Thursday, December 11, 2008

Visit Number 15

Gosh, I'm sorry I've become such a slacker about blogging. I hope I haven't lost my *knack* whatever that was.

I had visit number 15 on Tuesday and everything's still A-OK. AND...I've lost 4 lbs since my last visit which was only last week. yay! Removing your cell phone and not wearing a jacket really does help you lose weight!

I had the eye exam first and, since it is a teaching hospital, the doc had some students helping out. The first one was a lanky, shy young man who sat in on the contrast test. That's the one where you start out reading an eye chart that has black letters on a white background from 10 feet away, and then the contrast progressively lessens until you are reading glossy spots on dull white background. If the light isn't shining off it just right it's darn near impossible.

I mentioned this and she readjusted the chart so it wasn't reflecting the light at me and said "oh! we can't have any advantages or the test won't be an accurate representation." I have such a big mouth. The good thing is that by the end of the test I darn near have all the lines memorized (you do it with both eyes and then each eye separately). My luck is that I'm probably getting all the same ones wrong over and over because of it.

Then, I usually get the drops all and once and am left to *soak* for 10 or 20 min. This time was a little different. I got the work out with "how many fingers do you see" in my peripheral vision and then the color blind eye chart. I mentioned to this new student testing me that the tests assume I can both count and read. She just smiled at me nervously. I think they don't teach them how to handle smart-assed patients. Well, I think that's an important part of their training so I set about to make sure she learned something on Tuesday.

She put the numbing drops and the fluorescing yellow stuff in my eyes and then announced "I'm going to check your pressure." She didn't mention that the pressure she was really testing was to see how high my blood pressure could go before my eyes popped out of my head.

She apparently was new to the eyeball pressure test and when I was expecting the glowing purple ring to kiss my eye and back off, she had other plans. It made contact (which I couldn't feel on the surface) and then stayed there for a very long time. Then she'd back off and fiddle with the tip of the thing that goes against my eye trying to adjust it or something. I pulled my head back from the contraption you're supposed to keep your chin and forehead pressed against and saw her flicking her finger over the end of it repeatedly.

Without a shred of humor I asked if she planned on poking me in the eye again with that thing now that she mauled it. Apparently, I'm a stand-up comic who missed her calling because this girl actually laughed. When she realized I was serious, she got a Kleenex to wipe the tip off because any good doctor knows that a Kleenex is all you need to sterilize something and get all the cooties (that's a medical term) off it.

I sighed and presented my eyeball for another round of poke-her-in-the-eye. I actually could feel the additional pressure of it pushing against my eye. I mentioned to her that one time, years ago, I ended up on the floor of my eye doctor having smelling salts wafted under my nose to revive me from passing out when I was about to have the pressure test done. I think that made her nervous. She kept saying "You're doing fine. You're doing fine."

I told her "No, I'm doing excellent considering you AREN'T doing fine." By the time she moved to my left eye, she had it down. That took a whole second. I think I scared the poor girl into remembering something she read in her textbook or something.

After she was done, she put the dilation drops in my eyes and handed me a tissue, asking if there was anything she could get me. "A cold pack and an eye patch would be nice." She laughed and it was okay this time because that part was a joke....sort of.

The first student, the shy guy, came in and said he wanted to shine a light in my eyes and have a look. I said "sure."

I told him I wished I could do that. He said "what's that?"

I said "I wish I could look inside an eyeball. It must be cool to see, like a big empty ball that's all pink with veins and gunk."

It was like I had found the key to unlock this kid's personality. He started expounding on just how cool it was. You could tell he was going to make a terrific doctor just by how passionate he was about the eyeball.

We discussed the optic nerve and I was telling him that I had read in the last year or so about how it was considered to be the predictor (or maybe it was the gauge, I forget) of the severity of an MS patient's disease progress. The nerve apparently thins as the disease progresses. Don't ask me for the details because I have cognitive issues that go along with my MS and therefore all *facts* that enter my brain go through a process of being reformed into unrecognizable shapes before re-solidifying as something now carved in stone that has heretofore never been heard of. So, forgive me if I got the facts wrong about that optic nerve statement.

The student was fascinated and I'm sure he's going to get something wrong on his next test from having had that conversation with me.

The doctor came in and the rest of the test went smoothly. I was told again that I have dry eyes and to be using the tear drops. I keep forgetting that when my eyes feel sore and scratchy that it's because they are dry.

I have learned that other Fingo Heads (from our secret society meeting group with the special knock) also have dry eyes. At least one other person mentioned it. So now I'm wondering if it's a side effect. Fingolimod sucks the moisture out of your eyeballs. Hmmm Well, if that's all it does on the bad side (besides force me to eat dessert every night and slack off on exercising thus gaining weight) then I am okay with that.

Now, remind me that I have a whole 'nother post to write about the EDSS test. I hope my procrastination doesn't trump my memory so I don't put it off so long I forget the funny parts.

Back soon...I promise.


  1. Sorry to hear about your eye-poking experience. Other than that, though, things seem to be going well. I guess my prayers (and those of others) are paying off :-)

    I'll put in a good word for your eyes next time...

  2. I'm on the FTY-only trial, and they quoted me the same percent. So the success rate is not "as compared to Avonex."


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