Monday, July 23, 2007


"FALSE HOPE" Good News! watercolors 8 " x 11 "
Good news! The retina specialist's office told me that my insurance company would cover injections for Wet Macular Degeneration 100%. Whatever they wouldn't pay, there were foundations to help out.
All I had to do was to decide which treatment I wanted. There seemed to be no question but that the newly approved Lucentis would be the only choice. Laser would leave a hole in your vision. The older medication was a bit cheaper, but it wasn't as promising as the new medicine. The only other choice was no treatment, and certain loss of center vision. The new treatment was supposed to stop bleeding or deterioration, or even improve vision some.
I couldn't get past worrying about the thought of an injection in the eye. As my daughter said, "That's gross!" I did not like shots anywhere, and having to be awake, to see a needle coming at my eye, just seemed like something I couldn't handle. I would have to blink, wouldn't I. Or maybe even faint, as I was prone to do.
I couldn't even get to the point of thinking about finances. All I could think of was that needle.
I had read the literature I was given, studied what I could find online, and told myself that this was something that I had to do. I couldn't lose my sight, if I could possibly help it.
"You are not going to get any shot in your eye!" My daughter kept telling me.
I just didn't answer her, and I went about my business, resolved that I must do this, somehow.
I went into the retina specialist's office for my appointment. I had to laugh as the sign was still there. "Do not enter if you are sick." I wondered if they only kept that sign in the window during flu season, or if there was a lot of illness going around. People would probably not be there, if they were totally well.
I tried to surpress my fear by thinking of other things. Maybe I should draw. A sure sign that they would call me in.
Everyone was extremely nice. A techician did another eye check, talked to me, put drops in my eyes. Everything seemed set and I was to get injections in my eye every 4 weeks, and I was to come in to be checked in between times. More papers to sign, and then I was taken to another room. Another technician came in. More drops in the eye.
My fear was about to get the best of me. I was shaking inside-probably outside too.
"Nothing to be scared of," I told myself. "Drops don't hurt." I thought of my aunt who was now in the nursing home. She didn't want anything to touch around her eyes, and she had managed to get through cataract surgery on both eyes, a few years ago. That was much worse than this.
They left me alone to sit while the drops had time to work. I couldn't help but wonder what happened when a needle went in the eye.
I remembered our little Spitz dog, "Sugar", that we had in the 80s. A pickup , driven by some mean boys, went up in the yard before school one morning, and hit him, on purpose. They laughed as they drove off. They almost hit my great-aunt as she worked in her yard.
The dog had scrapes on him, but, the worse part was that his eye was hanging out, like a soft boiled egg attached to a string. I grabbed the eye with a towel, got in the car with my daughter, and drove to the next town, while holding that eye in the towel. The vet did have to remove the eye and sewed the opening together. Although I was holding the eye, I never could get up the nerve to look at it, to see if it deflated-if all the air or juice ran out of it! Poor little dog always walked with his head sideways and close to the ground after that. But, he was still ready to run off and investigate things. He ran past my feet, out of the house one morning, and we never saw him again.
I encouraged myself by trying to think of other things, and explaining that this is something that I must do. Losing my vison was not an option to consider. I was lucky that promising treatment was now available, and it had not been, even a few months ago. I was here to start saving my sight.
I felt like I was smiling- that something positive was happening. That everyone was here to help me. All would be okay. Inside, I was starting to tremble. My daughter had left me to pick up my grandson from school. No one to talk to in this little room. Just me, my thoughts, and my fear of needles.
"False Hope" was painted on 140 pound Strathmore watercolor paper using Winsor Newton watercolors.

No comments: