The Specialist Consultation

Yesterday was my specialist appointment with an ophthalmologist by the name of Dr Weitz. I had been referred to him as a result of my very high glaucoma test results (that have been consistently high over the past two or three years) but most recently from my last consultation at Spec Savers when I went to get new glasses (Four Eyes – Round Two). I had three tests done in each eye and all three sets of results were very high.

I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I find anything to do with my eyes is uncomfortable. The normal glaucoma tests involve blowing smoke into your eyes and that in itself is a really horrible feeling. I was a bit nervous about all that I might have to endure during the consultation.

I organised a sick day with work as I did not want to drive all the way through only to leave less than three hours later.

My appointment was in the afternoon. My dad had to come with me in case I had my pupils dialated as I would then not able be to drive home afterwards.

We got there just before the appointment time and I filled in all the necessary paperwork. I was called in a few minutes later and had two initial tests – one with a hot air balloon for each eye – I think it might have taken a photo. The second test involved letters I had to read on different coloured backgrounds. I battled to read any of them initially. The assistant doing the tests then told me I had been there before and I honestly could not remember. It was over 10 years ago. Apparently I had seen another doctor there and had glaucoma tests back then. It might have been before I went off my dad’s medical aid; that’s the only reason I can think of. In any case…

I went to sit in another waiting room at the back and then had another test – an eye pressure one – with a hand held machine. The assistant then took me through to another room and said Dr Weitz would be with me shortly. I ran to the front to fetch my dad. Dr Weitz spoke to us about family history and asked me a few questions. He then looked at my eyes with a really bright light and then put eye drops in them (which stung) and looked again. My dad said that he had glaucoma and one of his aunts had also had it; he also said that he had been diagnosed with glaucoma at an early age (before 40).

I then went for another test. One with bright colours and swiggles and it felt like a scan was being taken of each of my eyes. My dad and I then had a long wait in the waiting room and we talked about random things; I was glad to have his company.

After what seemed like forever, I then completed a peripheral vision test with each eye. I had to put an eye patch on alternatively. It’s very tiring on the eyes because you have to stare for so long.

I finished relatively quickly (compared to the person before me) so I ended up reading the screen and trying to decipher the results (what is a false positive?). I then looked at my patient file and tried to memorize the names of the tests I had completed. Two of the names were Tono-pen and Humphrey; and then the pheripheral vision was on there too.

I then went back to the other waiting room with my dad. Shortly thereafter I was called into another (different) room to see Dr Weitz. He looked at the results and was pleased to report that I do not have glaucoma!! YAY. He said that my cornea is thicker than the normal which is probably what distorts the smoke glaucoma tests I have had Spec Savers. But having a thicker cornea is a good thing; it’s not a bad thing at all. He asked me if I had any questions or concerns and then said that because of my family history, I would need to come back every two years just as a precautionary measure to make sure that if it does develop that we will catch it in time.

I exhausted all my medical aid savings with all the other doctors’ appointments this year, as well as all the medication and getting new glasses on top of all of it all so I am going to have to pay for this myself when the bill comes. Let’s hope it’s affordable 🙂 #pensive

But three hours later, lots of different tests in different rooms later, it all ended with positive results. My dad and I stopped on the way home for an ice cream to celebrate 🙂

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