Last week I was supposed to get a second opinion from a retina specialist on my right eye. I have Diabetic Retinopathy and have had three surgeries on my right eye this year to try to flatten out my retina and save the vision I still have in that eye. So far, nothing has worked..or at least they did work, but didn't stay for long. My retina just refuses to stay flat. So my retina specialist thought it prudent to get a second opinion. I will tell you that my doctor is awesome. I may be a difficult case, but it is not because of any fault in my doctor's abilities. It was his suggestion to seek out a second opinion.
Well, the second opinion appointment fell through because the other retina specialist was unable to keep the appointment. So, today, my doctor asked me to come in. I went in and he apologized for the cancellations and told me why they happened (I will not repeat here, nor was I told any details anyway). Then he examined my eyes and told me what my options are. I can go with another specialist if I choose, I can wait and see how my eye does untouched, or I can have another surgery. In his opinion, I should have another surgery. I am also told that the other specialist, who hasn't seen me but has looked over all my charts and data and has spoken in depth with my doctor, agrees with his opinion.
This surgery would be to clean up a hyphema in the front of my eye that is clearing up extremely slowly, to put in oil to help flatten my retina (this will be for the long term, at least a year), and to do a lens replacement because I have a cataract.
After talking with my doctor and taking a moment to weigh my options, I decided to agree with his opinion. You see, if I go to a different specialist, I have to go through a ton of red tape, and start all over...and I don't have any problem with my current doctor, he is awesome. If I decide to wait and keep an eye on it, that does me no good, and will only hurt me in the long run because my eye is actively deteriorating, so waiting only hurts, but surgery could help. So surgery it is.
While in this discussion I did get a couple of things clarified. 1) I will never get my peripheral vision back in my right eye. 2) The current fight is to save what is left of my central vision. 3) The cataract has grown exponentially in just the last couple of months due to everything else that has been done to my eye. I was told to expect this from the very beginning, so it's not like they kept anything from me, I just hadn't realized the cataract actually had grown until today.
Once I agreed to move forward on the surgery, my doctor had a scan of my good eye taken, the left eye, so he could see how things are going on on that side. After the scan and a quick exam, he said my left eye looks "fantastic".
Next, he wanted me to be seen by the cataract specialist and get his final opinion on surgery. So I waited around for a long time, had several different scans done on both eyes, waited some more, then finally got to see the cataract specialist. He examined both my eyes, looked over my chart and history. Finally he said he whole-heartedly agreed with my doctor on a lens replacement.
So Tuesday the 12th is my fourth surgery.
Then I walked home.