Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Enough to make your eyes water...

I can't say I'd been particularly looking forward today. I don't like hospitals at the best of times and this time I wasn't just there in visitor capacity.

You may recall that during my eye test last month, they spotted a "mysterious shadow" behind my right eye and decided it needed further investigation. Even with the aid of the detailed photos, my GP (or rather, his stand-in) was unable to make a confident diagnosis and referred me to the eye specialist at our local hospital.

Having been forewarned that I would be ill-advised to drive, I made my way down there this afternoon by taxi. Unpredictably, the taxi rolled up a couple of minutes after I called which meant I arrived well before the "no longer than 10 minutes before your appointment" sternly stated on my letter. A cup of filthy hot water vaguely disguised as coffee helped pass the time.

After a brief conversation with the grumpy receptionist who told me she didn't have me on her list, then mysteriously did, I took a seat and waited.

First was the visual field testing, having to stare at a central light then click a button each time I saw another light flash in my peripheral vision. Quite honestly, it felt like the most important computer game I'd ever played. Then back to the waiting room. To wait, obviously.

Next up, the vision text. No surprises there, reading letters from a chart covering one eye at a time. The nurse telling me that she was going to put drops in my eyes to dilate my pupils was no surprise either. The surprise was her advice that it was likely to make my eyes sting quite nastily for a couple of minutes. Wonder why they don't mention that in the pamphlet? Truth be known, it was no worse than the way your eyes run when chopping onions.

Then back to the waiting room for, you guessed it, more waiting. This time with the added bonus that my sight was slowly going blurred as the drops took effect so I couldn't read anything to pass the time. I refused to stoop so low as to look at the pictures in the Hello magazine perched my the chair.

When the doctor eventually called me through, he asked a few questions, shone some more lights into my seriously dilated pupils then announced I had a choroidal nevus behind my right eye. Thank goodness no-one mentioned those words to me earlier - I Googled it this evening and found it on the website www.eyecancer.com. Now there's a trouser filling URL if ever you read one (and not in a pleasant way).

Fortunately as the site goes on to explain, it is (as my optician originally anticipated) little more than a raised freckle on the reverse of the eye that rarely requires treatment. He wanted to get a better photo of it for future reference (i.e. make sure it doesn't grow) but their camera was out of action today so their "photographer" is going to call me back in.

So another eye-wateringly fun-filled afternoon awaits. But all of that said, I'm more than a little relieved to know that it's nothing serious...


delcatto said...

Blimey...yes I know I should choose my non-offensive expletives more carefully! Hopefully the little blighter won't grow.Good to hear it isn't serious but it's an excuse to wear shades and look cool.
What is it that makes one go blind? Or is that hair on the palms of your hands?
As for the name of the URL...trouser filling indeed.

wayne said...

great to see it is nothing too serious mate.and nice that the specialist is keepng his eye on it!

Pete Frenzy said...

Pleased to hear everything is OK Seany. I have all those tests done annually at my opticians and the fun part is trying to sign the paperwork at the end of the examination and then driving home on a sunny day with my pupils fixed in a wide open position! Strangely in this lawsuit happy land I have never been advised not to drive although they do provide me with some extra dark sunglasses on the way out......