As I continue on my journey to hit up all the appropriate doctors on my mission to feel healthy and on top of my life, I went to the eye doctor yesterday to have an exam. It’s probably been about three years since my last eye exam (I know, bad), and I could feel that my eyes have been straining lately.
Let me set the record straight here and say that I got my first pair of glasses when I was in second grade. They had thick, round purple frames, with green on the sides. In 8th grade, I started wearing contacts. Every time I’ve gone to the eye doctor, my prescription indicates my eyes are worsening – despite multiple doctors saying “At some point this will level off”, and “you’re nowhere near being legally blind” – both statements completely untrue.
So, I went to the doctor yesterday knowing I needed a stronger prescription. I opted to get a prescription for both contacts and glasses, knowing I’d buy my glasses online (I love EyeBuyDirect).
The exam began, with the prescription exam, the eye puff, and some pictures of my eye. When I saw the doctor, she made a comment about how my prescription was “low”. Uhh, no? She then proceeded to ask me to read the letters on the wall, which I could generally see just fine.
Because I still had my contacts in! No one had asked me to remove them. “Why do you wear contacts?” she asked, implying my eyesight was near-perfect. Yeah, I said, because my contacts are still in.
Sooooo I had to do the entire exam again after taking out my contacts. Then she realized just how bad my eyes were, and I even felt like she was getting frustrated with just how poor my eyesight was. “You’re getting really high up there,” she said, as she was going through the switches – 1 or 2? 2 or 3?
But I can’t help it – it’s important I get the right prescription, obviously. Once we got the prescription nailed down, she took a look at the pictures of my eye and concluded I needed them dilated due to the nature of my high prescription.
Honestly, I’ve never had my eyes dilated, so I was asking a lot of questions about the procedure, and trying to decide whether or not I could/should drive after because I needed to get back to work. She said it would be fine, so I agreed (after all, my motto for 2017 is to “just do it”).
After she put the drops in, she instructed me to walk into the lobby to sit and wait for my eyes to fully dilate. What may be difficult to understand here is just how poor my eyesight is. Without my glasses or contacts, I can’t see much at all.
So, asking me to walk anywhere without said eyewear + dilation drops is an issue. But I hobbled in and felt my way to a chair. I was sitting there, quietly, probably staring off into space, when a woman at the front desk was all, “Ma’am, ma’am??”
“Are you talking to me?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I cannot see you.”
…Like are you serious? I could barely see my own body, let alone another person standing 25 feet away.
“Oh, are you dilating?” she asked.
I nodded. Luckily it wasn’t long before I was called back into the doctor’s office for the last part of the exam. She concluded my eyes were okay – although at high-risk for retinal detachment (common for people with high prescriptions).
Naturally, they didn’t have my contacts in stock, so I have to wait for them to come in and have them fitted, which hopefully will be in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’m going to order a new pair of glasses – I’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, and am hoping to get these:
…And in just a few weeks I’ll be seeing clearly… that is, until my next eye exam!
I know I’ve talked quite a bit about my health this year, particularly about handling some extreme fatigue I was experiencing in January and February. While I have been feeling better – after sticking to a diet and a sleeping pill – I still knew it was time I buck up and go to the doctor.
Since I changed jobs at the beginning of the year, I also changed insurance companies. This was a great time to make all the rounds, so on Monday, I had an appointment with my OBGYN for a wellness exam. Every time I go to these exams, my doctor asks me if I am open for doing lab work, and I always either find some excuse not to (whoops, didn’t fast today…) or I just casually walk out of the office.
I’m serious! I’m not necessarily afraid of needles or blood…but more so just all things medical. But because of this fear, I do not have any idea what’s happening inside my body. Cholesterol? Vitamin D? Thyroid? I have never had anything tested, so I’m clueless.
Now that I work in the healthcare industry, I’m much more privy to how things work, and to top it off, I’ve educated myself on all this AHCA nonsense, so I’m learning a lot about insurance and what’s covered, etc. It’s a fascinating world.
So, when I scheduled my wellness exam and they said to fast beforehand, I told myself yes, I’m going to do it, and if they offer to do labs then I’m just going to go for it (#2017Goals) – no making another appointment, no freaking out, hell, no walking out – just DO it.
Sure enough, right after asking me how I was doing, she asked if I needed labs. Yes, I said. Everything you’ve got. So, after my women’s exam, she directed me down the hall to the lab, where, right out in the open, a nurse was drawing blood.
It was basically my worst nightmare, but I looked the other way, and it was over in like 30 seconds?! I kind of can’t believe I was so scared for that! I know it’s so small, but I felt so proud of myself and I still do. To top it off, when I went to pickup my prescription last night, I was prepped to pay $160 for a month’s supply under my new insurance. But, to my delight, it was $0 and my doctor had given me a three-month supply. Major score!!
I’m really trying to take charge of my health, and this is one step in the right direction. By just a few seconds of fear and pain, I am going to get results on my thyroid, cholesterol, and vitamin D levels. Sure, I hope they’re fine, but if not, I can start doing what I can to fix it.
I have always been grateful to have good health, but I think loosing a close family friend this year really drove that home. I don’t have to take lots of medications just to feel normal. I don’t have to avoid certain foods or activities; I can pretty much do whatever I want and I’m okay. But I know I may not always be this lucky, and it’s about time I start paying attention to what’s happening with my body.
