Tag: retina specialist

Feb 06, 2013
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Hello New Me!

Hello New Me!

The year I turned fifty, my health went down the toilet. My colonoscopy turned up a precancerous lesion that required surgery, but fortunately, needed no chemotherapy or radiation. The retina specialist diagnosed my advanced macular degeneration, and I was in and out of the dermatologist’s office with numerous skin problems. The last straw was finding out I was borderline diabetic because of the weight I’d gained. The cancer scare and the macular degeneration were upsetting. Perhaps because it was the last of the run of bad health news I got, the diabetes sent me over the edge. I spent several days crying about the shape I was in. That so many things turned up at the same time was a …

Dec 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Longest Night

The Longest Night

Winter is my least favorite time of year. I hate cold weather, and the shorter days trigger my Seasonal Affective Disorder. Throw in all the holidays that revolve around food and a tendency to carb-load, and the biggest gift I get every year is an extra twenty pounds–or more–that I spend the next twelve months trying to shed. Moving to Georgia helped. Mild winters make it possible to get out in the sun more, and that really makes a difference with the SAD. But I’d still gain too much weight over the winter. Something had to change. And since winter and shorter days weren’t going anywhere (absent climate change), it was up to me. Last year, after losing a lot …

Oct 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured

It’s Working!

Two years ago this month, I was diagnosed with macular degeneration. I have a mild case in my right eye and an advanced case in my left. To have the condition at my age is unusual. To have such an extreme case at such a young age is practically unheard of. For once, I’d prefer not to be so exceptional. Since being diagnosed, I see a retina specialist. At first I went every six weeks. Now I go every four. Let me tell you, four weeks rolls by fast. There is no cure for macular degeneration. As I understand the condition, swelling occurs inside the eye that interferes with my vision. The peripheral vision in my left eye is fine, …

Aug 09, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Stop the World!

Swapping the vacation my partner and I had been looking forward to for Dad’s funeral ended up being a good thing. We were already off work, and since we were driving anyway and had a free place to stay at the beach, changing our plans at the last minute didn’t cost anything. Any other time would have caused problems and posed challenges. All this to say I’m not unhappy that we gave up a relaxing week at the beach. Things have a way of working out for the best. Already exhausted from the previous weeks activities, I spent the weekend catching up on laundry, mowing, and other chores. My writers group met Saturday, and I managed to squeeze in a …

Jul 11, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Little Good News

Finding out a few months ago that the miracle cure for macular degeneration wasn’t working for me hasn’t made going in for my monthly shot in the eye any easier. Until last month, at least things weren’t getting any worse. Struggling to see the big E at the top of the eye chart and then seeing a scan with more swelling than ever before took the wind from my sails. I’ve been dreading today’s appointment. That I’m driving up to Lexington tomorrow to visit my father for the last time added to the dread. As you might imagine, I’ve had a lot on my mind. The office was already packed when I arrived, New Yorker in hand and my brand …

Jun 06, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Going, Going, Nearly Gone

I had another appointment with the retina specialist this morning. I go about once a month for an injection to treat the macular degeneration in my left eye. Both eyes have macular degeneration, but the case in my left eye is among the ten percent of cases so severe that it bleeds into the fluid inside my eye. I’m young to have it at all, much less a severe case. There is no cure. The eye injections are supposed to shrink the lesions that interfere with my ability to see fine detail. First the doctor tried dirt cheap Avastin. It worked for a few injections than suddenly stopped making a difference. He switched to pricey Lucentis, which didn’t reduce the …

Apr 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Day at the Doctor’s Office

I had an appointment with the retina specialist today to get my third injection of Eylea, a new drug that worked wonders for people suffering from advanced macular degeneration in the trials. The swelling in my retina had been reduced by fifteen percent after the first injection. So I was anxious to find out how much the swelling had gone down since receiving my second injection about a month ago. His office has three waiting rooms. The first, just inside the door, is always full. I picked a seat in the then empty overflow waiting room and started reading the New Yorker magazine I’d brought with me from home. Unless you are a voracious reader, I don’t recommend a subscription …

Sep 07, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Another Day with the Seniors

I had my appointment with the retina specialist today. There were a few people waiting in the hallway, and the main waiting room was full. I took a seat in the nearly empty overflow waiting room and started catching up on Words with Friends on my cellphone. A sweet little old lady who had driven a member of her church to the appointment from Elberton was deep in conversation with a young woman who had driven her father from Buford.  As usual, the doctor was running behind. I eaves-dropped on their conversation for a good half hour. The older woman reminded me a lot of my Aunt Toodles. She was upbeat and positive about everything and told several funny stories …

Aug 03, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Hanging with the Seniors at the Retina Specialist’s Office

I was diagnosed with advanced macular degeneration in my left eye back in October. I have a milder case in my right eye. Macular degeneration is a swelling between the layers of the retina that eventually leads to blindness. There is no cure, but it’s treatable–with injections of one of several drugs to the eye.  Though still no picnic in the park, the eye injections sound worse than they are. My Augusta-based retina specialist travels to Athens once a week to see patients here. Normally someone unlocks his office before he arrives. The patients come in, sign-in on a clipboard, then take a seat in one of the waiting rooms. The doctor and his staff arrive en masse, dragging equipment …

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