I had hoped that this would be a relieved
"We know what it is and now just have to fix it" entry, but alas no.
I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning, worrying
about the appointment. Worrying and not worrying. So many people have assured
me that this is classic cataract symptoms and that the operation will change my life that
I was convinced I was going to march into the office and march out with an appointment for
I managed to get back to sleep and slept
until 7, when I realized I had a whole flock of butterflies in my stomach, realizing that
my appointment was only two hours from now.
I checked e-mail and had a lovely
supportive e-mail waiting for me, which helped a lot. It's nice to know people care.
There were also lovely notes on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. I felt I had
the support of a lot of caring people behind me.
I got the dogs fed, said goodbye to Walt,
who was heading off to Santa Barbara, taking the bus to the airport because I had told him
I didn't feel comfortable driving him. He gave me a big hug and I promised to
call him as soon as my appointment was over.
I could tell immediately, once again, that
while I can drive all right, I probably shouldn't. Sunglasses don't stop that
feeling that there are several layers of muslin in front of my face, though it's a bit
better. I promised myself I would go to Kaiser (which is only a few miles away),
stop at the supermarket on the way home, and then not drive again until we get this
settled, one way or another.
My doctor is one of the most gentle people
around. It was he who "broke the news" to me many years ago that it was
time for bifocals, while I had gone in there expecting to get bifocals and
looking forward to them. But he was afraid I'd take the news badly, thinking it was
a sign of growing old.
He greeted me by name when he saw me and
apologized that he had two patients ahead of me. I smiled and told him that was
fine, that I'd only come early in case he needed to dilate my pupils. He got
flustered and said that he didn't think he needed to do that...unless, of course, my
doctor had recommended it. We agreed that didn't need to be done and he took his two
I apparently passed the glaucoma test and
then he did the chart reading, which I also passed. He said that if the problem were
cataracts, I wouldn't have been able to read the letters I was reading.
He looked in my eyeball and said that yes,
he could see the cataract, but that it wasn't large enough that the ophthalmologist would
want to remove it.
After that he didn't seem to have any
answers. Clearly, I can't see. Or rather, clearly I can't see clearly,
so there is some problem. He could set me up with an appointment tomorrow, but it's
in Sacramento, and I decided to wait until Walt gets home so he can drive me. So my
next appointment, with an ophthalmologist this time, is November 5 so I have another week
to worry and to deal with those butterflies.
I stopped at the supermarket, which is on
the way home, and bought enough food for both me and the dogs to last until Walt comes
home, so I don't have to drive while he's away.
And of course I came home to research
macular degeneration, which Walt's mother has. I remember that the first hint we had
of it was when she stopped driving. But I read through a bit of the information and
took the preliminary test they give you and while I realize self-diagnosis is not a good
thing to do, it doesn't sound like this is the start of macular degeneration. But I
still asked Walt to ask his mother what she remembers about the first symptoms many years
ago when she realized there was something wrong with her eyes.
There is also diabetic retinopathy, which
really scares me. Walt's old college roommate had diabetes and ended
up blind because of diabetic retinopathy.
I'm better off just staying in the house
where it's not nearly as apparent as it is the minute I set foot outside the house.
And we'll now start the count-down until November 5 when I can go through this whole
butterfly attack yet again.
I'll look on the bright side--if I'm losing
my sight, I'll save a heck of a lot of money on cameras, camera equipment, and books!