Inadvertent Medical Issues

Written on April 6, 2017 at 7:33 pm
Filed under: Personal

I’ve been on vacation this past week and it has been marvelous. I took in a Whitecaps game (they won 4-2 and were playing against LA Galaxy), got my hair colour refreshed with a teeny tiny trim, and also got my regular/routine optometrist appointment in.

At which point my optometrist went “So, do you have a family history of retinal detachment?”

Excuse your face? (Not what I actually said. What I said was more of a “No……. Why?!”)

He told me that he was going to make a referral to a specialist, which would probably take about a month. I got a call the next day to let me know about my appointment. So less than 48 hours from my ‘routine’ optometrist appointment, I was sitting in the really nice waiting room of who is my ophthalmologist. After the longest wait ever, I got drops put in for dilation, got my vision checked, got my retina looked at by two different ophthalmologists. Officially, I had two holes in one of my retinas, and then I was told that they could fit me in that very day (less than 5 minutes later) for the laser surgery that would help ‘seal’ the holes. Umm, okay. So I signed some consent forms and then got the laser treatment and was on my way.

Can I just say how awesome healthcare is in Canada? Specialist appointment with two different doctors, plus the laser surgery (day-of, due to the risk of retinal detachment if I had waited) – completely covered by MSP (which my employer pays for/tax payers/me) so there was $0 out of pocket costs to me. I had zero symptoms and honestly no issues with my vision (besides the fact that I still need glasses, it wasn’t that kind of laser eye surgery) post-surgery, aside from the severe discomfort that comes from getting ones pupils dilated.

I’m so thankful that a) I thought to make my optometrist appointment early on during my vacation and b) the specialist had an opening so soon!

I chatted with my now-primary ophthalmologist about it and retinal tears/holes in someone my age are very rare for someone who doesn’t have a very high prescription for corrective lenses, and also someone without a familial history. So I’m just… terribly unlucky? But lucky that my optometrist did catch it and send me off to someone who could fix me. I was the youngest person in the waiting room by a several decades, so it’s not something that’s common at all. On the bright side, it was caught before I had an actual medical emergency on my hands as a retinal detachment could result in permanent vision loss if not operated on very quickly. I feel like I need the shooting star and rainbow because the more you know.

I sure know how to have fun on my days off from work…

3 Responses to “Inadvertent Medical Issues”

  1. Georgie says:

    Since you had no symptoms or telltale signs, I am really glad that the holes in your retinas (!! scary thought) were spotted and you were able to get a specialist appointment and get the problem fixed quickly. We all know the pain with getting an appointment with any kind of specialist…

    I am not sure if happy is the right word but I am happy and somewhat beaming for you! 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      Not going to lie, I was pretty freaked out there when my optometrist mentioned “retinal detachment”. I’m so pleased that I got the specialist appointment *super* quickly though, and it’s all resolved now and more of a ‘monitor’ thing rather than waiting to get something more official.

  2. Brandy says:

    I’ve always been envious about the awesome healthcare system that Canada has to offer. Ours is so shitty here in the US. :/

    My Dad has to pay the first $3000 towards his every year before his insurance even kicks in. I’m eligible for medicaid since my income meets the requirements, but there are so many loopholes. I have Endometriosis, have to see a specialist, and rely on birth control to suppress the pain, but the government wants to stop funding most birth controls, so I’ve had to switch around a lot, which also has an impact on my hormone levels and well being. It’s been fun… NOT.

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