I couldn’t see.
My vision in my left eye went south while the right took on a blur making it hard to even walk down the stairs.
Did I panic?
I called my eye doctor who decided to take the day off antiquing in Connecticut leaving no instructions in case a patient goes blind in her absence.
The 12 year-old receptionist said, “Nothing ever happens on Friday…slow day.”
Excuse me? I can’t see cupcake so that puts that little theory right out to pasture.
“So, would you like to see her next Friday?” God help me.
I hang up deciding to run to the Eye and Ear Hospital on East 14th Street wondering if I can actually manage this.
Why didn’t I call someone to go with me?
There was no one to call, and besides, time was of the essence.
As I’m bumping into walls readying myself to leave, I remember the eye surgeon who performed a procedure on me a few months ago ten blocks away.
I rush there…upset, hands shaking, and a young girl says, “Sorry, we can’t help you…you’re not a regular patient.”
“Yeah, but it’s an emergency, my doctor is away,” I said, “and I’ve been here before.”
She walks away leaving me standing there.
Remember in the film Terms of Endearment when Shirley Maclaine goes nuts in the hospital because no one would help her daughter?
Yes, just call me Shirley.
A doctor came out to say they’d find me one.
“Yeah but you’re a doctor. Why can’t you see me?”
“You’re not my patient.”
The whole thing was so insane and humiliating, though I stopped that in its tracks. I wasn’t about to take on their cold, heartless behavior. What ever happened to a code of ethics.
We’re healers, not heels.
So I leave and go to another doctor nearby who happened to be great. After every test imaginable, it was blamed on either allergies since my eye was severely swollen, or the antibiotic I had been on that could have relaxed my retina.
“Don’t worry,” she kept saying. “It’s nothing.”
“Nothing you say? I still can’t see.”
There was no tumor, no bleeding…my optic nerve is stunning, as she put it. She advised me to wear my distance glasses till my left eye corrected itself.
Talk about confidence in the human anatomy.
“So just go enjoy the rest of your day.”
“Okay Doc, if you want me, I ‘ll be at the nearest bar.”
Enjoy my day…I went to a church and sobbed.
My vision has gotten a little better every day since, thank God. My body truly retaliates to medication, but what do you do if you really need it?
The whole experience left me hating the medical community.
I thought of people without the ability to stand up who would have just melted away. I’m grateful I have it, but when it’s over and you know you had to fight that hard to be treated merely decently, it makes you sad, this is the way of the world.