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 new 2.0 magnifying glasses on my nose. I found a seat in the noisy main lobby, Fox News blaring from the television. As I thought to myself that a 33rd vote to repeal Obamacare was downright obscene in light of the problems this country faces, the crotchety old white people waiting to have their eyes checked launched into a spontaneous competition to be the most conservative person in the room.

If you ask me, it was the little lady with the too-tight blue perm who blamed President Obama for everything but the weather. The Hulk Hogan clone, Georgia-fied of course, with a Confederate flag tattoo on his left bicep, gave her a run for her money, and might have even won among those in the room with more racist views. I pretended to read the banner publication of the liberal elite in silence, pondering what it might be like to live in a blue state.

My number two favorite technician called me back. Really, she didn’t call me. She walked up to where I sat and asked if I was ready. Beautiful girl, shoulder-length dark brown hair, enormous brown eyes, and a natural sweetness and efficiency that make her an asset to any office. We tested the vision in my left eye. I saw the big E, and all four letters on the next two rows. Yay!

A new person did the scan, prompt and efficient, maybe a tad nervous. We’ll give her some time to settle into the routine. I’m not sure what the unit of measurement is, but last time the swelling was up to 355. This time, it was 283–a drop of about twenty percent. The new drug, it seems, is working.

The doctor came in with a big smile on his face. I told him I was seeing the world through dirty glasses, even when I wasn’t wearing them. He explained the cause. Floaters in my eye–mostly blood and gunk that oozes from the swelling inside–that never really go away. They settle, then get stirred up again when I move around, like the snow in one of those holiday snow globes.

Turns out, lifting weights causes blood pressure spikes that increase the amount of bleeding in my eye. That I take a lot of aspirin makes it worse. He suggested I cut back on both. I can’t wait to tell my trainer!

My absolute least favorite technician was again responsible for getting me ready for the injection. Either somebody complained, or the good twin showed up today. She couldn’t have been any nicer. And for the first time with her, my eye pressure was under 40 the first time she checked it and I was free to leave. Coincidence? Maybe I’ll give her another chance.

Last month’s visit was a reality check. Macular degeneration is robbing me of my vision. Seeing two more lines on an eye chart doesn’t sound like much. But it’s progress in the right direction, and I’m grateful today, here in…

My Glass House

9 responses to “A Little Good News”

  1. Yay! That is great news! Especially due to your trip. A little bit improvement is so much better than slightly worse, that’s for sure.
    And I cracked up at the vision of you reading the New Yorker in what I’m sure felt like Hell’s Waiting Room. Ha!

  2. YESSSSSSSSSSSS! I needed this news! And I so much enjoy your writing, Michael, more so all the time. You really create whole stories / scenes with just a few lines. On a more serious note, I can only imagine how you must be mentally preparing yourself for this difficult journey. Please stay in touch with me & your friends & supporters along the way, as you’re able. And if you can, please tell your Dad how much I enjoyed the ‘Garden Tour’ he gave us many years ago, detailing what’s planted where & how he’d tended & nurtured his beautiful crops…It was an inspiration to me; now we’re growing our own tropical fruit & some herbs.(legal herbs!) We’re headed to Miami this weekend for the Fairchild Botanic Garden’s 20th Annual Mango Festival…….but a piece of my heart will be in Lexington. Blessings & hugs. I admire you (& Miss Toodles) for making this trek, Michael, I really really do.