Just to catch you up, you might want to read part one.
About two years ago I was being fitted for new contacts and the fit was never correct on my left eye. Try this new lense, how about this new lense? Does this new lense work? None of these corrections seemed to help. On top of that the woman in charge of the contact lens department was a crank and rude. Ok, I wasn’t the valedictorian at any of my graduations, but I’m not stupid either. This woman treated me like I was stupid and that I didn’t know my own eyes. I grew weary of her attitude so I eventually left that practice and went to another optometrist. I limped along with the contacts they provided and tried to make it work.
For your edification, let’s pretend that someone was walking toward you with an open container of petroleum jelly. Just as you pass them, an earthquakes occurs, causing their hand to dislodge a blob of said petroleum jelly where it is launched and lands directly in your left eye. Your vision is now a constant blur, it does not sting, it does not cause you headaches. Your vision is now compromised. You now may have a keener understanding of Impressionist Paintings. You are now in sync with what I have been going through for the last few years and you now see how I’ve been seeing. The earthquake did not cause any additional damage.
Let’s slow forward to December ’08. I’m at the new place seeing, (get it, seeing) the new Doc, getting all tested. I’m given contacts, with instructions to wear these for a couple of weeks, then I’m to come back in for a follow up and viola’, life is good. But it’s not, I go back to be refitted, none of these lenses are working. This happens 4 times. Let’s do the math….4 appointments with an average of 3 weeks in between, because we have to include Christmas closings, vacations and New Years closing, that is about 12 weeks. AUGH! A couple of days before my NEXT appointment I have this epiphany that perhaps it’s my eye that is out of whack and not the contact fitting. On top of all the waiting I was being shuffled between Doctors, who weren’t very good at writing notes, because I had to keep reminding them as to why I was there….again.
I settle into the chair and tell the Doc about my thoughts on having a whacked out eye. For the record, I don’t think “whacked out” is an actual medical term, but I’m not all caught up on that like some people I know. The Doc started poking around with different lights and lasers and stuff. He sits back and says that he is going to send me to a retinal specialist because he sees something on my eye but isn’t sure as to what it might be. It could very well be the beginning of a cataract. well halla-fuckin-looo-ya! Now we’re getting somewhere, my blurriness might end…..eventually.
I know this is getting long winded, but please stay with me. After a few weeks of the ‘scheduling dance’ with the retinal specialist, the day is set. Sweet Husband comes along to drive me home since my eyes will be dilated. Here’s the part that makes us sound like OLD people. I asked if would he come into the appointment with me, because I wanted him to hear what was said, so I wouldn’t have to repeat it. I have a good memory, it’s just short. I am SO glad he was there to hear it with very own ears.
I’m given a myriad of test with lights and lasers and dancers. Just kidding, there weren’t dancers, I wanted to make sure you were paying attention. I want to go on record that not once did this “retinal specialist’ physically look into my eyes. It was her 18 year old assistant that did all the testing. We asked about the possibility of a cataract and she said no, there was no cataract. (For the quoted part think with a Russian accent)
” Also, plus you will need to take vitamin.”
Um, excuse me, what do the vitamins do, I asked her.
“They will be like other vitamin, it will help eye”
So how does this help my sight right now, I ask.
” It does not help now, it makes time to end of sight longer”
END OF SIGHT???? WTF!?!
“You should not stress, is only 10% of vision. I see patients every day that lose 50-75% of vision, so take vitamin.”
Don’t STRESS? Don’t fucking STRESS? So there’s nothing you can do to help me, I implore her. My head is about to explode which would make the point of seeing, useless anyway.
“No, just take vitamin, assistant get vitamins and make an appointment for 6 months to check up again.”
Like hell, I’m coming back to this place,we walked out of the office, I am stunned and sobbing. I turn 50 and this is what I have to show for it, loosing my eyesight? While I was still in the office with her, I told her that I was not going to accept her diagnosis. Her body language showed me she couldn’t care less. And if you’ve been reading carefully you’ll notice that I didn’t write what her diagnosis was, it’s because she never said it to me. The diagnosis came in the form of a report back to my referring dr who then shared it with me. It seems that I have macular degeneration. I urge you to click the link, in case you don’t know what that is. There is no cure, and that makes me sad.
HOWEVER, not one to be deterred by bad news, I get an appointment with my first original eye doctor and request the records from Dr Killjoy be sent to his office. I went back to this office as they had eye mapping records that went back for a few years. I go in we have a lengthy discussion, I tell him the reason I left was because of the Contact Nazi and he assured me that situation would be solved. I go through all of his eye tests, and we come to the conclusion that a second opinion is needed. YEAH!
I am set up to go to a different retinal specialist for my second opinion. The day arrives, Sweet Husband again needs to take me as I won’t be able to drive. This appointment is WAY different, I was tested, tested and retested. Dr Cute-young-thing is looking into my eye with a very strong light when she, exclaims, “oh, I see what it is, you have a cataract that is very hard to see on the front part of your blabbity blah blah blab” We’ll take a picture so you can see it. And they did, and there it was, in high definition color, a half moon of cataract in my left eye. It was a beautiful thing.
So I don’t have macular degeneration, I ask. No, not one sign of macular degeneration. You’ll have to see a cataract specialist but no, you don’t have macular degeneration. I was ecstatic, I was going to be able to wipe the petroleum jelly out of my eye and not be annoyed by that need to see.
I’ve since been to the cataract specialist. There was a show about him a little while back, called Doogie Howser, M.D. This guy was young, I wanted to ask him if his mom knew where he was. But the first thing out of his mouth was, “You’re kind of young to be having cataracts” to which I instantly cut him some slack. Yes I am young, and once surgery is completed in October, I think I will feel even younger. I was told that everyone gets cataracts and that it is the easiest correction to make. I will be very happy to be able to see clearly, that too is a beautiful thing.
I recently got the bill from Dr. Killjoy for the amount that the insurance didn’t cover. Do I still have to pay it if the diagnosis was wrong?