By: Meagan Esler
Thrilled, elated, ecstatic, joyful-these are all accurate descriptions of my feelings after my doctor appointment today, but somehow they don’t seem to be enough. Words can’t quite express the feeling that you get when you get a good report from the doctor after having what seems like bad report after bad report.
About a month ago I saw my primary care doctor. He made it clear he wasn’t pleased that I hadn’t been to the ophthalmologist in over a year. Though it wasn’t much longer than a year, I was, in fact, late. Honestly part of it was on purpose, part of it wasn’t. Part of it was just the busyness of my life. Part of it was fear. Another part had a lot to do with the last bill I got from the ophthalmologist. Even with insurance it was a biggie due to laser sealing of a hole in my retina and I hadn’t wanted a repeat of the procedure, or the bill.
My doctor firmly ordered me to make an appointment prior to leaving the building. I made the appointment after checking my work schedule, and then I started panicking. I may not be great at a lot of things but I’m a pro when it comes to worrying.
The day arrived of my eye appointment. I felt somewhat down. I actually took a vacation day from work so that I wouldn’t be upset and distracted at work. The last two appointments showed retinal holes, thankfully unrelated to my diabetes, but still very upsetting. I had gotten them laser-sealed and I prayed I wouldn’t have another hole, or any other issues to worry about.
Every year during my eye exam I swear I hold my breath as I get the results. This time my doctor began with “You have absolutely no signs of diabetic retinopathy.” I wanted to shout with joy. As I sat in the exam chair I threw both my closed fists up in the air and said “YEAH”! I had recently acknowledged my 19th year of life with type 1 diabetes and to hear those words, I felt like I could cry happy tears.
He followed with, “Your eye pressure is great, no new retinal holes, the old holes are sealed beautifully and I don’t see any signs of new ones to come.” I was a happy mess. I was smiling and laughing at the same time. I told the doctor I felt like I had just won the lottery. A lot was riding on this appointment. I’d had too many recent letdowns with newly diagnosed thyroid issues and a higher than desired A1c. I needed this one to be good.
The doctor said he’d see me in a year and I told him I might just come back in 11 and a half months next time since I got a good report and wasn’t quite as scared anymore. He laughed and told me not to worry, but if I noticed anything different with my vision, to call him right away. He reminded me that if anything did happen and we caught it early, he could fix it. hat comment really made me feel better. Problems aren’t necessarily a doom-and-gloom sentence, it truly is good to know what is happening with our eyes so we can fix things if need be.
We said goodbye and I danced out of the building with my dorky roller shades under my glasses. Thank you for taking good care of me Doc. Until next time.