Monday, February 11, 2013

Up the Spout Again

I went recently for my annual eye exam with my ophthalmologist.

Dr. Eyes is experienced and optimistic, with a pleasant bedside manner. I love the way she always ends the exam with "I don't see any diabetes in your eyes."

She doesn't ever seem to really remember me though. I suppose that's a good thing in some respects - it means my eyes don't trouble her and that I'm one of those once-a-year people she enjoys who seem to have their diabetes in check.

She always seems delightedly surprised that we see the same endocrinologist and, if I mention being a singer, often tells me of her grown daughter who studied flute.

Eye exams for me are always long and tiring. Two hours of sitting bored in a room on a good day if they are moving quickly. By the time I've looked in every one of their machines and finally see the doc, I'm just ready for my pat on the back and want to get home.

We were just finishing the final check - with the large lens and the bright light where she studied the backs of each eye. Right eye, check. Left eye...

"Everything looks great, all clea--...wait."

Sigh. [brace for impact]

It appears I've got some itsy bitsy pinhole sized hemorrhages in one eye. 8-10 of them.

Nothing worth stressing over. Yet.

My body may heal them. It did a decade ago when the bleeding was much worse. But that was a decade ago.
my retinal imaging, 2002-2004
particularly spectacular in the left eye (bottom left)  
So we will check again in six months.

She took some sophisticated photos (that I should have asked to see), reviewed them briefly, and came back to me where I sat waiting in an empty dilation room.

Pointing to the large, almost entirely blank wall behind me, she said,

"See that sign in the middle of the wall? That's your macula. That's where we don't want to see a problem. Your dots are waaaay up there in the corner, on the periphery. Not in your field of vision."

"Cobwebs," I replied, following her finger to the corner where the wall met the ceiling.

"Yes," she smiled.

I didn't want to be here again, at the beginning again. I'm older now by 10-15 years and I've had diabetes that much longer.

I'm in better shape in a hundred other ways though. Better equipped, better managed, and infinitely better supported by my current doctors.

It's just a tiny splatter of spots, but I feel just an itsy bit let down.

Like I got washed down that spout when I expected to scuttle away unscathed for one more year.

Maybe my eyes will be clear and forgettable next time. Let's hope.


  1. I don't think it matters how far away those cobwebs are - I imagine it's still a bit shocking to hear the news.

    Sending you all sorts of healing and calming vibes.

  2. ((((((Mel)))))) Boy do I know this feeling well. Let me know if you need anything. Even if it's just someone to listen. Love you!

  3. Mine are near the macula, so I feel your pain. A lot. They don't feel even a little bit itsy-bitsy when the spout is your own, personal headspace. xoxo

  4. You keep a clean house - the cobwebs will be cleaned away just like last time. Hugs always though.

  5. Some folks just let the cobwebs gather, pretending they're not there... you're already one up on this! Not the news I know you wanted to get, but know that you're being rooted for. Hugs.

  6. Many many people have posted about having these tiny things showing up at one exam, only to have them totally cleared at the next. You'll be okay. Don't let the present moment be destroyed by fear of the future.