You would think , after twenty one years of being an MS patient, I would have developed some cross-disciplinary skills, and also know how to be a decent opthamology patient. The most valuable lesson I have learned as a patient: Don’t Panic! The second-most-valuable lesson: Ask Questions. And if you don’t like the answer, get a second opinion.
I tried not to panic when I was told my retina was due to due to detach within 30 days. I duly got my second opinion. The second opinion guy flashed bright lights in my eye, then took a high tech picture, and told me my retina was due to detach within 30 days. This would appear to be confirmation of the first opinion…if not for the fact that the second appointment was five days later. Why didn’t Mr. Second Opinion say, 25 days? But did I ask this question? No way! I am not a smart ass…with my doctors. Meanwhile, I panicked. I ordered audiobooks. I abanodoned a seven hour solo road trip, too afraid of what might happen if my retina chose that tiny window of time to detach, stranding me far from a specialist.
Well, it’s thirty days since the first appointment. My retina is still with me. My first opinion doctor tells me that the chances of my retina detaching have now fallen down to 10%, since it hasn’t detached already. This is brilliant news. I am going to celebrate by running out and buying a hard copy of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which sounds fantastic as an audiobook, don’t get me wrong, but I adore this novel enough to want to absorb it the old-fashioned way, mediated through my fickle eyes.