Monday, May 21, 2012

Saved by chance.

A couple weeks ago something happened that I knew was a possibility but did not feel prepared for. Duchess my alert dog alerted early one morning and accidentally got my in the eye. It was bleeding and I knew I would need to see my eye Dr. to make sure things were okay. This happened on a Saturday morning so I knew it would not be till Monday I could see the eye Dr. at earliest. I woke up on Sunday morning with blood in my eye where my dog had scratched. I call Monday morning and they could get me in but I had a meeting at the time I could get in. I was told the next day would be Wednesday. I tell the nurse my eye had been bleeding and she was not concerned so I thought it was fine.

         I go in on Wednesday and the eye Dr. takes one look and says you have a retinal detachment. I tell him I think I have a retinal hemorrhage but he disagrees. I was sent immediately to a retina specialist down the road. They had me a map which honestly is not helpful when your eyes are dilated. Then I ask them to tell me the directions but that is challenging because I am not very familiar with where I am going. It should of taken me like ten minutes to get there but with me being directionally challenged and not being able to see well enough to type the address into my navigator it was going to take a while. I think around 25 minutes for me to find the place. I had been studying things online before I went to my appointment and my medical terminology class I knew exactly what a retinal detachment meant. I did not have all the system of a detachment so I was surprised that's what they thought I had.

          I arrive at the retina specialists office and I know they were waiting for me. The nurse calls me back and they start running some tests. I have several photos taken and suck. They check my eye pressure. I was chatting with the nurse and was quite nervous because they start talking about the fact that a retinal detachment would require emergency surgery. The nurse said well you should feel lucky that you made it 32 years without any eye issues because we see people here frequently with similar issues after only a year. I have never wanted to tell off a nurse in my life until now. I have never been so insulted and angry. Telling me that I had made it that long was good but it could be worse was not helpful. For me there would never ever be enough time for it to be okay. I knew that it was a possibility but I was not quite ready. I calmly told the nurse thank you for trying to be nice but never ever tell that to a diabetic patient. That is a very offensive statement and should not be said. I sat there waiting for the Dr. feeling upset and vulnerable.

          The Dr comes in and starts talking about whats going on he tells me that I don't have a retinal detachment but I do have diabetic retinopathy. They said I need an injection in my eye to get rid of the dried blood in my eye. He said there was a hemorrhage and that should help with that issue. I was also told I would need to have several laser treatments to help get rid of the formation of bad blood vessels in the eye. Then he told me if the blood did not start to clear after a week they would want to operate. I was upset and want to avoid surgery at all costs as most people would. I ended up not needing surgery but I learned some things about myself in this process. I know at the end of the day that I did the best I could with what I had over the years. My early twenties there were times that I could not afford all the supplies I needed and I did the best I could. I am not angry but just a little sad about it all. Complications happen and yes I am doing the best I can to prevent more of them. It all feels surreal right now but I am most proud of myself for dealing with this situation as it came at me. It has been a couple years since I have felt like myself again and it was nice to have the strength to deal with this. The funny thing I always thought I would be really angry if it did happen but I was just really calm considering everything.

            I know most diabetics have some retinopathy after 10 years so yes I did make it quite a while and now I will continue to see the retina specialist several more times this year and I'm thankful that my dog scratched my eye because otherwise they would not of found out til the May 21st of this month when I was scheduled for my annual eye exam. I know the retina specialist says that it was a weird coincidence but I think it was more than that.

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