A Retinal Specialist

Image courtesy of Erie Retinal Specialist Group
Image courtesy of Erie Retinal Surgery

Tomorrow’s long-awaited retinal appointment in the city center is finally upon me. I’m excited and nervous. The last time I met with a specialist was twenty-seven years ago when I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. (RP) 

I’ve had two cataracts removed since that time–cataracts come early to those who suffer from RP–and somehow passed up the opportunity to meet with a specialist in 2011. I’m not sure why I waved the opportunity. At the time I didn’t think it would have made a difference. But now I wish I had gone.

I need to find out exactly how much my vision has regressed since that momentous time.

I’m not sure what exactly I should expect. Certainly an exam to determine my field of peripheral vision, in degrees, probably. My acuity–or lack thereof.  My biggest question is about my left eye. A few months ago, an optometrist said that it looked like the lens from my cataract surgery was dislodged–likely from of my many accidents due to my low vision!  But the great news is that with surgery, some of that blurriness might be reduced if a surgeon could re-center the lens. Now I need to find out if this is possible from the retinal specialist. If he recommends surgery, I might be able to regain some vision temporarily.

A lot is riding on his response.

So much so that I invited a friend to go with me in case I miss–or misunderstand– anything. She’ll pose any questions to the specialist I might forget. Tomorrow morning in the car, we’ll write down everything I need to find out.

Just thinking about the appointment scares me. 

It’s always a challenge to go eye to eye with the doctor and find out the specifics of my sight and how much I’ve lost. It takes me days to build up the courage to think about any eye appointment–and they haven’t been regular. My last one was in 2011. Since then, my ophthalmologist has retired. I need to find a new one.

I’m so glad my friend is coming with me for moral support.

I will also ask the retinal specialist how I can get a blood test to determine the exact chromosome that will prove my Usher Syndrome. The results of the blood test will reveal what type of Usher Syndrome I have (There are three types with several sub-types). Having this information is a good start.

His recommendation will also enable me to meet with a low vision specialist, who will determine the best magnification and low vision aids to make the most of my sight now. I’m so excited about that. I’m also going to ask her about the best size computer screen for my degree of vision. I’ll then set up a plan with the Bureau of Blindness to implement it.

…And World Sight Day

Tomorrow’s appointment reminds me of World Sight Day, which was October 8 this year, and how important regular eye exams are.

Organizations like the International Lions Clubs, blind and vision-impaired advocate groups are doing so much in the way of collaborating with skilled eye doctors to offer eye exams free of charge to anyone from children to seniors.

Onblindness awareness monthe key organization is The Little Rock Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of children who are blind or vision-impaired. This is the group that introduced and pushed a bill into a law establishing October as “Blindness Awareness Month.”  Check out their website.

 

Some Locations that Promote World Sight Day:

  1. International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
  2. World Sight Day
  3. World Sight Day Calendar
  4. Lions Club Events for World Sight Day
  5. Facebook Page

Stay tuned for more information on World Sight Day.

Do you wear glasses? Do you have regular, periodic eye check-ups? When was your last eye exam?  

You have just read “A Retinal Specialist and World Sight Day” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright October 21, 2015.  Don’t forget to leave a response!

Have you heard my new cane song for children on White Cane Day? Listen NOW

A Retinal Specialist and World Sight Day
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10 thoughts on “A Retinal Specialist and World Sight Day

  • October 22, 2015 at 5:38 pm
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    Hi Amy!

    I’m just reading this now. Maybe you’re even at your appointment. I pray for your peace and comfort with this doctor and the information you receive. We’re so proud of your daily decisions to continue FORWARD on your journey through this. We’re with you in Spirit!

  • October 22, 2015 at 6:47 pm
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    Thank you so much, Melissa!
    The specialist referred me to a second specialist in Pittsburgh, who is even more familiar with RP. Judie and I have a list of five questions to ask her on Nov 2. Natural progression, of course. But what’s new? I expected that. I had an angiogram – natural dye going into my veins to see the back of my eyes. Nice man. I really liked him. I gave him a book. 🙂
    More latear.

  • October 22, 2015 at 11:10 pm
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    An eye exam in 2012 saved my mother in law’s life, possibly. She had a rare melanoma of the eye. I have my eyes examined every year although there was a time when I was young when I skipped it. Not for years now! I hope the specialist in Pittsburgh can help with your RP.

  • October 23, 2015 at 3:07 am
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    Hi Alana,
    It’s so reassuring to hear they caught the rare melanoma of her eye! I think you mentioned this once before but after today, it impacts me all over again. So glad you have those regular check-ups! Thank you for your good wishes. I see the specialist on Nov 2. Feeling happy.
    Thanks for your comments.
    Amy

  • October 23, 2015 at 6:16 am
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    My last check up was back in March of 2014 and my doctor talked to me about gene therapy for retinal disease. I don’t know as much about that as I probably should because I believe there is where any hope I have exists. I wrote a post before I went to that appointment too, on my blog. Good luck with future appointments.

  • October 24, 2015 at 5:18 am
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    Hi Kerry,
    You talked about gene therapy? How wonderful! I’m really interested in learning more about it. I want to find out the chromosome that gives me the RP and also Usher Syndrome. That is where my hope is too.
    Have you sent any more articles or short stories out?
    Take care!
    Amy

  • October 24, 2015 at 10:58 pm
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    I am getting feedback from the travel writer I sent a piece to. That one is taking some work. I just found out about a local writing group and I intend to check that out.

  • October 24, 2015 at 11:10 pm
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    Great news, Kerry!!!

  • November 18, 2016 at 2:32 pm
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    Thanks for sharing your story! Hope everything is going well for you, eye appointments are often ignored by people but they can be life saving.

  • November 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm
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    Hi Brian,
    Thanks for stopping by! So happy you saw my post.
    Please come back and visit again! Coming up, a description of my book launch.
    Thanks again for taking time to read and leave a comment!
    Amy

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