Sunday, June 28, 2009

A TRUISM: YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG: THE RECALCITRANT RETINA

It’s Friday, June 26th, and I’ve just learned that the recalcitrant growth on the retina will have to undergo a shaving. The “cellophane retinopathy,” an old medical term no longer used in the prestigious halls of UCLA Medical School, heretofore known as the “epi-retinal membrane," will have to be surgically peeled off.

Now, why I get these little hanger-oners, I have no idea, but I’m damn tired of it. First it’s the herniated disk that refuses to unherniate, even after the good doc does the surgery; then the thumb joint decides to do away with anything as helpful as some nice little cushioning between bones; next the cataract decides to obliterate my vision, while hiding the fact that stuff was piggybacking on the retina, so now I have to get that sucker peeled off before I go blind.

I asked the good doc how the procedure was carried out. He said to imagine trying to remove a piece of Scotch tape from a photo. If you go real slow and hold your mouth just right, it might come off completely clean, without taking any of the photo paper with it. However, and here’s the sad part, if some of the photo paper (e.g. the epi-retinal membrane) decides to come off with the Scotch tape,(e.g. the paring knife) then… he stopped right there, shrugged, and said not to worry. Anything could happen, he continued… “I could drop the knife in your eye, an earthquake could shake the building and then…. or the knife could get a little germ on it and it would be transferred to the eyeball…”

ENOUGH! I cried. If he wasn’t so dang good looking I would have run from the room, screaming, but alas I'm a sucker for a gorgeous face.

There is definitely something to be said about “The good old days.” Why didn’t we appreciate those days when we had them? I guess we… (“We” as in anyone over 50) just took those days as they came, always thinking of what the next day would bring and never realizing that the good days were slipping away as we pushed them aside and called on the next day. Oh, I want them back!

But I digress:

Here’s what the good doc told me when I queried, “Just tell me the risks because I already know the benefits.” He didn’t hold back…

For starters, how about: vitreous hemorrhage; infection; elevated eye pressure (glaucoma); non-healing corneal defects; double vision; eyelid droop; loss of circulation to vital tissues in eye, resulting in decrease or loss of vision; permanent blindness or diminished visual acuity; loss of eye; anesthetic complications, including death! Now, how could I refuse to undergo such a noninvasive surgery?

Actually, he said that the odds were 1 in 1000 that things could go wrong. I would have preferred a 1 in 100,000,000, but he didn’t offer that. So, I go, because I have no choice. No go…no license…no driving…no shopping…no freedom…a whole lot of “nos.”

Wish me luck!

1 comment:

GutsyWriter said...

I agree that under 50, we take health for granted, but I know from a bad back a few weeks ago, that I can't stand anything that prevents me from going to the gym. I get so depressed when I don't exercise. So when is your surgery date? Doctors always have to tell you what can go wrong in the U.S. I guess they're so scared of lawsuits.