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I shouldn't really even be posting, because I had a full eye exam a couple of hours ago and was dilated and am still not seeing very well. But I'm feeling a bit knocked sideways and wanted to vent
I had cataract surgery in one eye about 13 years ago and have known for some time that I have "issues" with pressure in my eyes, namely glaucoma. But I've been seeing an eye specialist every six months, and he's been telling me that everything's fine. About a year and a half ago, I had a special laser test to measure damage to the optic nerve and the specialist told me that a "very small amount" of damage was showing and that I needed to be vigilant about using the meds I'm on, but no big cause for concern.

Flash forward to today. Please note - about a year later. In this time, original specialist has retired and I have a new one, with flashy computerized equipment and photographs of back of the eye. HE tells me that I have virtually no optic nerve left. That I must NEVER, repeat NEVER miss a dose of the medication or there's serious risk of losing my sight. And that I have a cataract starting in my other eye, so am facing surgery again (not immediately, and would be no big deal except I had some complications last time which makes me a bit fearful).

All this is the kind of thing that a surgeon of that kind would be telling an 80-year old. I'm 54. I've already had a hip replacement, too! I feel like my body is seriously letting me down. I also feel like I've been badly let down by last surgeon who was a lovely, gentlemanly man but didn't have all the latest equipment. How could I go from only a little damage to virtually no optic nerve left in just over a year??

And my other hip is hurting.





( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, heavens! That must have been a terrible shock. I'm sorry the other hip is playing up too.

Getting older is no fun at all. :(
Oct. 19th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
What miserable news!
Oct. 19th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry--it certainly is no fair :-(

My father has had surgery to relieve pressure on his optic nerve, for glaucoma. Is that an option in your case? Is the optic nerve damage bad in both eyes or just one?

... what am I even saying. Probably the last thing you want to do is talk about it more.

I hope you can get out for a walk with your camera and forget stuff for a bit--or, see a friend, or eat cookies, or... or anything that can be relaxing and comforting.

Oct. 20th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
It's both eyes... and he didn't say anything about surgery, although I was aware that was an option if the drugs didn't work.

Thank you for your good thoughts!
Oct. 19th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry -- that sounds like no fun at all.
Oct. 20th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Oct. 19th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry. That's horrible news.
Oct. 20th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC)
Oct. 19th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Yikes! What a terrible shock.

They do keep coming up with new treatments for various eye issues ... but this sounds scary. (You are seeing somebody else for another opinion, just in case?) Best of luck with it. One hopes there's a wee bit of exaggeration in the prognosis he offered.

Meanwhile, my sympathies on the off-schedule aging thing. (Misery may not love company, but it has plenty: I've itsy cataracts starting, which I could live without -- couldn't they wait until after I turn 50? -- but at least there's nothing like the corneal clouding I had a dozen years ago, when I was really sick with Lyme. And I've the knees of an 88-year-old, according to RealAge.com, though so far, my hips and hands are OK ... knock wood!)
Oct. 20th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Good heavens! pickledginger!! How nice to see you :)
Oct. 19th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)

That's certainly worth venting about. What a horrible shock to get. Sending you sympathy.

If it offers a tiny morsel of reassurance, I believe the technology used for cataract replacements has also come on a lot.
Oct. 20th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
thanks, yes, I knew that - in fact my previous surgeon had told me that the technology has advanced a lot for cataract replacements.
Oct. 20th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
This is going to sound like an odd question but -- would you tell me the name of your retired eye surgeon? I'm curious because of something that happened to my father in the mid-90s.
Oct. 20th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
It was Dr. Porzacanski (I think the spelling is wrong, but you would get the idea if it's the same guy)
Oct. 20th, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
I thought so from what you said. He wasn't one of my father's eye doctors but I went to him once for dry eye syndrome. His rating at Rate MDs isn't good. It shouldn't require hi-tech equipment to diagnose a damaged optic nerve. Dr P was coasting.
Oct. 20th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)
Woah. Now I feel even more betrayed. I thought he was wonderful and took such good care... Jeez. It just shows you ... something. I'm not sure quite what. How can you trust anyone?

Edited at 2010-10-20 04:56 am (UTC)
Oct. 20th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
I don't trust doctors but where eyes are concerned what choice do we have? I had an optometrist for a time but she erred too much on the side of caution. It made me tense and fearful so I switched to an ophthalmologist. I like him immensely. Is he any good? I have no idea. But you have to wonder why Dr P couldn't diagnose a serious problem with the optic nerve given that it's one of the fundamental parts of an eye exam.
Oct. 20th, 2010 11:12 am (UTC)
That is just No. Bloody. Fair.

Eye doctors, dentists - it's not as if we can just wiki the info and check out if they've done whatever it is right - it's horrible to be powerless like that.

Many hugs!!
Oct. 20th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear that! What a horrible feeling of powerlessness it must be :/
Oct. 20th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
How horrible for you, I am so sorry. At least you have what sounds like a competent doctor now.
Oct. 21st, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
My sincerest sympathies - getting older is not fun in any case, and this sounds pretty scary.

Oct. 22nd, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
Yikes! That's disappointing and scary.
Oct. 23rd, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
Sorry I didn't get to this for so long AND had to be prodded. I can understand how you feel. It's like you just get through something and you think, whew, NOW I can just live my life and then WHAM comes the next thing over the hill and you find yourself wondering, do I have the strength for this?

The answer, of course, is yes, but that doesn't make it less scary or tiring.

And shame on that doctor.
Oct. 26th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
I feel for you. I'm 47 and have heard for 10 years that I need a knee replacement. I'm a stubborn cuss and refuse to do it until it hurts so much I can't stand it. Meanwhile, other body parts are starting to fail as a result of compensating. It's NOT FAIR! I'm not old and neither are you. We don't deserve this. Go ahead and vent. I'll stand beside you and support you all the way!
Nov. 4th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
well, shit.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )


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