Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Treatment Ends

You know the way people sometimes disguise bad news as good news?

Well that is the sort of thing that happened to me at the retinologists office yesterday. As I have mentioned for several months now, my left eye, which was my better eye and the one which the retinologist has been trying to save for thre past six years was deteriorating badly. A while ago it failed to respond to the more irregular treatments with  Avastin or Lucentis so we moved to a more regular treatment period of four weeks between injections.

Last month my retinologist gave me one last injection. No visible improvement over the month and we woluld cease treatment.  That was an acceptable decision for me. Frequent injections run a risk of an eye infection, plus there is the discomfort of the injection itself.

The injection doesn't cause pain, so if you are looking at a first injection into the eye, don't worry. The doctor will apply numbing drops to the eye a few minutes before the injection. The discomfort is more pronounced later, A dull ache and maybe a feeling that there is a piece of sand in the eye. This used to wear off for me after a good nap or a long nights sleep.

Well of course the good news is that I don't have to have any more injections. That is good.

There is also a little tinge of sadness in the news. I had known that the eye was blind, in my heart though I hoped for the miracle that, one more, just one more injection would kick start the eye into working again.

Now it is confirmed that the eye is not going to get any better.

The problem is not in the eye itself. My retinologist had been talking of the optic nerve looking pale on her monthly inspections. Palour in the optic nerve it seems pointed in my case to the nerve being starved of a blood supply. Sometime possibly as part of an earlier stroke, the blood supply had been interrupted and the optic nerve had died.

Now as well it means that I also don't need to go to the eye doctor each month. Less time travelling on the bus each month. That is also a good thing.

All other things taken into consideration, I don't suppose that losing the eye is such a bad thing. Many people yesterday received much worse news than they were going  to be blind. Thinking of those who have lost loved ones, someone who has lost a child, a husband or wife or parent. They have more pain to bear than I.

I do get to keep up my relationship with my retinologist, she agreed to monitor my right eye, that will be done with quarterly visits to her office, the residual vision I have in that eye is even more precious these days so I want to keep that eye working at least at its present level.