Friday, 29 February 2008
Plain and Simple
Posterior Subcopsular Cataract, ever hear of it. I didn't until last Thursday. The doctor wondered why I hadn't heard of it since I already had one on my left eye.
Flashback Spring and Fall, 2004
I have reading glasses now, but I am having a very difficult time at work seeing the numbers and letters on a page. They are awfully blurry and it seems to have happened overnight. I have found the solution though, all I need to do is wear my glasses, and keep my left eye closed. This works for about five minutes and I feel a headache coming on. Okay, I guess I will have to make an appointment out of my 'oh so busy life'. Busy by the way of going to work and then coming home and going to bed.
I see the doctor and he tells me I have a cataract. It usually happens to people in their 70s and 80s. Okay. I go for the surgery in the Fall, which apparently they have fast-tracked me in because of my age. I am young to have a cataract and when I go to the Pan Am Clinic to have it done, I see that 'yes' I am young. Everyone else in the room is 90 or 100. I feel almost like I should have a diaper on.
Jacquie (taking me again) the friendliest person to old people is chatting and having a merry time with the seniors and they love her. I am tight-lipped and pissed off that I even have to be there so I am not speaking. Besides that I wouldn't be able to hear them anyway. (As my good friend Deanna would be able to testify as she was always interpreting for me at work at the time.)
I have the surgery and it is easy as pie. The most painful thing of it all is that it feels like you have a bit of soap in your eye.
The next day I think someone has turned on a really bright light. It is amazing how well I can see and how wonderful everything looks. Even my dirty kitchen looks that much dirtier. It is awesome.
Last Thursday after my tooth fiasco, I go to the eye doctor. He says 'What can I do for you?' I have a cataract. 'What makes you say that?' I had one once before on my left eye. Okay, he does some tests. He says 'You have a cataract on your right eye.' No shit Sherlock.
He says "There are three types of cataracts and unfortunately you have the rarest and most aggresive type." Just a second, I'm confused, am I in my oncologist office. Rare and aggressive are words I have heard before. Words that struck terror into my soul.
Posterior subcapsular cataracts typically start near the center of the back part of the capsule surrounding the lens. These cataracts often advance rapidly. For many patients, major impairment of eyesight, including near-vision problems and glare, develops within several months. Cataracts form in front of the posterior capsule as a cluster of swollen cells. The posterior capsule is the lens casing at the back of the lens. These cataracts develop as independent, isolated entities. Although they are not common, progression and severity can be more extreme than other types.
How can I have this. How can I have gotten, not only one of these but two of them and both in different eyes? Do my children need to worry about this happening to them.
He says "Even though these cataracts usually occur in the elderly, they are rare. Your children do not have to worry about this. 80% of the population will get the type that as they age they just feel that maybe their vision is getting worse. Another 10% it is genetic. The other 10% is the type of cataract you have. It is not what you ate, it is not what you did. Plain and simple it is just bad luck." I could swear he looked at my PICC line as he said those words.
Bad luck, I feel crushed. Tell me about it.
He proceeds to tell me that 'I will need to have cataract surgery as soon as they can get me in.' I tell him, that it may have to go around my chemo, depending on what is going on. He tells me 'that if there were no cataract surgeries I would probably be blind within the year. As my left eye would have already been blind and my right eye would be going in that direction as well.'
I tell him that plain and simple "Aren't I lucky than that they do have cataract surgery as I will be able to see well again in no time." And having said that I realize that I am.
I just got off the phone with the doctor's office and they have set up an appointment for me to see the specialist in May. Who would have thought that my breast and my eyes would have so much in common. Rare and aggressive and now a long wait to see the specialist. When I waited to see the breast surgeon my cancer became irreversible.
Plain and simple --- Wish me luck that I get this operation sooner than later.