I’ve already gotten one test result back and it was good, so we’ll see how the others go. If you’re on the fence about something health-related, just get it done! I feel so much better that it’s out of the way, and now that I’m about to be in the KNOW, I can continue to get healthier and healthier.
Sorry that it’s blurry… I even tried to retake it a few times, but could never get a decent one, which makes me wonder if I have a serious health issue that is in-turn ruining my selfies.
Anyway, yesh, I got new glasses! Okay, so I also got new contacts… and sure, I realize this is not life-changing information, but let me just explain.
I got my first pair of glasses in second grade, when it was completely uncool to wear glasses. Despite being terrified that my classmates might call me “Four eyes,” I got a pair of round, plastic frames that were purple on the front and green on the sides.
I don’t recall anyone making fun of me, but I was really excited to get my first pair of contacts in the 8th grade. I could actually see during pool parties!
As the years went on, my eyes worsened. Sure, both of my parents wore glasses, so weak eyes were inevitable. But mine were starting to get really bad — I had higher prescriptions than my parents’ combined.
In high school, I asked my eye doctor if I was ever going to be legally blind at the rate I was going. She acted like I was crazy.
“No way,” she said. “Eventually your eye prescription will level off.”
But four years ago, I went to the doctor, and not only was I informed that I had astigmatism in both eyes, but I also needed a higher prescription (-8 in my left eye) — not more than two clicks away from being blind.
I had to get a special order of contacts for people with astigmatism (a mere $80 per box), and a new pair of glasses. Without my insurance, my total was more than $800 — nearly enough to get Lasik.
After that, I hadn’t been back to the doctor in yet another four years. I was scared — scared about how much it would cost, scared they would tell me I was blind, scared I would have some sort of eye disease. So, I avoided it until I was having trouble seeing… I even had to increase the fonts on my computer.
So I went, and got an exam, had the mapping done (where they take photos of the backs of your eyes)… and my eyes are healthy. No diseases, no trouble spots, there was no word of astigmatism, and my prescription is now a -6 and -5.5 …not blind.
Sure, it ain’t great, but I faced a fear and the outcome was really good! So, I got some new contacts, and these awesome glasses (only $40, with prescription lenses, on Eye Buy Direct)!
I’m starting to see (literally) just how good things can be when you get a little bravery inside.
Remember that time I thought I had an STD? Oh right, no, because I have yet to share that story yet…so here goes.
About two weeks ago, I stepped out of the shower and felt a sting Down There (yes, my lady parts deserve capital letters). Having just shaved, I figured maybe I got a little too crazy and perhaps nicked myself.
It was slightly bothering me that day, so I took a looksy later that evening and confirmed my thoughts that yes, I had a tiny cut.
But a few days later, that “tiny cut” had indeed formed into a small bump. What the fuck is that? I wondered.
I thought about D, and how he cheated on me. Perhaps he gave me something. Because he seems to be the gift that just keeps on giving. I felt light-headed. My stomach was in knots. Sure, I’d had a test, but what if this “thing” didn’t show up on the results?
I continued to worry, and the only thing keeping me from a complete breakdown was the fact that the one bump still remained one bump (which means nothing if you have herpes).
But a few days later, I had four bumps. I had a fever. Swollen glands. So I called my doctor to get an appointment, and I sat on my bathroom floor and cried.
I was sure of it. I had herpes. And this was a result of my carelessness, a result of me falling for men who didn’t give a damn about me. I would never be able to have sex again. I was diseased. I was ugly. I should make a scrapbook for my sex life because it was a distant memory now.
I thought about the last time I had sex. Sure, it was great, but was it “last time of your life” great? I didn’t know.
Time out: Yeah, I know, these are irrational thoughts. Bear with me.
The morning of my doctor’s appointment, I rolled out of bed and shuffled into Women’s Hospital. I sat in the waiting room for more than an hour before it was my turn. As I sat on the doctor’s table in my sexy paper gown, I imagined her telling me what I already knew. Herpes.
She came in, and I told her the series of events as I leaned back and put my feet in the stirrups. She said nothing for at least a minute.
“Do these itch or hurt? Do you have a fever? I feel swollen lymph nodes. When was your last new sexual partner? Do you go to the gym?”
She looked up at me.
“Yes, almost every day,” I said.
“This isn’t herpes. Ever heard of Molluscum?”
I swear I could have kissed this woman as she continued to tell me that I’d gotten a virus from an infected towel or piece of clothing, and the gym was probably the culprit (she did take a herpes culture, in case you’re worried). I wouldn’t have it forever, but maybe for as long as six weeks.
She prescribed me some cream, but said she’d heard apple cider vinegar worked better than the cream.
Enter my gallon jug of apple cider vinegar.
For the last week, I’ve filled my tub with 5 inches of water, added 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, and sat for 20 minutes, twice a day in order to smash this virus. Because until the bumps are gone, it’s still contagious.
I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t prop my laptop beside the tub and get some writing done on a few occasions.
While these vinegar baths are certainly not fun, my bratty kitty Blanche has perched herself on the edge of my tub (lining up all four feet and balancing her belly between them; an act that has taken months to perfect with a few plunges) every morning and night, watching my toes in the water.
It’s a simple reminder that, even in times of distress, I am not alone. My friends, the very few that I told when I thought I was hosting a funeral for my sex life, were comforting and kind. You know who you are and I am so thankful I have you.