Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Getting in Touch with My Lesbian Side

A couple nights ago I had a dream that I was in a lesbian relationship living in the 1950's.  It was a very nice dream up until our relationship became publicly known and we started to get hated on.

We met, I a young feminine college student, she a "tomboy" grocery store clerk.  We fell in love and moved into a little two bedroom house, living like any other married couple behind closed doors.  To the rest of the world we were just two young, single room mates.

The dream started to get real interesting when one of our neighbor boys decided to play peeping tom and discovered we were lesbians.  He told all of his friends who told their parents and the truth was out.  We began to get berated by the Christians, cussed by the non-Christians, and teased and pranked and totally mistreated by EVERYBODY.

One day we were grocery shopping when a  young mother walked up behind us and started running up my heels with her cart and making rude comments under her breath as her child sat right there in her cart.  I finally got fed up and turned to confront her and point out how her behavior was the worse influence on her child.  We argued and were about to come to blows when I woke up.

There's a Little Sadist in Every Doctor...Except Mine.

*As usual, the following is written from my memory of the events.  Some things may be inaccurate due to faulty memories.  In any case, this is how I remember it:

February 25, 2014 was round two of operation: Save Tiki's Eyesight.  The week before, I had surgery on my right eye to clean up the mess made by years of damage from Diabetic Retinopathy.  Today I went in for a check-up and laser surgery.

The original idea was to come in, check-up, and if all was well, go ahead and do laser surgery on both eyes.  However, as soon as the doctor walked in and saw my badly bruised and swollen eyelids and still half bloodshot eye, he decided it would be prudent to wait another week on the right eye.  He did examine it and do an ultrasound on it.  The retina, which had been detached, was now reattached and healing well.  There was some hemorrhaging as a result of the surgery which was now causing some obstruction to the doctor's view which was what ultimately made him decide to wait on the laser surgery.

He went ahead and did the laser surgery on my left eye which entailed numbing and dilating that eye and then putting an ungodly bright light in my eye and then making me look this way and that while a red/purple light flashed and clicked causing flashes of pain through my eye.  This torture lasted several minutes and then was over.  The pain lasted only a few minutes and then my eye was normal again.

I still have to keep my head facing down at all times for another week, even though the retina in my right eye is reattached.  There is still gas in there holding the retina in place as it continues to heal.  In one week I go back to the doctor to have a check-up and , hopefully, have the last of the laser surgery done.

I have to say that Dr. Hunter at Eye-Q in Fresno/Selma, Ca. is an excellent doctor and has an outstanding bedside manner.  He apologized for "having to go through so much pain in such a short period of time."  He has compassion that equals his great knowledge and ability as a doctor.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Straw, Best Invention Ever!

 *As usual, the following is written from my memory of the events.  Some things may be inaccurate due to faulty memories.  In any case, this is how I remember it:

On February 18th I had the first of , hopefully, only three eye surgeries.  These surgeries are meant to help clean up and prevent more damage from Diabetic Retinopathy.

It all started many years ago, about seventeen years, I think.  I was young and had good health insurance, but I was wild and didn't care about taking care of my health.  I went in for a routine yearly eye exam and was told that I had the beginnings of retinopathy in my right eye, but it wouldn't become a problem if I took care of my diabetes.

Fast forward about twelve years, I had been living with no health insurance for  about six years or so and my vision was becoming very blurry, especially in my right eye.  The only place I knew I could go without health insurance was Lenscrafeters.  Come to find out, for nearly two hundred dollars you can get the whole nine yards of exam..including a retinal exam.  This was when I found out the retinopathy was now in both eyes and actively causing hemorrhages and retinal damage which was what was making my vision blotchy and blurry.  Well, at this time I definitely couldn't afford surgery so I just got new glasses and lived on as is, hoping I could get insurance before I went completely blind.

In the years to come I would experience some strange things like the time I was laying on the couch watching T.V. when suddenly I saw a couple of blobs in my vision, it was like watching a lava lamp inside my right eye.  I went to the bathroom, turned on the light and looked in the mirror to see if I could see anything in my eye.  I couldn't but with the light on, I now could tell it was blood floating around in my eye.  It took several weeks for the blood to go away and all the while I kept wanting to blink it out of my line of sight!

Fast forward about four years or so.  It is January 2014, time to renew my driver license.  Lucky me, I have to do the written exam and eye exam.  I stand at the counter with my glasses on and read the exam chart flawlessly.  I cover my right eye and again read the chart flawlessly.  I now cover my left eye and can not read anything, it is total blur.  The girl takes me over to another eye test and I fail that one with my right eye as well.  I am told to see an ophthalmologist and have a form filled out in order to get my license back.  Yippe...

Since now I do have insurance, in February I go in and see an Ophthalmologist and since it has been roughly five years since my last exam and I know I have retinopathy, they do a complete eye exam.  The doctor finds all kinds of lovely damage in both eyes and tells me to come back in a week and see a retina specialist.  One week later I return and see the specialist.  I must take a moment here to let you all know that Dr. Allan Hunter at Eye-Q Vision Center in Fresno/Selma California is the most kind and gentle and awesome eye doctor I have ever known.  The exam was not the most comfortable experience but his attitude and calming nature made it all the more bearable. He explained that I needed immediate surgery on both eyes and since the right eye was the worst for wear, it would be done first...in four days, followed by the left eye sometime later. The right eye surgery would be the more invasive, the left eye only laser.  Wow.

The following Monday I had to go in to have an Avastin injection in my right eye.  As far as I understood it was supposed to shrink up or dry out some membranes and make it easier to clean up the eye.  The injection, even though they numbed my eye, hurt a bit, and my eye was irritated for nearly 24 hours after, all scratchy and burny, etc.

On Tuesday afternoon I went in for the surgery.  The prep was your usual interrogation about medicines, illnesses, family history, pregnancy test, blood test, eye drops galore, IV.  Then they put me to sleep for only about five minuets while they did the "painful" stuff, numbing and paralyzing my eye and surrounding tissues and muscles.  As soon as I woke up I was in the operating room strapped down to a pillow with my eye clamped open but I couldn't see or feel anything.  Then the surgery started and it was fascinating.  I couldn't see outside my eye, but I could see everything going on inside it.  I could see the cutting tool, the scissors, the infusion tool, the vacuum, the blood swirling around in pretty little clouds and then being sucked away, the scar tissue being cut away and pulled by the little clam tool.  A purely amazing thing to watch.  The only bad part was when I did feel pain.  There were a few times when he went in near my sinus/nasal area and it hurt a little.  And there was a moment when the infusion machine stopped working and my eye began to collapse...that hurt.  All in all the surgery was only supposed to last an hour or so, it lasted three hours and they didn't even finish everything!

He's going to go back in later and finish my right eye and then do my left...

Because they had to detach my retina, they had to put a gas bubble in my eye.  So as I am healing I have to keep my eyes to the floor at all times in order to keep the gas to the back of my eye to hold the retina in place as it heals.  This is how I discovered that straws are the best invention ever.  I can drink without having to lift my head!  LOL

So here I am two days after surgery,  my eyelids are so very bruised and swollen, I can't see a thing, and my eye is so bloodshot it looks frightening.  The good thing is that I have very minimal pain.