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On Getting A Poke In The Eye
Google states this procedure is relatively painless. I disagree.
A few months back I thought my eyesight was failing me a bit. So I took myself to the Optician where I was told it was all in my head and that maybe my eyeglasses needed a bit of an adjustment. Great! I thought. I got my eyeglasses tweaked and they helped somewhat so I went home. The end, yes?
A few weeks ago I noticed that if I close my left eye I can’t see much out of my right eye. I’m no doctor and I don’t play one on TV but I do know that not being able to see is kind of a big deal.
My vision in my right eye is so bad that if I look at you I can see your ears and around you yet my central vision is well, toast. It’s just a black blob.
Back to the optician I go and this time I had a better optician who suggested an emergency appointment at a retinal specialist because it turns out I had a retinal bleed and bleeding in the back of the eye isn’t a good thing.
I had planned on going to Target after my optical appointment but BW suggested that wasn’t such a good idea and I should get my butt home so she can take me to the retina guy . Target can wait, she said.
I drive home so she can drive me to the eye guy as they are going to dilate me and I will be in no shape to drive and then we’re off for my emergency retinal appointment. This was not something I thought would happen. My exiting part of the day was supposed to be a Target run. And a Nap. It was my day off work.
We arrive at the docs and do all the tests with paddles and charts and lights and lasers and when I am asked to read the letters on the chart I can’t see the chart let alone tell the nurse what the letters are.
Tests are done and we wait for the Doc. You know how this goes…
Doc walks in and takes a glance at the x-rays or scans on the computer screen and turns around and tells me I have to get a needle in the eye. MONTHLY.
WAIT. Hold up THERE.
Did he say a needle in the eye? Every Month?
I didn’t hear wrong. He Did.
In fact, we’re going to start with the needle right now. As in Today.
I’m not needle phobic really. I’ve had more than enough dental work to last a lifetime and while needles are not the best, I have survived. But a needle in the eye? Oof.
I’m not good with stuff in my eyes. Eye drops are impossible, as are contact lenses and even water from the shower and now this dude is telling me this? I have to get a needle? IN. the. eyeball? Yes, he is.
The Universe Hates Me.
Did you know you can numb an eyeball? Me either!
Turns out getting a needle in the eye is not the best thing I have ever experienced but I am glad that this technology exists so getting a needle in the eyeball isn’t as completely bad as it sounds.
What's bad is the “needle in the eye hangover”. It feels like you have sand in your eyeball for about 3 days afterwards so assuming a 30 day month I only have 27 days until I get to do it all over again.
Google’s AI tells me that the fancy name for this treatment is called Anti-VGEF treatment. I call it what it is - a needle in the eyeball.
Anti-VEGF (anti-vascular endothelial growth factor) therapy uses medications that block vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is a protein that promotes the growth of new blood vessels and makes blood vessels more leaky. Anti-VEGF medicines stop the growth of these new blood vessels, which prevents damage to the retinal light receptors and loss of central vision.
Anti-VEGF therapy is used to treat certain cancers and age-related macular degeneration. Anti-VEGF medicines are injected directly into the eye, during a quick and relatively painless procedure.
“Relatively painless procedure” says Google. Ha. Google hasn’t been laid back in a chair had their eyeball numbed and their eyelid forced open and a needle stuck in their eyeball. I disagree with these results. Relatively painless compared to what? I want specifics!
The good news is that the shit seems to be working. I am about 50% better with just one shot so far so hopefully the end is near for this new monthly routine I don’t care for and things will clear up over time.
I can still drive with this ailment. According to the NYS DMV I only need one eye to drive which is news to me. For a moment there I thought my driving would be over.
You must pass a vision test when you apply for a driver license or to renew your license. The test must show that you have visual acuity of at least 20/40 (based on the Snellen Visual Acuity Scale) in either or both eyes, with or without corrective lenses.
I can even drive home from the needle in the eye appointment which is kind of amazing if you ask me.
Then there’s the drops. I’m a blinker. I do not like any water in my eye at all so even though the needle was no walk in the park I think the drops might be worse. First there’s the aim: I am off by a mile every drop. This stuff is not landing anywhere near my eye. I can tell you that my cheek won’t get any bacteria now, but it takes about six tries for me to get the one antibactierial shot actually in my eyeball. I’m getting better but this eyedrop thing is not my best skill.
The good news with all this is that my eyesight is improving somewhat and that’s a good thing because I want to watch the wee one grow up as it happens so fast. Here we are at Starbucks earlier this week on a day off that didn’t include a needle in the eyeball: She starts Pre-K in a few weeks!
She’s worth a million prizes. Or needles or whatever it takes. Bring it on, Universe.
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