Tuesday, September 15, 2009

About Not Having an Eye Test - - and a Birthday

Yesterday would have been the Communist's 86th birthday. He died last December, so wasn't around to enjoy it, which is a great shame, as he loved his birthday.

I had an appointment for an eye test yesterday. It was to check for Diabetic Retinopathy - - in other words, for my diabetes causing damage to the retinas of my eyes, something I dread. So far my retinas have been fine.

Two years ago, when I first had the test, they explained that they'd put drops in my eyes for half an hour to make the pupils larger, and that this would make it easier to see my retinas.

So they put in the drops and I waited for them to take effect.

After about ten minutes, they came for me early, took the photos - - and then I thought hey, I feel a bit funny - - and woke up on the floor.

Only then did some distant memory come to light of the exact same thing happening when I was a small child, when I had drops in my eyes then, when I first got glasses, age five.

I felt a bit embarrassed, as you do when you wake up on the floor with lots of people looking at you. I felt really rather ill for some time and had to lie on a bed until I was well enough to get a taxi home.

So last year, when I went for the same test, I explained my fainting fit of the previous year.

The staff were initially confused by this, but finally looked it up and found it to be a rare - but known - allergic reaction to the drops.

I had the test without drops and the lady doing the photos said she could see my retinas perfectly and they were fine.

You're not allowed to drive after the test, so Silverback kindly agreed to take me in his car yesterday.

They called me in early, before my appointment time. I explained about my allergic reaction to the drops again - I had explained it on the phone when I booked the appointment.

"Oh, sorry, we can't do the test then, not here," they said.

I said, in a rather bewildered way, that they'd done it the previous year.

Ah yes, but the regulations have changed. They can't take the risk of doing the test without drops, and telling me that my retinas are fine, and my retinas turning out not to be fine, and me taking them to court.

So what must happen now is that they will send me another appointment, this time for the specialist Eye Hospital (not just the Eye Clinic). They will put drops in my eyes: they can't do the test without them anywhere now. I may well faint, but at least there will be a doctor on hand to pick me up again.

All very tedious, and I'm not looking forward to it. If they'd have told me all this on the phone when I rang to book the appointment then a lot of time would have been saved.

Anyway, it now being still lunchtimeish, Silverback and I went for a pub lunch, and it was tremendously enjoyable, and a lot more fun than a Diabetic Retinopathy test.

I thought of the Communist, as we had lunch on his birthday. I know what he'd have said, though.

"Waste of time, having lunch on my birthday for me, when I'm dead and I can't enjoy it."

I posted the piece about Olli yesterday so it would be on a significant date, and many thanks to all for your supportive comments.

So: Happy Birthday, Dad, for yesterday.

"What's the point of wishing me Happy Birthday when I'm dead and I can't enjoy it?"

Yes, Dad. I hear you. But Happy Birthday anyway.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Regarding the Diabetic Retinopathy test and the confusion surrounding it, wasn't it Led Zeppelin who screamed some time in the early seventies - "Communication breakdown, it's always the same!"?

12:00 am  
Blogger Debby said...

The drops make me sick to my stomach for hours afterwards. It's some kind of motion sickness thing. Thank goodness we have computer imgaging available now. Computer scans my eyeballs and no drops needed! Love it! Doc says it's better than looking with drops too...a much bigger picture. Works for me.

1:39 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

YP - - Led Zeppelin were right! I spend quite a chunk of my time working to teach Communication Skills - - but sometimes it's an uphill struggle!
Debby - - thank you, I'm so glad it's not just me! I'll try my very best to avoid the Dreaded Drops if I can.

1:51 pm  

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