying to make some sort of sense of it all. As he is checking both eyes, I find that my stomach clenches a little when we’re talking about the “good” eye. With a huge sign of relief, I hear the words, “This eye looks good”. Then we move on to the “not-so-good” eye. It is here that the troubles are revealed, a small bleed, some dried debris and of course the dreaded declaration is made next.

Shoot. A shot!

Shoot. A shot. Yet, again. On one hand, I am truly grateful for this shot, this attempt to at least slow down this progressive situation. Grateful for modern medicine and all the benefits that can be gained from it. But on the other hand, dad-gum-it, a shot! Antibiotic drops, numbing drops and more numbing drops and yet more numbing drops. Actually, very, very, thankful for these. The Retinal Specialist is really quite good, minimal discomfort is felt when the gadget to hold the eye open is placed in my eye. Honestly my hands get a little sweaty when I hear the crumpling of the paper that I know holds the syringe, I know it is coming.

More on this topic

And in the blink of an eye (ha, not really) it’s over. The remainder of my day then circles around the over dilated vision and the little scratchiness in my eye from the shot.

The honeymoon begins again

Thus, begins the “honeymoon” again. Daily vision checks and hopeful expectations that things will once again settle down and I will maintain this new normal.

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