Although admittedly, I did, for a moment or two...
It all started last Friday night. We decided the day before we were going to go to the Olive Garden for dinner. So we spent a lovely day on the dock and on the water - the weather was gorgeous, hot and sunny, but not humid enough to keep me inside all day... We ran into a teacher friend of J's who happens to live in the area so we were standing and chatting with her, waiting for our little seating buzzer to light and and vibrate.
All of a sudden I noticed a C-shaped I-don't-know-what, at the perifery of my vision in my left eye. I blinked, thinking it would disappear. It didn't. The only way I can describe it is to say it was a "C" made out of alternating triangles. Eventually I read someone else's description of it as zig-zag and that might be more accurate, but it was flashing a bit, like the flashing lights you supposedly see when your retina is detaching. (I read way too much on the Internet! PLUS I have a best friend whose retina was detached in an accident years ago...)
It lasted about 20/25 minutes then disappeared entirely. No lasting effects, no vision impairment, no headache. J and I talked about it and agreed that I'd better call the eye doctor. So I did, at 6:10pm. They closed already so I called their "emergency number"/answering service. "Emergency number," my eye! (No pun intended!)
The lady was very nice, and she asked me if it was an emergency. Now, granted, I did say I hadn't beein in a car accident and there was no head trauma of any kind, so technically it wasn't a rush-to-the-hospital-and-save-my-vision kind of emergency, but it was MY EYES, PEOPLE!
And I waited. And waited some more. And when I hadn't gotten a call the next morning, I called the office because the answering service told me they were open Saturday from 8am-12noon. But the machine came on at 8:15/8:30-ish, referring patients to the answering service. So I called them. Again.
And THAT very nice lady told me that my message read "customer claims no emergency" and that the doctor would be getting my message on Monday, at 8:30am. And if they didn't answer their phones, they must be closed. "A lot of our clients forgot to tell us they were closing on July 4th, through the weekend, so that's what must have happened with them."
I explained (calmly) that I hadn't exactly said it wasn't an emergency, but I guess I sort of did - she doesn't apparently read mild panic about MY EYES as an emergency - she just heard the words "no car accident" and "no head trauma."
So I waited until they called me Monday (at 9:30am, btw). The receptionist kindly rushed me in as an emergency patient at 1pm yesterday, so I left work and went home at lunchtime.
I thought I might have to wait a while but I didn't; they took me almost immediately. They gave me drops, checked my eye pressure, then told me to wait 15-20 minutes for the drop in my left eye to work. The doctor came in, did a pretty thorough examination with multiple light sources and magnifiers.
Thankfully he said my pressure was good, my optic nerve and blood vessels all looked fine, my retina was NOT detached (not even close!). Then he suggested I go see my GP to eliminate the possibility of a TIA or mini-stroke.
That was the shoe dropping.
A mini-stroke? A TIA? Are you kidding me?! THEN just to be sure I was paying attention, he tossed around words like neurological consult, brain tumor, preventative, etc.
Just for the record, folks, after that initial "WHAT?!?" I knew this was just a matter of eliminating other reasons for a most-likely one-time occurence that he had no explanation for. Dr. Internet led me to the ocular migraine diagnosis on my own, along with confirmation of that from a friend we had dinner with on Saturday night who suffers from the same thing, but with the accompanying migraine headache. The note my eye doctor wrote for my GP reads as follows:
- One episode of unexplained visual phenomenon
- Suggests ocular migraine/vs. TIA
- check clotting abnormality
- Carotid/Doppler only if you feel patient is at risk for TIA
- Neuro consult
1. I had a clotting test done years ago when a blood center employee told me I had thick blood because it took her 2 HOURS to get one pint of blood from me when I was donating. I was fine. I don't have thick blood or a clotting problem.
2. There's no history of TIAs or strokes in my family, a couple of heart attacks, and some high blood pressure, but not enough to worry me at all.
So tomorrow I'm going to my GP for a physical. And I'm going to ask her to give me the works; I haven't had a complete physical in a few years, so maybe this is just God's way of making sure I know I'm okay.
I did try the ole "ocular migraines are stress-induced so I have to retire" thing, but J didn't fall for it.
Darn, he's smarter than I like sometimes!!!
I'll keep you all posted!