And I saw the light at the end of the tunnel... my eyes, my eyes!
For a second there I thought I'd say goodbye to the vision in my left eye.
All of this started because it was a good shift last night. Because it was a good shift last night, I was consequently fresh and perky in the morning. Practically bouncing off the wall. And as a result of that I collared one on my colleagues who happened to be a trainee Opthalmologist and asked him for an informal consult for an eye problem I've had for years. I was expecting maybe a few lines of discussion of possible diagnoses and what sort of things I've gotta watch out for, but this colleague, bless him, told me he'd gladly examine my eyes proper.
Now when you say proper eye examination it means dilating the pupils so that whoever it it examining can get a good peek into your soul - erm, I mean, your retina.
A couple of drops of Tropicamide later and I was sitting in a darkened room while waiting for the stuff to work their full effect on my poor unsuspecting iris sphincter muscles. After a while everything became so bright and I couldn't focus sharply on anything. I grabbed a lighted torchlight in my fist and it lit up my entire hand so much I could see the veins mapped on the luminous orange background like those pictures of fetuses.
But the eye examination itself. Gosh. I've in the past sat unflinching while a chinese physician tried to manipulate a broken collarbone into a better shape but this is just... well, not painful but it's just something I could not tolerate it seemed. It was like looking directly into the sun after an eclipse - not that I have tried that since they say it would ruin your eyesight. My dear colleague, and my common sense, assured me that the people who designed those slit lamp machines would certainly not let that happen, though. After a few miserable minutes during which I could see afterimages of the vessels in my own eyes my colleague finally declared he was done - or perhaps gave up is a better word. My eye just kept drifting closed beyond my control, despite my best efforts to cooperate with instructions to keep them open.
So he wrote a referral letter filled with unfamiliar terms such as metamorphopsia and photopsia and arranged for me to go to the Eye Clinic for examination with better equipment than what we have in the ED.
All in all, it was an interesting morning.