Eye Appointment and Electronic Medical Records

For Day 20 of the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Challenge, I am going to invoke my writer’s choice privilege.  Actually earlier today, I was at the eye doctor and I thought I was going to have to use one of my get out of jail free cards!

Doctors carrying computerWhen I was at the eye doctor back in November, they were starting to convert over to electronic medical records.  They still had their sign up, but since a lot of people only go to the eye doctor once a year or even longer, that is to be expected.  My check-in should have been fairly smooth because I was already converted over.  They always verify name, address, PCP and insurance information when you check in.  Somehow when I was there in November, they had my right PCP in the new system but today, they had a PCP from 3 years ago that I only went to for a short time.

Once we got that stuff straightened out, I went to sit down in the waiting room.  I felt strange, so I checked my blood sugar – 81, so no problem.  About 10 minutes later, I was feeling weirder so I tested again.  This time I was 68 so decided I better treat it.  I ate 3 packs of Smarties, which is 18 grams of carbs.  All I could think about was, “I am going to flunk my eye exam because my eyes are blurry.” 

The tech called me back and they always go thru medical information first.  In November, my stuff had been converted over to the new computer system and it was right.  Today, I was somehow changed from a Type 1 diabetic to a Type 2.  I had already quit using the pump in November, but today, they had me listed as using a pump.  Before she started that stuff, she had asked if I knew what my A1c was.  She listed me as a Type 1, well controlled.  If she only knew!   She went down the list of prescription medicines and vitamins – since I started having allergies, I quit using all the vitamins, so she deleted all those

When she got to the end of the list, I said something was missing, but I was feeling out of it and couldn’t think.  As soon as I pulled the list out, I realized what it was.  She also announced at the same time what it was – insulin.  Duh, not sure how I could miss that one!  She asked Novolog and I said no, Apidra and Levemir.

Then we did the eye chart.  I knew I was not going to do very well and didn’t even ask what my numbers were.  I told her again my blood sugar was low and my eyes were blurry.  She did put that in the notes.

After she dilated my eyes, I went back to the waiting room until the doctor was ready to see me.  I tested my blood sugar again:

Blood sugar 56

Yup, I was low, even after 18 grams of Smarties.

When the eye doctor came in, he went to look at the numbers and I told him my blood sugar was low when I did the eye chart.  He immediately offered me orange juice.  I told him that I already had something twice because it had gone from 68 to 56 while I was doing the eye exam.

He said that the left eye was actually worse than the right eye when I did the eye chart – my left eye is my good eye.  Then he said he would take a look see if anything other than being low was going on.

After he looked at my eyes, and started talking, I was confused and had to verify that he meant the blurriness was caused by something other than being low.  He said yes.  After I had cataract surgery, I started getting a film on both eyes.  He did remove one but not the one on my left eye.  He called it a membrane today and not a film like he did before.  He recommended removing it with the laser like he did the other one.  He said if I didn’t want to do it today, that was fine.  I figured since I was there and he said he could do it, I would get it done.

The tech took me back to the laser room.  I tested my BS again and I was up to 112 (give or take some Smarties residue on my fingers). My eyes have been very sensitive to light and the room we were in was very bright.  When they had me put my head on thing you rest your chin on and he was putting the light in my eye, I started squinting.  I have never had a problem with laser before and all of a sudden I was terrified because I was worried I would squint at the wrong time.  Then he said he didn’t know where I was trying to go to, but it was like trying to hit a moving target!  When I told him the light was really bothering me, he did turn the lights down as much as he could and that helped.  After the fact, I wished they had put a patch over my other eye because that one was bothering me from the light so it made things worse.

When he was done, my eye was super blurry. Although I have 20/40 vision in my bad eye (when my BS is not low!), I have zero peripheral vision because of all the laser so things have to be directly in front of me for me to see them.

When I got home, I crawled in bed and took a nap.  My eye is still blurry but not quite as bad.  At least my eyes are not dilated now.

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Wego Health Activist Writers Month Day 20



6 thoughts on “Eye Appointment and Electronic Medical Records

  1. Kelly did they ever use the term “secondary cataract” with you? I had it and was terrified that my retina was going bad. They had to use a special machine called a YAG laser to treat it, and then I was fine.
    I have no lateral peripheral vision in my right eye. That’s why I quit driving.

    • No, they did not use that term with me Kathy. I will have to Google it tomorrow when I can see better & see if it sounds like what he talked about. I am not sure about the type of laser either. I know when he did the first one, he said it was different than the laser I had for reitnopathy.

      I didn’t realize you had problems with peripheral vision also. It does make some stuff hard. I hate when I go to a crowded mall or something – I feel penned in or something because you can’t tell where people are.

      • I had a fully detached retina. I’d had laser for “moderate” retinopathy, but as the vessels died and shrunk, they latched onto the vitreous and pulled the retina off the back of the eye. Because my vision was not clear, I didn’t know this had happened until I went for my followup and he said, “we’re operating this afternoon”. Gulp. During the recovery they placed a nitrous oxide bubble in my eye to hold the retina in place, and I had to lay facedown, not moving, for 7 days. I was allowed 5 minutes to go to the bathroom and 10 minutes to eat. It was pretty rugged. I didn’t know until later that the doc had told my mother he hoped I would get back to “recognizing shapes”. That was about 10 years ago. Today I have 20/40 vision, with corrective lenses. PTL.
        I think I’ve adapted to the loss. Once I was riding the bus and didn’t realize it. She was perplexed as to why I didn’t say hi.
        Also, when I take Esther places I cannot see her iff she’ walking beside me and make her take my hand, which she does not like.
        And, the State Fair can sometimes be a challenge.
        But all things considered, I am filled with gratitude that the vision I do have has remained stable.
        Life. Is. Good.

  2. Made sense to get it down while you were there but – ick on the low bg while trying to get through all the eye stuff.
    Hope it’s been a better evening.

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