I have to confess something (it is, after all, the High Holy Days) – last night’s journal entry was not completed at home. Instead, I finished and posted it from a place I’d rather not have been – the Emergency Room at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Diane and I went out for our usual evening walk last night. It was a little later than we’d planned, and it was already pretty dark – but I noticed flashes of light from my right eye. I couldn’t see them using my left eye. And they seemed to flicker along with my footsteps.
When we got home, I called the AARP nurse line and described my symptoms (I was also seeing a lot of floaters), and the nurse told me to go to the ER.
The ER was empty when we arrived about 8:30pm, and my name was called quickly. I told the nurse my symptoms and she did a quick stroke check (Could I hold my arms up? Could I smile evenly?), took an EKG, and told me to wait – that’s when I finished last night’s posting.
Eventually, we were taken back to Room 16, and they drew some blood (mostly a cardiac panel). Then I waited a while longer until an X-ray tech came in and took an X-ray of my lower torso. More waiting, and then a trip to the MRI. It was much like my previous MRI experience 20 years ago, though the tunes were different.
After they took me back to Room 16, we waited some more. A nurse took me down the hall for a visual acuity test (just like the one I’d undergone at the DMV earlier this month!), and then back to Room 16. She returned quickly and said that they were just finishing up the paperwork so I could leave.
Time passed. I eventually got up and walked over to the nurses’ station where my nurse apologized for the delay and handed my paperwork to another nurse who checked me out. We left the hospital a little after midnight.
So, just like on my very first birthday, I started the day in the hospital. That’s a birthday throwback I’d be happy not repeating again.
This morning, I visited my ophthalmologist – he dilated my eyes and examined them, then said I’d had a vitreous detachment and that there was probably nothing to worry about. He scheduled me for a followup in three weeks to make sure that there are no changes and sent me on my way.
I haven’t seen nearly as many floaters today as I did yesterday, and no flashes. Here’s hoping!