Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye... I can't seem to get that childhood saying from my mind lately.
Here's why, I was recently diagnosed with diabetic macular edema which is caused by small leaky blood vessels leaking into the retina and surrounding tissues. This leaking has caused a pocket of fluid and swelling which is seriously threatening my central vision since the macula is the center of one's vision.
The preferred treatment is a series of injections into the eye with laser treatment secondary if the injections do not work. Laser treatment, I'm told, is secondary treatment because it can damage the retina and with this being my central vision there is a lot to be lost.
My treatment plan consist of four injections with the drug Lucentis, one of which I have already undergone. The injection is not nearly as difficult as one might expect with the anxiety beforehand being the hardest part.
The prep work before the procedure is what I consider to be the worse part of the actual procedure. First my eye was dilated and examined one last time. It was propped opened with some kind of device which I did not see and a series of numbing and antiseptic drops were placed in my eye. A cotton swab was held over the injection point and continually soaked with numbing agent. The swab's purpose was to hold the medicine in place to allow maximum penetration into my eye for maximum numbness. This seem to have taken an eternity although I'm sure it was only a few minutes.
The actual injection was quick and easy. A slight pressure and a very small amount of pain and it was over in 5 seconds. The most interesting part was that I could see the medicine swirling in my eye as it was going in. I'm told that some people see the medicine but most don't.
A few minutes after the procedure the pressure in my eye was checked and compared to readings taken when I first arrived. This is done to insure that the added fluid of the injection had not increased the pressure to dangerous levels. After that I was out the door on my way home breathing a sigh of relief.
I have another injection scheduled a month from now, my anxiety level the next time will not be nearly as high but honestly I am not looking forward to it either.