The Ophtho Appointment

As you may (or may not) know, I had an ophthalmologist appointment today to check out what I thought may have been a bleed in my right eye (i.e. my good eye).  The appointment went fairly well, all things considered.

He looked into my left (bad) eye and noted that there was still a mess in there, but didn’t see anything new of concern.  We talked a bit about potentially getting Avastin shots to help stop the bleeding, but he’s leaving that up to me.  (They’re not recommended while breastfeeding, so it wasn’t an option in the past, but it is now that my daughter is weaned.)  I haven’t decided yet if I want to go that route….

With respect to the right eye, my doctor wasn’t able to see an actual bleed, but he did see some haziness that, in combination with my description of what I saw, was an indication that a small bleed had likely occurred.  That said, he didn’t see any new proliferative vessels/networks either, so he felt that there wasn’t any reason to be concerned that there would be ongoing bleeds in my right eye.  Whew!  I realize bleeds are always a possibility, but it’s good to know that nothing has happened to increase the risk, anyway.

Even so, he wanted to do some more laser treatments (scatter) in my right eye, just to be on the safe side (i.e. in case there was any new proliferation that was just too small for him to see). 


Here’s how it went:

Finding myself back in the “laser room”, I sit down on the stool and he puts the numbing drops in my eye, followed by the numbing gel (by special request (mine) since I’m a wuss).  I blink the goop around for a bit until I start to feel like I have no eyeball.  It’s a weird sensation.

He straps my head into the crazy laser contraption and sticks his lens to my eyeball, propping it open and making me feel all Malcolm McDowell à la Clockwork Orange. (I was going to make that a link to a picture, but it’s too gross.)

Then he starts the zaps.

Ever since my first laser treatments, my coping mechanism has been to sing repetitive songs (usually The Twelve Days of Christmas) in my head to distract myself and keep calm.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… 

The flashes are blinding, and I lose my breath with every one.  The pain isn’t intense, but the discomfort is.

Three french hens, two turtle doves….

My free eye rolls around, trying to escape what must be sympathy pains from the other one.

Fiiiiive gooooold riiiiings…..

My head starts to pound.  Every inch of me wants to jump up and run out of that room.  It’s all I can do to sit still. 

What the hell were there seven of???  Think!  Think!

“Bethany, can you open your left eye so we can get you refocused on this light here?” 

I try, but it is now pinched shut and uncooperative.  It finally opens a crack – enough to see his little orange light – and he seems to be satisfied.  He starts again with the zaps.

Swans a swimming!  Seven swans a swimming!

I’m starting to feel too hot.  Tears are pouring down my right cheek.

Eleven pipers piping….

A few more zaps….and he’s pulling the lens off my eye and the strap off my head.  I’m not even done my song, but that’s okay.

I get up and feel the need to ask him if my right eye is open or shut, because I can’t feel it or see out of it – but I refrain.  It doesn’t matter.  As I head toward the desk to make my next appointment (four months from now), my vision starts to come back in a familiar purple glow.

Just before the laser treatment I said to my doctor, “You know, it’s been almost exactly a year since I’ve been in this seat.” 

His response: “That’s a good year.”

I guess he has a point.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Seven swans a swimming.

    BOO! to more laser, but I’m glad the right eye didn’t seem like it would bleed more.

    If you do decide on the Avastatin shots, where are they injected?

    How’s your right eye vision doing today?


    • My understanding is that they’re injected right into the eyeball. (Ew!)
      Right eye’s okay today. Vision seems a bit compromised but not too bad. I think it bled a bit after the lasers again, but it was hard to see at the time because my vision was so blurry afterwards anyway.


  2. I was uncomfortable reading this (which means your description and storytelling was fabulous), but am also glad that you got the care you needed.


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