I had my consultation today for the cataract surgery. But first, can I just say that I must have the biggest case of “white coat syndrome” ever. They took my blood pressure. It wasn’t good. It’s always great when I take it at home but today… the systolic was fine, the diastolic…not so much. She took it again after about 10 minutes and it was fine. It was strongly suggested that I consider having a small dose of sublingual Versed prior to my surgery if I was going to get myself that worked up. I don’t like the amnesia that accompanies Versed. I think meditation is a better option, or perhaps I’ll brush up on my Lamaze visualization techniques.
With that rather rocky start there was also a glitch tossed into what I hoped would be a straightforward consult. In general they tell me that my eyes are healthy, that I have no signs of glaucoma, that my left eye is already seeing 20/20 and that they can likely correct my right eye to 20/40. I do have old eyes though so I think some cheaters are still going to be in the works as my bifocals will disappear with my glasses. I can live with a handy pair or two of magnifiers.
The doctor then told me that she had two concerns, and that until they could be evaluated by another specialist, we couldn’t schedule the surgery. Apparently, at some point and completely unknown to me, I had a very small tear in my retina (right eye) that seems to have healed itself. As Dr. Abbie noted though, they don’t want to be messing around with my eye and have this ‘healed’ area decide to re-open. The left eye has some sort of vitreous attachment, that again, when the eye is messed with, could cause a resultant pulling, and/or tearing of the retina.
Of course there’s a laundry list of possible causes for both of these issues, none of which seem to apply to me except the ‘generalized aging’ category. I’m getting a little tired of being told that I have old eyes. I already know that my body isn’t as firm, fit, or generally healthy as it used to be. I don’t need my eyes to keep reminding me of that.
Initially after this news, I had to not only adjust to the idea of another delay but also that the cost would now be going up. Something that I haven’t shared with you in the blog is that our current health insurance is crap. In short, the providers within the network that aren’t two hours or more away from me are not clinics that I want anywhere near my eyes. Their reviews and reputations are far less than stellar. I was referred to an amazing clinic for this consultation today, but they don’t accept my insurance. I have been working to find a way to pay for this surgery myself. When I was hit with the news that a preferred retina specialist (upon learning I was a private pay patient) wanted a $1000 deposit prior to even seeing me, I wanted to crawl under the schedulers desk and cry.
What I did instead was to come home, pull up my list of network providers, and found a specialist on the list whose office is 20 minutes away and who confirmed that yes, they accept our insurance! The evaluation will happen in a few weeks. Fingers are crossed that she will say that nothing needs to be done. When I called the cataract clinic back to tell them that I was still moving forward the scheduler mentioned that this doctor was fantastic. That piece of news helped me a lot after all the disappointment earlier.
I was also encouraged to here from Dr. Abbie that, once we can schedule the right eye surgery, and if it goes well, I can almost immediately schedule the left eye as well if I want. She said that they have had patients who have had both eye surgeries within a week of each other. Financial considerations will influence the timing, but as long as I can get the right eye done, then I feel like I can move ahead with all the very official stuff associated in ending my marriage.
Even though these eyes are old they have a clear vision of the final goal and we just keep pushing forward…