Thursday, December 1, 2016

Daily Vision Changes

Well, I broke another machine. No, I didn't knock anything over because I couldn't see it or anything like that. I'm just one of those people in whose mere presence machines break down. Never get behind me in a check-out line of you're in a hurry: something will happen. This time, it was a machine in the eye surgeon's office. They needed a final exam, which is supposed to lead to a print-out of data on my eye. Both, actually.

The repairman has been called. It probably started working again soon after I left.

In the meantime they switched to a different machine in a different room. I didn't manage to break this one. The biggest problem for me, with both machines, actually, is I'm supposed to hold my eye open for about 15 seconds. I blink about every one to three seconds. Can't help it. I blame it on the antihistamines I take, but allow for the possibility it's an early stage of Shogren's. Another gift from Mom, if so.

I had plenty of time  to do nothing much while they were trying to get the information they needed, so I decided to see for my own "amusement" - or edification - how the cataract is progressing from my side. An unfamiliar room is a great place to compare what is visible or not from each eye. There are two major changes today.

First, bright lights, seen through the cataract, used to be blurs covered with black spots, evenly distributed tiny specks like looking through a thin machined filter. No more black specks. Colors have changed too. Today I see light or shadows in various intensities, and red. The red can vary from pink to reddish brown. Yellow, green, blue: gone. I only know they are there by checking with the good eye.

I haven't decided whether I find this interesting or frightening. Both, I guess, along with relief/hope that in a week all will be changed. Surgery is the 7th.

Oh, and there's a complication. I have - if I got this right - pseudo exfoliation. The term may not be exact, but I correctly translated it back to the surgeon as false shedding. There's a ring around the lens that sheds cells. Over time, it could mean that the implant loosens and falls back inside they eye, requiring another surgery to pull it forward back into place.  He told me to spend some time on the internet finding out more about the condition.

Hey, when does a Doc tell  you that? Usually it's to ignore all the misinformation out there and listen only to the Doc.

Anyway, there are two things to consider, besides a possible future second surgery. One is a choice between scalpel surgery and laser surgery. Lasers cut more exactly and with less movement applied to the eye in the process,  which could help postpone problems. Scalpel surgery -yes, it's still done! - applies more movement and could hasten a problem.

Seems like a no-brainer, eh? But the second thing to consider is there is a difference of $1,500 between the two procedures. And Medicare only covers the cheap one. They don't recognize there may be a good medical reason, not just a comfort reason since the eye heals sooner, for doing the laser surgery.

I opted for digging out the plastic to cover the better option. I took some time to think about it. After all, I'm only going for the simple new lens Medicare pays for and will continue with wearing trifocals. The technology exists for me not to need any corrective exterior lenses after.

Oh, I'm also promising myself that the first indication of blurriness from the other eye, fast as this one has been growing,  I'm heading back to the surgeon.

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