Eye Eye

Woke up this morning feeling fine, there’s nothing special on my mind…

Then I accompanied my Mum to an optician’s appointment, during which I discovered I may not be quite as fine as I thought.

My Mum lost a lot of the sight in one eye a couple of years ago following a blockage in an artery. She can still see well enough to get about and she can still drive, but it means regular check-ups are advisable.

Today was her first appointment with the very nice new optician who took over the practice recently. Nice Optician read my Mum’s notes, then asked her to go over exactly what had happened to her eye. Then came the question that made me very slightly uneasy: “Has anyone else in your family suffered from this?”

Of course they haven’t, so I told myself to put my moment of unease back in its box and I went back to daydreaming whilst my Mum continued to talk to the Nice Optician. Then I heard my Mum say “Yes, the same thing happened to my sister, but it wasn’t so severe.”

What? I didn’t know that. The Nice Optician turned and looked at me as I sat there wearing my best slightly surprised expression; she gave me this kind of long meaningful glance before turning back to talk to my Mum. I reminded myself that I have been a lazy slob recently. More exercise and less vanilla fudge would be a good idea.

“What about your parents?” said Nice Optician to my Mum.

“My Dad also lost a lot of the sight in one eye.”

Damn, damn, damn. I knew that. I often think about my Grandfather, the lovely old man who made me laugh and who let me sit in the best room and read his books. I’d completely forgotten about his eyesight.

Nice Optician established to her satisfaction that all the right things have been done for my Mum and that she is taking some medication to help prevent the problem occurring again.

Then Nice Optician turned to me and started talking about hereditary conditions, making an appointment to see my GP and jumping in a taxi and going straight to A&E if I start getting any problems with my field of vision.

I was perfectly fit and healthy when I walked into the surgery, I am still perfectly fit and healthy now. But a just a teeny little bit uneasy. Actually, all of my relatives were more than 20 years older than I am now when they suffered from these problems, but I think I might just make that appointment with my GP anyway.

1 comment to Eye Eye

  • Do you see this optician too? She sounds like she knows her stuff.

    As someone with appalling vision, and a dreadful family history for such things – I feel I must say something I’m sure you know… but I’ll say it anyway… It’s very important that if one has eyesight problems, or potential problems, one gets to see a really excellent optometrist regularly, and not just someone in a chain – ie not a Boots opticians or Specsavers type (they miss things and move on all the time so there is no continuity of care).

    The fact that I still have sight in my left eye is down to the expertise of an excellent optometrist (sadly now in early retirement as he was sick of the unskilled newly-trained professionals being turned out these days) who spotted my detaching retina and told me to carefully walk not run to the local eye hospital – from where I was promptly despatched to Moorfields.

    Do you have a specialist eye hospital near you? If so, I’d put its address and phone nubmer in my phone now, just in case. The junior doctors who staff general hospitals A&E departments don’t often know much/enough about eyes, and time is always of the essence if things start to go wrong…