She Blinded Me With Science

(and lights)

Today was a busy busy day. Well, it didn’t start off that way. I spent most of the morning watching my Arrested Development DVDs, the best comedy show ever put on a network. Then suddenly after lunch, a transport person shows up to take me for my EEG. Sweet!

I packed up all of my stealables and hopped on the stretcher. You have to be taken on a stretcher to an EEG in case you have a seizure while you’re down there. I guess that way it’s easier to push you out into the street.

As we left the floor, each nurse’s station had at least one of my many doctors at it, who all waved and asked if I was going for my EEG. Okay, so maybe I groused a little about being stood up yesterday. Who wouldn’t? I asked the transport guy if it was a bad thing that every desk we passed had one of my doctors. Before he could reply, SuperCoop came down the hall toward us as well. I’m POPular

At the last desk, I met a first year opthamology resident who was going to be looking into my eyes. She stopped us and asked a couple of quick questions, then put some numbing and dilation drops in my eyes so I’d be ready for her after the EEG.

We finally made it downstairs, where I made the EEG tech’s day by being bald. Much easier to place all of the electrodes on skin than on hair. The worst for them are the in-betweeners: the chemo patients who are just starting to lose their hair and haven’t shaved yet. Talk about embarassing for both parties involved.

The exam itself was pleasant for the most part, just lying there on the stretcher with my eyes closed and breathing calmly. Then came the end portion with the Flashing Light From Hell. They were either testing my epileptic response or my patience tolerance. The thing would flash like crazy at me through my closed eyes, then I would have to open them. Are you kidding me? Then she’d speed it up. Repeat. And faster. And faster. I felt like I was in Willy Wonka’s boat ride.

The eye resident followed me downstairs and started doing some examining while we waiting for me to go back upstairs. This primarily consisted of shining lots of lights in my eyes. Then we get back up to my room. She closes the curtains, shuts the door, dims the lights… and shines more bright lights in my eyes. Only this time, she’s got this magnifying glass thing like you use to fry ants on the sidewalk! When she left, I was seeing everything through a hot pink fog. Psychedelic, man.

I called Barb to let her know what had been happening for the past few hours and the eye resident stuck her head back in to tell me she was going to take me to the eye clinic to have more people look at my eyes. Great.

We make it to the eye center and she gives a third year resident a call so he can come take a look at me. In the meantime, she looks at my eyes again using the real equipment, rather than the handheld stuff. She also finally sees my ols corneal scar this way. You see, I was a forceps baby at birth and the doc scratched my eye and the surrounding areas when he yanked me out. As I had told her earlier, this is my test when I go to a new optometrist. If he sees it, I stay. If he doesn’t, I move on down the list.

So third year gets there and starts looking at me with the wicked bright lights. Right off the bat: “Were you a forceps baby?” You’re hired, Mr. Third Year. At least that’s what I thought until he started poking me in the eyes. First he’s looking at me with the bright light and the ant-killing magnifying glass, then he’s got a stick in his other hand that he’s using to press in on my eyeball!

What are two things that eye doctors always tell you not to do? Don’t stare into the sun and don’t press your fingers into your eye sockets. Do as I say, not as I do.

So after he’s looked for awhile and confirmed first year’s findings, they go outside the room to call the retina resident fellow. As they’re doing so, they run into the actual retina specialty honest-to-goodness doctor. Apparently, it’s been awhile since third year has been in her presence, so they’re outside catching up for awhile.

There’s a reason I like dogs – I understand them. When I get bored and I’m feeling ignored or forgotten, I act out and occasionally get myself into trouble. This time, I was safe on the trouble part. I was exceedingly bored and forgotten, so I started playing with all of the equipment. I was in a typical eye exam chair with all of those neat opthamologic devices right in front of me. What else could I be expected to do?

So I pulled that light torture device to me first. Not much of interest. There was the joystick thing they play around with, but without the light being on, I couldn’t see what I was moving. Then I moved to the real treat – the superhero mask with all the little lenses. That kept me entertained for quite awhile. I really enjoyed flipping around that little “Is one better or two?” lens they’re always playing with. There’s all kinds of dials for them to play with over there. Next time you’re left alone at the eye doctor’s, give it a looksee.

Eventually, they all come in to the room (but not after I accidentally flicked all of the lights on and off. Honest, it was a power surge. I saw nothing.) and I find out who’s been taking up the resident’s time. Turns out, it’s basically the head of the clinic. Sweet! She gives me a quick exam and agrees with what the residents were seeing. The funny thing is, each one of them did the same exams, but as you went up the experience ladder, each one was faster.

Okay, I’ve kept you in suspense for enough time – the results. Basically, they can’t see anything that would definitively be causing the spots I’m seeing. They can see the floaters I have, but that’s something different. They also see two white spots in my right retina. I believe they called them something along the lines of “cotton balls.” I almost replied “nylon ass!” but was too intrigued to interject. Plus, everyone was still pink.

So these white spots could be caused by any number of things, but they think the most likely scenario is from me being anemic and neutropenic after the SCT. They want me to come in to their retina clinic on Monday morning so the fellow can take a look in my eyes with bright lights and poky sticks and they’ll also take a photograph of my retinae so they can see how they change over time. Basically, the cure for these white spots is to wait it out. Once whatever caused them is fixed, then they’ll eventually go away.

I received some great and glorious news when I returned to my room – I’m getting out tomorrow! They said if I really wanted, they could rush things and get me out tonight, but they’d prefer it if I stayed on through the night. For once, I’m not going completely apeshit in here, and I think that’s primarily due to this here laptop. Thanks again for letting me borrow it, Sue – you’ve saved my sanity, such as it is.

So tomorrow morning at some point I get to go home and see if we can do things right this time. Yay!

One thought on “She Blinded Me With Science

  1. Brian…..your postings are great entertainment. I LOVE reading them and I am so glad that you’re feeling better and the B&B abode is right around the corner tomorrow! Just the retina Clinic on Monday okay? NOTHING else!


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