A couple of posts ago, I wrote about how I feared my double vision was now beginning to affect my appearance and how very sad and depressed that made me. Well, a week ago Thursday I was scheduled for my second visit with the occulo plastic surgeon, Dr. L., to have him check the progress of my Graves’ Eye Disease. On one hand, I was eager to go because anything that takes me closer to being cured is good. On the other hand, I was worried that he might discover that my eyes were getting worse. If that was the case, we’d start the checks all over again. Sigh.
Naturally, by the time of my appointment, the streets, which already had a layer of ice from the night before, were being coated by a heavy snowfall. But, I gathered up my courage and determination and hit the streets. When I slid half-way into the intersection at the first stop sign, I wondered how wise it was to keep the appointment, but it had been seven weeks and I just didn’t want to reschedule. What should have been a ten minute drive took almost thirty.
Once there, I was ushered into a room and he came in shortly. Immediately he started going through the drill. He had me look left, and then wrote something in his computer, then right, then up, then down. He then held up his finger and went through most of it again. On and on he went, not saying much more than, “That’s the same. That’s the same.” Finally, he settled down with his computer and started typing. I’m just sitting there, waiting for him to remember he has a patient in the room while it appears he’s writing his memoirs. Finally, I could stand the silence no longer.
ME: “Uh, is it bad?”
DR. L.: “Oh no. Most of the readings are the same as they have been. I think we’re ready for surgery.”
ME: “Uh-huh. Wait a minute! Say what you just said again!”
DR. L.: “I said that I think we’re ready for surgery.”
ME: “Oh. My. God!”
I had been praying for this for so long , but when I heard him say it, I felt like a deer trapped in the headlights. I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. I thought I’d be waiting A LOT longer. All I could do was ask him to tell me about it.
He explained that, due to the nature of my problem, he’d have to operate on both eyes and do it under general anesthesia. But I was glad to hear that it would still be an outpatient process. He warned me that Graves’ Eye Disease patients are difficult because the inflammation of the eye muscles often leaves scar tissue. Consequently, there’s a 10% chance that the surgery won’t be perfect the first time. He may have to do a second operation to “tweak things.” But that means there’s a 90% chance it will work out perfectly. (I want to be in THAT group, please!) He said that my vision straight on and looking down should go back to normal. Not so for sideways. But I figure that’s okay because I could drive and read. I don’t mind having to turn my head. We left it with him telling me that his scheduler would get pre-approval from my insurance company and contact me in the next several days.
So, I went back out into the snow storm, got into my car, and broke down in tears. I thanked God for hearing my prayers and then very cautiously drove home. I’ve wanted to be cured for so long that it still hasn’t sunk in that this is going to happen. I’m not sure when, but I imagine it will be this month.
So, my dear readers, the ball has started rolling… I just thought you’d like to know.