Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eye've Been Dropped

Image of uber-dopey-looking disposable sunglasses which work amazingly well so who cares? found here

On my last examination after reviewing my chart and noticing that I have been taking plaquenil for more than ten years, my new opthamologist ordered two tests for my eyes: a visual field test, and another that she described as taking a picture of my retina. [ADDENDUM: To clarify, I have been having regular plaquenil eye exams, but these tests were ordered in addition to the others exams when I changed doctors.]

She, like Dr. Young Guy, looks to be all of about twelve years old. Kids are graduating from med school younger and younger these days.....but what a smarty-pants. I enjoyed meeting her a great deal and she explained to me that she wanted some baseline data so that in future exams she could refer back to the retinal picture and visual field study.

I suppose she really isn't twelve. I looked on my clinic's website and saw that she had actually been practicing there for several years. I think I'll call her Dr. Young Gal. She seems to want to see me every six months or so. I considered whether or not I should add her to my must-fatten-up-these-rediculously-skinny-but-brilliant-physicians treat list.

So I dutifully presented myself at the clinic yesterday for my tests. I finished the cool visual field test, which felt like playing some kind of weirdo video game in which I had to stare into this white half-sphere and click a button every time I saw a light blink.

Next, I was asked to tilt my head back as the technician instilled three different types of drops into my eyes to dilate the pupils so that when they took the retinal picture lots of light would be able to enter my eye, after which she handed me several tissues and steered me to a different waiting area.

"It takes about fifteen minutes for the medicine to work," she said. "You'll notice that your near vision might be altered. Make yourself comfortable and I'll be back in a bit."

I settled into the comfy chair and whipped out my phone, thinking that I could spend the time doing something really productive like......playing solitaire. Or looking at cute kitty cat or doggie pictures. But within minutes, my goodness.

I've had my eyes dilated before, but yowie zowie. Those must have been some super strong drops. I found myself shoving my glasses up on my head and extending my phone at arm's length, but she really wasn't kidding when she said that my vision would be altered.

I stuffed the phone back into my purse because it was becoming more of an annoyance than assistance in passing the time, and decided to just close my eyes and relax.

And eavesdrop. It's my favorite thing. I'll admit it.

As the minutes passed, I noticed with satisfaction that the staff was conducting themselves very professionally: they spoke in low, even tones and addressed their patients in a friendly but respectful manner. Very admirable.

Also very boring.

But of course I know that's the way any kind of medical care should be conducted.

I was teetering on the edge of a nap when I faintly heard my technician's voice just as the door was swinging shut to my doctor's office: "Yes. She's here. And she's been dropped."

My eyes popped open. (Dang. They weren't kidding when they said my vision would be altered.)

Well. Were they talking about ME? Dropped?! Me? Were they dropping me from her caseload? And if so, what would happen to me next? How dare they?! How.......

Oh. Yeah. Right. ::facepalm::

The dilating drops had been instilled into my eyes already.

Treats. This team definitely deserves treats. Simply because they HAVEN'T dropped doofus me from their caseload.


LM said...

Exact same procedure at my Eye doc (good to hear). Every six clockwork. It was quarterly when I first started taking Plaquenil.
After drops, I thought about watching their 'ever so informative' and repeating video on available Botox procedures for beauty and health (ahem..)in the waiting room, getting on FB, or looking at some yummy recipe in a magazine...nope. Not happening, those drops are pure craziness! :)

Vicki said...

My eye tests started when I first went on Plaquenil, my rheumatologist said going on this drug you will need to get them tested on a regular basis from here on in. I get the same tests you got and yes it's every six months. I'm surprised your doctor waited 10 years before getting your eyes tested.

Julia Oleinik said...

Hi Viki, oops. I should have clarified that these are tests done in addition to my regular plaquenil eye exams. I have had my eyes checked regularly ever since I started taking plaq.

Kelly said...

Hope you are not suffering too much fallout today from those drops. They make me feel sick for at least a day afterward.

Vicki said...

I'm so glad to hear that they have been checking your eyes regularly since you have been taking Plaquenil. Interesting though that they hadn't done the visual field test or take images. It's always good to get these additional tests taken the more information the better even if you have to sit there staring at the world through altered vision ;-).