Thursday, 16 December 2010
Eye spy something beginning with Aaaaaahhhh!!
I had my proper eye clinic appointment this morning. I was meant to go when I arrived here as I had seen my own opthalmic surgeon the day before we moved here and he suspected that I might need some additional laser surgery. It has taken me 6 months to actually see a doctor. At first I went to find a GP and I got that crazy woman doctor that loved clowns. She seemed to be reluctant to refer me to anyone and as I didn't know the system here very well I just didn't really do anything about it. Eventually on my second or third time seeing her she told me that I could just go to any clinic and get it done, saying there was even one on the corner.
At that point I realised that she probably didn't know what she was talking about as the 'clinic' on the corner turned out to be more or less an opticians who also carried out laser vision correction surgery - not the same thing at all. The thought of letting some Saturday boy loose on my eyes doesn't really appeal.
Then I changed doctor (GP) and at the same time found myself a diabetes consultant. I asked my diabetes consultant for a name/recommendation and she gave me a card for a woman who she said was understanding (for those with phobias) and would be qualified to do my laser surgery. I made an appointment with her and then looked up her website. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing? I found out that this doctor practised cosmetic eye surgery and acupuncture. Yes, quite. I do have massive bags under my eyes that need seeing to, but once again, not quite what I was really after.
Throughout all this I was having lots of appointments where I kept having problems with not having my passport with me, or my health insurance company wasn't being recognised as a proper health insurance company and of course the language barrier was a little troublesome. With my phobia I like to know exactly what is going to be happening to my eyes and I like to be able to ask to administer my own eye drops, and I generally like to explain that I am not mental, I just don't like people near my eyes and that I find it all quite difficult. So there was a bit of me that really wanted to delay the appointment until I could scream "Woah, what do you think you're doing to me???" in German.
So, I ended up going on the Toytown website and found a recommendation for a doctor at the eye clinic in the Red Cross hospital. So today was the day, and I managed to answer nearly all the questions in German despite being a nervous wreck. I assumed my German would go out the window when I felt so nervous, but I think I did ok. Luckily I recognised most of the equipment so I knew what tests were being done, and the words for 'vitrectomy' and 'retinopathy' seem practically identical.
The doctor when I eventually saw him spoke very good English (though when I made the appointment my number one concern was more that he was a specialist in the area that I needed him to be a specialist and not his language skills), and he had a really lovely manner and was very gentle around my eyes. The good news for me is that I got away today without needing to get anything done. The bad news is that I have a new problem at the back of my right eye where I have some liquid pooling that if it gets worse would require me to have a drug injected into my eye every 8 weeks. I go back in 3 months to see how the situation is, but as long as I take good care of my diabetes and watch my blood pressure then it should be no worse. I will be accepting donations of high strength valium and diazapam in the event that eye injections become necessary.
Thank god it's over for now. I am shattered with the stress of it all.