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January 6, 2013

1

Appointment Day

by Pam

One the day of my eye exam I almost asked to be rescheduled because the waiting room was packed.  I’d assumed that thing should be a little slow at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, boy was I wrong.  Instead I held tight and decided to wait a little longer to see if maybe everyone that was waiting was not the patient but was a companion or driver for others.  It turns out both was true…it was Lasik day and some were waiting to drive others home after their procedures.

I filled out my patient forms since it had been two years since my last visit and watched Fox News on the TV in the lobby while I waited.  I didn’t wait long at all before I was called back.  We went through all the normal tests, eye charts, covering one eye then the other and reading the letters from the mirror on the wall.  Then my doctor arrived and we went through all the parts of the exam that I always dread.  I don’t know if its just me or if everyone feels the same way but when they look in your eyes with the very bright lights it’s just uncomfortable.  I sit tight and get through everything.  He says my RK scars from 1990 look great and at the end he says my vision is great, just like last time and that due to age my near vision has changed again.  This I had known and have had glasses that I use for reading and the computer.  I have noticed a change and that I was using my glasses more often now.

Now the fun starts…the dilation.  A drop of yellow liquid is put into each eye.  I’m back in the waiting room looking at frames since in about 20 minutes it’s going to be more difficult.  Since my near vision has changed so much it’s back to full time glasses, progressive bi-focal.  I pick out something nice that doesn’t scream granny even though in February I’ll be welcoming a grandson and then I will have two grandchildren.  :-)  I’m not a granny, I’m a Nanna!  Everything is picked out and it’s not long before I’m back in to see the doctor.

We go through the rest of the exam where the inside of my eyes are examined using a bright light.  The usual “hmmm” and “hmmmm” come from my doctor and then he tells me what he is seeing.  “You have Fuchs’ Dystrophy, it’s spelled F U C H S Dystrophy.”  He goes through explaining that it’s a progressive eye disease that will cause my vision to become hazy given time.  Then he tell me that we will be seeing a lot more of each other and that I will need to come back in six months.

All the little signs I’ve been seeing over the past year or so now make sense.  I dread driving at night because the oncoming headlights sometimes blur together and get hazy.  Eyes are sensitive in the mornings and my computer monitor looks hazy but gets better in the afternoon.  My eyes have been sensitive to bright lights and the sun, but that’s what sunglasses are for right?  Now I’m curious…how long with this take to progress.  Google searches are a nightmare, but I’m doing it anyway.  Only time will tell.  Some people never progress as far a blindness, other do.  My great-great grandmother was blind, but we do not know the cause since it was so long ago.  My parents have passed away and I do not know if they carried the trait.  Fuchs’ is an inherited disease which is more common in women.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

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