It’s hard to say which of our five senses I would miss the most if I were to lose it, but I’m pretty sure vision is near the top of the list. I’ve watched my someone close to me deal with the aftermath of retinal detachment – surgery after surgery, low vision, pain, and the uncertainty of how much vision she will have long term in the affected eye. It sucks to watch.
I’m lucky. My eyes have always been pretty healthy. Sure, like all the rest of my family members who spend WAY to much with their nose in a book, magazine, or glued to a computer screen, I developed nearsightedness. For 20 years, I wore glasses or contacts every day, but in my world that’s normal. A couple of years ago, I got to the point where I couldn’t really wear contacts anymore because of sensitivity, and I didn’t want to wear glasses for outdoor activities, so I got LASIK. When I woke up from my Valium nap the day of the surgery, I was thrilled! I could see clearly for the first time since I was a little kid. My pleasure at having not just 20/20, but 20/15 vision was palpable. It was a great day.
Fast forward 2.5 years, to the present day. For the past couple of months, I’ve noticed some blurriness in my right eye, and thought maybe a touch-up to the LASIK might be in order. Since it is open enrollment season and I am a big fan of the handy-dandy Flex Spending Account, I decided to schedule an exam. I figured I’d learn that I need a LASIK revision, I’d find out how much the surgery was going to cost, and then I’d stuff that much in my 2013 FSA account and schedule my surgery for the first week of January. Easy-peasy, right?
Wrong. Not so easy after all.
Today, I had the longest eye exam of my life today- roughly an hour and a half. In the past, I’ve never had to worry about much more than reading letters off a chart, trying to fight the stupid glaucoma air-puff machine, and giving correct answers to umpteen monotonous rounds of “Which is better, 1 or 2?” that a standard eye exam. Today I had all of that and a whole bunch more. And the doctor’s verdict was loud and clear.
“I don’t know.”
Okay, he said more than that. What he told me is that I still have 20/15 vision in both eyes, but something is causing blurriness in the center field of vision in the right eye, and he’s not sure if it’s physical or neurological in nature. To figure it out, I have to have a field vision test and images taken of my eye and my optic nerve, and then go back and let him look at the results and figure out what to do next.
“I don’t know” is certainly not what I was expecting to hear, and hearing it in the same conversation with “retina”, “macula” and “optic nerve” is even worse. And when capped off with “You shouldn’t worry about it”, I kind of wanted to punch the guy in the face. Granted, the logical part of my brain says he’s right – until we have test results, worrying is useless. The emotional part of my brain says different things, like “Worry!” and “OMFG, are you kidding me with this?” and “Aunt Kathy had a brain tumor that decided to wrap itself around her optic nerve. Maybe I have one of those!” That one got a lightning fast response from my friends Kristi and Shelby who said “It’s not a tumor!”, but really what do they know?
By Monday afternoon, I’ll have the results to all these tests and know what the next steps are. Could be more tests. Could be a diagnosis. Could be nothing, could be something. I’m trying to let my rational brain do the thinking and do as the doctor asked and not worry.
Easier said than done, Doc.