A letter came in the post today: I did not want to open it as I just had a feeling!
Looking through the sellophane window I could see that the paper was yellow, and I thought, that has Hospital written all over it.
And of course, it did. The Local Health Authority, in blue type.
It was requesting me to ring the Opthalmology department to make an appointment to see a consultant. We went through their diary and mine, and it will be the end of February before we can meet.
There were some free days sooner but they could only offer 8.15 am or 8.30 am in the morning when I am usually feeling less than robust, or school time on a Friday when I will be collecting Theo, so I have opted for a better day and time, albeit later in the month.
Actually, I am pleased. I just do not feel up to any more bad news just now and I am not sure what they can suggest that will be possible. I know, I know, it is usually best to hear what they have to say, it is rarely as bad as one supposes, but I am not emotionally strong enough at the moment. This eye problem has knocked me for six and is taking some coping with, it was so unexpected, such a shock. And the irony is that my optician says that I have wonderfully healthy eyes, much better than usual for my age.
Yes, wonderfully healthy eyes, but with aqueous gel so strong and sticky, that as it has shrunk with ageing, it has pulled a hole right through the macular and retina, when it should have detached. Husband has just had both his eyes go through the ageing process of gel detaching from macula, perfectly with no problem. And my eyes are healthier than his. Goes to show, you can never win.
Normally, I am of the school where you ‘brace up and get on with it’ but this morning I realised just how much emotional trouble I am in when I could not face going to the dentist for a scale and polish. I spent the night worrying and precipitating myself into eye operations where I collapsed with anaphylactic shock because some medic. forgot that I am allergic to handwash, or steriliser or similar. They do it without thinking.
Too many hospital appointments, too many tests, too many hypotheses, mostly bad, which fortunately prove further down the road to be incorrect, but each of which takes a lot of processing to get over before a life line is thrown. Can one become ‘sensitised’ to medics. because I am beginning to think that is happening. I want peace, quiet, and a humdrum existence for a while, to allow my poor frazzled nerves to heal.
So this time I shall not force myself to be brave and conquer my shakes: I am looking after myself, and will go and face the consultant when I feel strong enough. In four weeks time hopefully.
PS. After I had written this I was put in touch with a lady who had been in my position a year ago: she was told that without an operation she would lose any residual sight in her eye, and just see blackness. I have also heard this from another source, so later in the day I rang the Hospital back and am now making myself go to a very early clinic next week. I know it will be hard, and will probably give me a migraine, but it is silly to postpone the consultation. If time is of the essence, and with my problems there would be so much to discuss and prepare for, I do not want to be rushed further down the line.
I have Googled the consultant - most impressive qualifications and career. And he has a website with his picture, very smiley, and contact details for any queries even if one is not a patient. Sounds approachable and available which is comforting. And right up front he guarantees the same treatment for both his NHS patients and his private ones. I also hear that Sheffield is the country’s best centre for this kind of op. – people are sent from all over to come here, so I am very, very lucky, both in our dear NHS and where I live.
But, oh deary me. With nine major, and three minor, ops. already, I do not want any more:( Please cross all your fingers and thumbs for me. Thanks.