A frustrated and tired-looking woman sits at a table with her head in her hand.

Time, Patience, and Disappointment

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a patient person, but now I realize that it’s something I may need to work on. My injection appointment yesterday has shown me I’m not quite as patient as I had thought.

Patience

The definition of patience is the ability to stay calm in the face of frustration or adversity while you’re waiting for an outcome you need or want. Outwardly I stayed calm, inside? Not so much. Not the outcome I wanted.

A visit to my retinal specialist

I went to my retinal specialist for my injection after 12 weeks. It had also been 12 weeks since the previous one as well. My wet eye has been stable over the last few shots. We were going to discuss at this appointment whether we would need to continue with injections every 12 weeks or perhaps we could just monitor every 12 weeks. I had high hopes.

Disappointment

Imagine my disappointment when he showed me that innocuous little mark on the OCT pictures. The one that said “ok, you’ve had your break, let’s get back to business.”  A very minor little leak, not right under the macula, but slightly off to the side. One that we need to stop before it does make its way to where it will impact my sight.

When I said I wasn’t expecting this, he put his hand on my arm and told me we just need to be patient and carry-on with regular monitoring and injections.

Why does it take forever to get this under control?

Why does it take forever to get this under control? I’m normally a very patient person. But I want this to be done, or at least settled into some kind of routine. 12 weeks, 8 weeks, whatever works. Not this crazy up and down. Is this still going to work? Is this the time it’s not going to work? Should I be going sooner? Will it ever be possible to stretch it out? For now, my Doctor thinks 9 weeks to the next shot is appropriate.

Optimism and wallowing

I had been so sure I would be able to carry on with 12 week visits, with or without an injection each time. My optimistic side had been in charge as usual. But not today. To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement. I know time will make it better, both my frustration and those leaking new blood vessels. But right now I’m wallowing.

As Tolstoy wrote: "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time." He was right. But time goes too quickly, or sometimes not fast enough, and patience gets lost along the way.

Patience in a seemingly instantaneous world

In these days of instant communication, instant fixes, instant everything, why does this have to take so long? Research has been ongoing for what seems like decades. But wait! It actually has been decades! Clinical trials show we’re getting closer. Perhaps an oral medication, or gene editing, stem cells. So many avenues. I know these injections are a major step along that path to a cure.

Now, time to let my rational self back in charge. To remember how fortunate I am that these injections do hold back the vision loss that would occur without them.

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