Friday, August 21, 2009

and yes, at last, the reason for the title

two years ago, almost exactly, I went to the ophthomalogist and was told my new vision problem was a monster floater, and that I would, basically, have to learn to live with it. Few surgeons understandably will touch them, since it involves major surgery way down there in the eye. He also said, if there are any changes to the eye, let me know.

Three days later what i thought was the floater descended, and in three days more the eye had become a grey haze, utterly distorted. Wow, I thought, this is a mess. But I never went back. partly because I figgered he'd tell me it was there, and to get used to it. Partly because I wanted to see how this thing was going to play out, too. The distortion was incredible, and over time the eye became darker and dimmer. I could see in natural sunlight, but aritificial light was worthless.

Today I had an appointment at his office, and it turns out that two years ago they had not told me that what often follows a major floater like that was a detached retina (which is why I went in the first time around). The doctors at that point discussed it without me being present, but all I was told was to go home and get used to the floater. (This is why today, two years later, I exercised my privileges as a 63 year old woman, and suggested gently that the next time something like this happens to someone, to TELL them what to look for so that they have full knowledge to work with. I called it a learning experience and I suspect he'll get the message. )
And I found out today I did indeed have a detached retina. Those are supposed to be treated very quickly to keep them from getting worse. Not knowing I had one, meant two years have gone by. Im going to see a retina specialist in September, since they said I do have some vision left (oh joy in the morning) in that eye, even though there's not a lot of hope for repairs at this point.


I do wish doctors would learn to trust their patients' intelligence and ability to handle stuff, rather than playing god and making pronouncements from on high--while you nod and smile and go off into the world not realizing you have an aneurysm, or a detached this, or a fibrillated that, waiting to change your life. Oh, they say, when you end up in the hospital, I was afraid this might happen. We didnt tell you because we weren't sure, and didn't want to alarm you...


  1. I have a friend with a detached retina. He has had 2 surgeries, and still no good. I hope this is not making matters worse for you, but as you have already stated, surgery might not work. My mother has macular degeneration and all she has left is peripheal vision, nothing straight ahead. She can no longer drive or read, really bad. I wish you the best of luck. If you should ever lose all your vision (just kidding) try to remember how handsome and good looking I am.

  2. well at this point I havent a thing to lose. He may not even think surgery is an option.

    and of course macular degeneration is something different. (It's also hereditary).
    And even without losing one bit more sight than I have, I shan't forget mr. handsome and good looking. How could I.

  3. It took me forever to decide how to respond to this, and now I still don't know what to say. You already know about my strong belief that all things will be as they should, but this, it doesn't seem right.

    Friggin doctors. Friggin Universe.

  4. not much you can say, after all. I've gotten used to it, the loss of vision, at least, but I was truly stunned to think that as competent a doctor as the one I have would choose--inadvertently or otherwise--to leave me without enough knowledge to tend to my own knitting.
    I also understand that often patients go into a tailspin over the suggestion that something bad might be about to happen, and often will create more problems for themselves in the process. I think, if I were a doctor, I'd be willing to take that risk, especially with people who seem to be reasonable around the edges...

    what he did was basically deny me the chance to do something about it when it should have been done. You can't function with only partial knowledge, especially when you're dealing with your own health. Its like telling someone with a possible heart defect there's no problem, to not worry about it, but if you notice any changes, let me know. yikes.

    yes, Im angry, inside. But I don't dare give in to it, since it solves nothing.