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

  1. 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! 🙂

    1. 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. 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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