The Other Shoe, My Journey: Part 2 by Cathy Meggs

Four hours later.

In August 2008, I noticed a blank spot on the grid with my right eye. So off to Dr. Murphy I go. “Yep, you have a blind spot. Keep watching the grid. Keep taking your vitamins. Eat fish and salads.” I told myself it was really no big deal! I can see perfectly fine with both eyes – the left eye & my brain just fills in the small missing spot. Then it slid out of my mind again.

I had a busy, busy life – I didn’t have time for this!

I often volunteered at school, going on all the field trips I could, attending class parties, etc. I ­­­ volunteered to chaperone my daughter’s 3rd grade field trip to The Magic House in St. Louis. It was April 2009. We had lunch at a park. It was sunny and warm, a beautiful day. One of the other moms had on a striped shirt. When I looked at her, I did a double take. The stripes on her shirt were swirling around. Now that is weird! One eye, normal. Other eye, a big swirl. One eye, normal. Other eye, a big swirl. Ok, what is going on? I knew from all my reading, that it had something to do with the macular degeneration. I didn’t say anything to anyone. Driving home, one eye – normal. Other eye – yellow stripe on the road had a swirl. One eye normal, other eye – the electric wires swirled. When I got home, got the kids settled, I dug out the Amsler Grid. One eye, normal. Other eye – “OH MY GOD!”

I called the next day and made an emergency appointment with Dr. Murphy, my trusted optometrist. He said to come in immediately. While seated in his office, he calls a RS that he networks with. BAM – I’ve got to go the next day to see him. I drive myself to RS#2’s office. RS#2 confirms I have a ‘bleed’ but my insurance won’t pay for the injection if it is administered the same day as the diagnosis. What!?? Ok, so I have to come back tomorrow. Again, I drive myself, thinking no big deal. People get injections all the time. I was very worried and anxious, but I am not a baby or a complainer. I told my husband “It’s no big deal! I’m sure I’ll be out of there in an hour, as good as new.”

Little did I know… four hours later, with dilated eyes and an achy, gritty eyeball, I actually went into my office to try and work. I quickly realized that a) you cannot read a computer screen when you are dilated, b) you cannot focus on sales calls when your eyeball is aching, and c) you cannot focus on working when you are scared and worried. I called my husband and went home.

I spent the rest of the day in my dark bedroom. My eyes hurt and I had to put globs of ointment in them. I didn’t want to tell my kids (age 9 and 11 at the time) that I had an injection in my eyeball. Imagine, being a kid who hates his/her vaccinations knowing that their mom had a needle poked in her eye! That’s the stuff horror films are made of… So I just told them that I wasn’t feeling very good and had a treatment to help my eye. That was a good enough answer for them.

I used the word ‘treatment’ every time after that. My kids knew I would be in bed after a ‘treatment’, it became routine.

Next: The Other Shoe, My Journey: Part 3

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