I’ve always taken my own good health for granted. The poor wife has so many little medical problems. A doctor at the clinic said to her one day, “You’ve got a lot of things wrong with you! Nothing that will kill you, but a lot of small stuff.” She has fibromyalgia. It makes her sore and tired, and makes exercising difficult. She has arthritis, especially in the knees, which makes exercising difficult. She gets bladder inflammations, which means we can’t go over to the hot pool for low impact exercise….are you beginning so see a pattern here? Extra weight gained puts pressure on the knees, which causes less exercise, which causes depression, which causes weight gain, and around and around we go.
My daughter is also semi-handicapped and I drive her to out-of-town specialists and treatment clinics. At 67, though, I WAS in amazingly good shape, good genes, good diet and a physical job. I didn’t get sick. All that changed late in November. I got The Flu! There was the Christmas/New Years preparation stuff to get through, but, I’m retired, I could afford to take some time off for an unexpected illness. Weeks passed, and I slowly recovered. At one point, for a couple of days, if I extended myself too much physically, I would feel as if I were passing out. I would grey-out, starting from the outer edge of my left eye, and proceeding till I had narrow tunnel-vision in the right. If I stopped and sat, or leaned over, and took a couple of deep breaths, it would go away, in reverse, always with the left eye the last to clear.
I finally got to the point where I felt that I was back to normal, except… I was driving one day and I looked at a snowbank,and there seemed to be a yellowish/green spotlight, about a foot in diameter, shining on it. When I got home, I realized that my left eye had that circular spot in the vision where everything was blurry. I tried to read the digital clock on the stove, and found that there was a small blind spot in the center of it. What to do? What to do? It didn’t occur to me to go to Emergency, because it didn’t feel like an emergency. My Optometrist was closed till after New Years, so I waited till then to phone.
As BrainRants commented the other day, hurry up and wait. No pain, no actual blindness, the best they could do was a Feb. 2 appointment, but they put me at the top of the cancellation list. On Monday, Jan. 10 they called to say they had a spot at 3:45 on Tue., Jan. 11, which, of course, I took eagerly. The Optometrist scanned the inside of my left eye and found leakage, like a little blister. No wonder I had this blurry spot. Suddenly this was a priority! By now it’s after 5:00 P.M. Go to the Emergency ward at the local hospital which has the better Opthalmalogical equipment and wait five or six hours for them to confirm his opinion and call an Opthalmologist. Either she would come back to the hospital, if it were serious enough, or put me on her ASAP to-see list.
Only one person in front of me in admitting, and it still took almost three hours for a nurse/practitioner to check my eyes. Sure enough, it’s serious enough to DO something about. Do I have a brain tumor or something else in my head causing pressure and leakage, or is this just a continuing effect of a nasty case of flu? I got to go to Nuclear Medicine (sounds scary by itself) and have a CAT-scan of my head done. The on-duty radiologist took just enough time to come back and say no anomalies, that my son had to make the decision to leave for work an hour early, because we still have the car, and he will have to go to work and come home in the morning, by bus.
The Opthalmologist agreed to see me at 9:00 A.M. the next day She found inflammation in both optic nerves and the leakage in the left eye. It’s PROBABLY just a left-over from the flu. It SHOULD go away by itself or with the help of some medication, but, we’d like to be sure it’s not from another cause. I got a cross-referral to a neurologist. His office will call with their earliest appointment. This is Spinal Tap. He’ll use the horse needle to take fluid from my lower back and check the pressure. I also had to call my own doctor to go in for blood-pressure check and a prescription sheet for blood work at the clinic to check for diabetes, cholesterol etc. I just did that a couple of months ago. I wonder if those results are current enough?
The ten-day forecast is, Doctors!, Doctors! and more Doctors! Tuesday morning I drove the wife 15 miles to the next city for a visit with a weight-loss specialist. Late Tuesday afternoon I saw my Optometrist. He looked fuzzy. I spent five hours Tuesday night in an Emergency ward. Wednesday morning I visited the Opthalmologist. Thursday afternoon we drive back to the weight doctor for a half hour of physio and home exercise sheets, and then an appointment with the dietician. Friday morning I go back to the (I’m going to write “eye doctor”, ’cause Opthalmologist takes too long to type and I’m not sure I’m spelling it correctly. I have to be sure to run the spell check on this before I post it.) for a field test, which checks what the range of sight is in both eyes. Friday afternoon I go to my doctor for a physical and clinic sheet. Monday I drive my wife an hour down the big highway to her Rheumatolgist. Tuesday I drive my daughter an hour up the big highway for pain maintenance medication IV treatment. Wednesday the wife and I go to our massage therapist/osteopath, and sometime soon, I’m going to have to fit in blood work at the clinic, and an appointment with that Neurologist, when he calls.
I can’t even blame any or all of this on getting old, but let’s face it, **it happens when you do. I look back to when I had to drag my sorry ass to work, as the good old days. I’m optimistic that this will all pass with no serious lasting effects. Already this vision thing is cutting down on my reading, doing crosswords and computer time. I don’t think they make Braille keyboards.