Written on June 10th, 2013:
My post title is a line of lyrics from my song “The Unknown.” When I wrote my song in 2011, I was horrified by my lyrics. It was because they were so revealing and honest.
The lyrics of my song that include this title go: “My tears I hide when you are near me, I cry inside where you can’t hear me.”
I operate on that level more than I’d like to admit. I hide my pain, while inside I am screaming and crying. It has been quite difficult for me to release my feelings and very unhealthy. In order to numb myself, it is far easier to indulge in overeating and the result has been awful for me. I am certain that the reason my music heals me is because it is the one place where I can freely express myself.
“Can you function?”
The retinologist’s words were crisp and firm. “Can you function? Can you do your work in order to sustain an income?”
I looked at him and hesitated. Softly I said, “Yes, but it’s pretty tough. I get headaches and it’s frustrating.”
He spoke kindly and said, “It’s very important that you understand why I’m asking you this. If you tell me you cannot work or function, I will schedule you for a Vitrectomy tomorrow.”
I had read about this procedure. It was rather drastic. The gel in the eye is replaced with vegetable oil. Walla! I’d have crystal clear vision again. But of course, nothing is that simple. The procedure is quite risky.
He explained that it was a routine surgery for him; and he did it often. He said it would take less than an hour; then I would go home and live with the result. With seriousness he told me that there were rare instances of failure and he remembered each and every case.
Due to my nearsightedness and elongated eyeball, the procedure definitely carried more risk for me than the average person. His recommendation was that I wait at least a year to be sure. As I left, he told me that he it was more than likely that with time I would adjust.
I walked to my car. The sunlight was painful and my vision was swirling with feathers and lines. I put on sunglasses and tried not to cry.
I decided I liked this doctor. Mostly, I appreciated his compassion.
I had made this appointment because I was so discouraged by my eyesight; I wanted reassurance that my retinas were still intact and felt it might not be a bad idea to see another eye specialist. I had already read a lot about PVD (posterior vitreous detachment) on the Internet and knew there wasn’t simple cure for me.
I had actually been given a referral to this doctor a month earlier after I informed my HMO that I wanted reimbursement for a second opinion. My request for reimbursement was denied, even though I had given prior notice. I was given a referral to see this retina specialist from my HMO instead. I made an appointment, but it was several weeks away and I was miserable.
I did not have the energy to appeal the denial of my $250 expenditure.
The doctor that dispensed my second opinion recommended a laser treatment to help treat a common complication I had from my cataract surgeries.
Finally after complaining, I was given a sooner appointment where a doctor at my HMO performed the laser treatment. I was told I could cancel my appointment with this retinologist.
After the laser treatment, I was hopeful that my eyes would improve. But it was not the case. A few weeks later, I had a second PVD when my vitreous gel separated in my “good” eye.
On top of that, I had painful dryness in both eyes that was excruciating. All the while, I was busy working on an illustration assignment. Thankfully, my computer had a large screen that was helpful for my eyes.
It was my music that continued to keep me going and helped me the most.
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