“Hello and Good Morning Doctor” I said as Hong, my dear wife guided me into the eye doctor’s consultation room. I could feel my heartbeat suddenly shot up at an uncontrolled rapid rate and I felt too, a lump in my throat as the nurse helped me to sit comfortably in the examination chair. As I sat down, staring into the world of darkness, I felt too, momentarily signs of my body getting weak and limp all over, anxiously waiting for the Doctor’s next move!… Yes, I was starting to get panicky and a feeling of uncertainty about the status of the condition of my eyes and which the doctor would be updating me after he had done the examination. The last checkup I had was more than six months ago.
Yesterday morning, on the way to the eye clinic for my appointment scheduled at 1100hrs, with Hong at the wheels, I kept myself or perhaps, should I say, kept my mind from wandering off and not allowing negative thoughts to creep into my mind by listening to the radio throughout the car journey, from our house to the clinic located in the city. Upon registration at the clinic, we were shown to a waiting area for the nurse to call me into the examination room. Whilst waiting, my mind suddenly shifted into automatic mode with thoughts and memories of the past year resurfacing, experiences that I went through during the early days of losing my sight, the painful eye operations, the continuous pain in the eyes and headaches post operation and during the recuperation period. The one memory that was etched deeply into my mind which could not be erase, started to catapult into the present! I could recall vividly, the scenario in the doctor’s consultation room when he coolly informed me about the last option if the infection in my eyes did not settle and was still causing me pains despite having the eyes operations and treatment. The dilemma was most frightening and it caused me to have goose pimples! My name was called and I snapped back from my reverie of the past. A nurse came over to perform some preliminary checks on my eyes, a standard procedure prior to the doctor’s consultation and examination. I told her I could not see, therefore, not necessary to check my sight by shining a light into my eyes. We shared a bit of a laugh and this helped me to temporarily forget about the frightening memory which had engulfed my mind whilst sitting on the comfortable couch waiting for my turn to be called. The nurse did put some eye drops into my eyes to dilate the pupils. Next, another nurse came over and said Hello to me. She remembered my name and it was nice of her to enquire about my health. I too, could remember her voice as she was the nurse who attended to me during my early visits to the clinic for checkups. Again, I told her other than my good health, I still could not see and we had a laugh too.
Now, sitting on the examination chair, the doctor enquired if I still have the painful spells which I experienced in the early days. I was very glad to reply that other than the occasional discomforts, there was minimal pain since. After checking my eyes with the aid of the optical instruments, he was pleased about the status of my eyes and I was informed that the general condition of the eyes was softer and better. However, the retinas remained detached and status quo! I was prepared for this so I could accept the comment. Deep down in my heart, I was glad that he did not remind me nor talked about the last option which gave me many sleepless nights in the past. If the infection had not settled down and I was still having pains in the eyes and suffering from the headaches, the doctor had recommended that my right eye ball be surgically removed! This would have been another blow added to the traumatic experience of not being able to see again.
As I got out from the examination chair and walked out from the consultation room, I said “Thank you and Bye-Bye Doctor”. I could feel my throat choked up and I had mixed feelings somewhat, as I slowly walked towards the lift with Hong by my side. Again, in the lift, the lady security officer recognized me and too, asked me how I was. I repeated what I had told the nurse earlier that I was feeling fine and I still could not see. There was a sudden moment of deafening silence in the lift! As I walked out from the lift, I thanked the lady officer and said “Bye-Bye” to her. There will be no more follow up visits unless………………………………………
More challenging times ahead!