Friday, February 13, 2009

Well, Thank Goodness for THAT

Wednesday morning I had my check-up eye exam. Of course a trip to the eye doctor is uncomfortable, and here are the things they did. First, I had yellow dye dropped in my eyes, and a technician looked at them. To look at them, I held my head steady in that weird almost-head brace that they have (you always imagine how easy it would be for them to just slap a strap around the back of your head and immobilize you when you put your chin in that little cup), and the tech brought a blue light closer and closer to my eye until she touched it. I, naturally, blinked. She said something like "Oh, not numb enough," and dropped more dye in my eye. Then she tried again, and I blinked again. The third time, she said she would just have to hold my eye open. Well, YES, of course you will! Then, while she was holding my eye open and looking and the surface, she told me that some people have a gag-reflex when the light touches their eyes and they simply throw up. Yep, throw up. Right there on their laps, the machine, and the technician. She had one man in once who, the second the light touched his eye, passed out and wet himself. I got off lucky.

Then my eyes were dilated and scanned with the least torturous of all the devices—a machine that just has you look at flashing lights on a dim red background while it takes pictures.

Then the doctor came in, held open my dilated eyes, and shined that powerful magnified light all the way onto the back inside wall of my skull, while I looked up and down and right and left, each eye. Then she gave her diagnosis. The little patch of fluid in my right eye hasn't disappeared; in fact, seems to have shown no noticeable changes. It certainly wasn't worse, however, so that was good. "Not bad," said Dr Meyers-Powell. "It's not worse, and since you're pretty much able to see, I think we'll just add an eye drop to the one you're already doing. I don't think there's any need to stick a needle in your eye right now."

Bleahgh. WHAT?!?

She laughed. "You wouldn't feel it at all," she said. "Come see me again in six weeks."

I was comforted, at the eye doctor's, with the knowledge that a needle in the eye wasn't going to be felt. But later that evening I was talking about the appointment to friends and I realized this: You may not be able to feel it, but you sure as hell are going to SEE it. The very nature of eyes is that they SEE, and a needle coming RIGHT AT YOUR EYE is something that you CANNOT AVOID SEEING. They're certainly not going to stick it through your lid! Ian suggested that maybe they could, somehow, numb your optic nerve so you can't see the needle coming, but I think that would be slightly, ever so slightly, worse. The dentist always warns you, with the Novocain, that your smile and your ability to keep food in your mouth when you chew might never come back if they accidentally sever the nerve. It would be so much worse to have that happen to your EYE!

Keeping my fingers crossed that this new combination of drops does the trick.


Ian said...

OK, I spent a few minutes looking up needles in the eye on the internet and came across another idea, what if the needle goes in from the side and not through the lens? (Or maybe the lens is where the problem is.) So I thought, well then you wouldn't see it. But still you would, right, because if the extra fluid is in your field of vision, regardless of where in the eye that is, then the only way to reach it with a needle would be to send the needle to that same part of your vision. So, in summary, needle in eye still equals bad idea, and I'm happy you don't have to have that done yet.

Adam English said...

I never thought I would chuckle at anything mentioning needles inserted into an eye, but your line "Bleahgh. WHAT?!?" got me.

Chuckles aside, I'm with Ian, glad you haven't experienced that (and hopeful you never have to.)