My Personal Story

It all started in December 1995

     This dated chronology is as I remember it . . .

 December 1995
Just coasting along getting ready for the upcoming Christmas holidays. I was expecting my parents to join us for the holidays but they can't drive so I would have a days travel each way to pick them up and return them. Miscellaneous chores seemed more tedious and harder to concentrate on. I had to wear my reading glasses more often than normal to see little things. Typical Christmas worries; house, car, driving, presents, parents, etc. I never gave too much thought to my eyesight. --- What a mistake.

January 4
After a successful family gathering I decided to have a long overdue physical. I mentioned to my family doctor that I was having dizzy spells and was quite tired. I noticed that the room I was in was two different colors at the same time. My left eye said the room was grey but the right thought it was peach colored. The doctor confirmed that the room was indeed peach not grey. OK what's going on? I asked if I should see my eye doctor but we both thought it was just pre Christmas anxiety. --- Wrong. 

January 5
Family doctor sent me for blood tests including cholesterol and diabetes testing. I started web surfing to see what could be going on with my vision. Ophthalmology has one of the larger web coverages in public medicine. References to eye disorders and especially diabetes were very scary. I was fretting about the major change in my lifestyle if I were to have diabetes. I fit the bill although I'm not proud of it . . . . . .
 - Little exercise. 
 - Smoker for twenty five years. 
 - Markedly over weight. 
 - High cholesterol levels. 
 - No willpower to change my bad habits. 
 - Age approaching 48.

January 8
I decided to make an appointment with my ophthalmologist. Last visit was 1994 for reading glasses, I already had driving glasses for distance. Something was definitely not normal in my left eye, there was a grey blank area now. I only had to wait 4 days and now I was becoming a nervous wreck.

January 12
Dilated eye exam using a slit lamp microscope showed something strange. Words like 'interesting' and 'I haven't seen this for a couple of years' were not welcomed. The nurse was told to make an appointment with a retina specialist ASAP. Anxiety attacks were now quite regular and sleeping was not always easy.

January 13
OK, now I was really upset. What did he see? What have I got? What can be done? More surfing on the web brought more information but now I knew what to look for. I gathered and read loads of articles and even got some books from the local library. Appetite gone, noticeable irregularity and general depression was setting in.

January 18
The retina specialist also used the words 'very interesting'..... What a terrible word. A hospital visit was immediately set up for a Flourescein Angiogram called an IVFA. Blood tests taken that same day to test RF, ANA, VD, and some others. --- Five large vials no less.

January 22
Hospital IVFA test was painless and wow, psychedelic yellow fluorescent urine as a bonus. 36 black and white microscope pictures were taken and another week waiting for results. Driving home at night with all the city lights and fully dilated eyes made for quite a light show. More surfing. Geez this web is time consuming when your hot on the trail of research.

January 26
A cortico-steroid drug was prescribed for two weeks. More surfing. Had to know why. I guessed that it was to reduce swelling and blood loss in the eye blood vessels. There was no change after two weeks so I assumed that the drugs didn't work and I was taken off them.

January 29
I signed up and took a two day course on how to write HTML web pages. I have been a web surfer for years, so why not learn how to publish on it. Now that I had a neat eye disorder, I could make a web page all about it, so this is it.

February 1
The retinal specialist seemed particularly interested in my case and I was strangely glad. Multifocal Inner Choroiditis with a secondary Subfoveal Neovascular Membrane ... oh my! Although this is not AMD is does have CNV and the results are the same. I was somewhat relieved to find out that it was not cancer or an aneurysm. A consultation with another specialist promises to bring more news. I was allowed to borrow my angiogram photos which you will find on MY PHOTOS page.

February 2
Went back to my family doctor and amazed her with my recent findings. She was so interested that she borrowed all my internet surfing notes to read. I must wait until the end of the month for my next consultation so here I am putting this page together in two weeks and letting my nerves settle for a while.

February 22
Consultation of my case with another retina specialist confirmed prognosis. Left eye unrepairable and stays at 20/400 with some peripheral vision. Normal right eye will be watched closely for any signs of degeneration. By doing some simple macular degeneration tests such as Amsler Grid Test I noticed the fuzzy blobs are growing slowly. Not good. I have learned to read better by covering the bad eye so that only clear images get sent to the brain. I put a larger font on my computer screen and I am using headband type magnifier goggles more often.

February 29
That's it folks.... unless something drastic happens in the coming months. I'm sorry this story has no happy ending, but at least I know about AMD and CNV. Check out the other pages here and maybe you'll be wiser when your all done. Why not end this tale on a leap day, they only happen every four years you know.

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