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I have Glaucoma and I love Kaiser

I got new glasses last week.



Totally unrelated except for the "wow, that's a weird coincidence"... last weekend I developed glaucoma.

At first I thought I was having trouble adjusting to my new prescription. Then i thought I was getting a migraine. But soon the rainbows around all the light sources and the loss of focus, the inability to read, and the inability to see anything but bright light when I would stand up or move around coupled with the hazy fuzzy foggy cloud of smoke that seemed to have taken up residence in front of my eyes.. no, wait.. just my good eye... yeah all this had me starting to freak out a bit.

The next day it hadn't gone away and I was in full on freak out mode.

It was Sunday. I called the switchboard. I asked to talk to the advice nurse.

She referred me to someone in Optometry.

He listened to my plight and then promised to pass along the message to the scheduling team who would call me the next day. "If they don't call you by the end of the day, you can call them to set up an appointment for Tuesday."

I reiterated again how I wasn't able read.

He told me that they would probably want to dilate my eyes so I would need to allow for extra time before driving home.

I started to sob and almost hyperventilated in frustration. Drive? Are you on drugs. I cannot see!  I CANNOT SEE!!!!!

He promised to have the one call doctor call me.

Half an hour later, a call from the on call doctor who will always have a special place in my heart. He listened and told me to meet him at the hospital in thirty minutes.

(Quick note,Kaiser on a Sunday afternoon is very very empty)

He did an exam and told me my pressure was super high and he could see cloudy on my cornea. "Yep," he said matter of factly, "It's glaucoma."

And I was so relieved.

For reals. See, I don't have lenses in my eyes. I have known that I was at risk for glaucoma forever. I have always lived with the idea that there is a real chance my vision will deteriorate and could possibly go away at some point.

Getting glaucoma was just a matter of time... and Dr Waxman was very confident that we had caught it quick enough to stop any serious loss of vision. He gave me drops and made an appointment for me to see the specialist on Tuesday.

I'm going to skip over the rest of the crazy... the vacillating between fear and acceptance, the frustration of being on "eye rest" which meant no reading of any sort (no texting, email, facebook, etc).

After seeing the specialist this morning and having a banner response to the eye drops this is where we stand:

I have glaucoma. I  have lost a tiny bit of vision. My pressure is still higher than ideal, but it is acceptable. It will need to be monitored pretty regularly. I will have to take eye drops twice a day for the rest of my life. This should hold off any more loss of vision. Oh... and since my prescription has changed, I will probably need new glasses... but since I just got new glasses, I should be able to return the new pair for the newer pair.

Really? It was the best prognosis one could possibly hope for.

I'm doing fine, adjusting to my new (only slightly different vision) and the glasses that aren't quite right.

I am very lucky that Matthew has a job that lets us have such good vision insurance. I am very lucky that Kaiser was ON IT and got me in asap. I am SUPER lucky that Chris wasn't busy Sunday afternoon and that Mark was able to come be with me this week and help me care for Ella before the drops started really working and I couldn't see much of anything. I am so very very very lucky to have a partner like Matthew and such a great family and friend support system.

Here's a hope that we don't have any weekends quite that eciting for a while.

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