Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Spots Before His Eyes

Today was supposed to be a nice quiet Sunday. We started off at our local Starbucks to pick up our lattes before heading off to the golf course for our monthly golf lessons. As we left the store, Hubby mentioned that he was suddenly looking through a sea of black spots in his right eye. Black spots are not unknown to him since he suffered a vitreous detachment a few years ago but he seemed to be more than a little concerned at the number of floaters he was seeing.

We made it to the golf course but I could tell he was really worried so I took it upon myself to cancel the lessons and drive him to our HMO. We arrived at Urgent Care and then proceeded to wait and wait until he was finally called in more than an hour after arriving. And then I had the “pleasure” of waiting for more than an hour in the waiting room until I finally decided to ask to be let in to the “inner sanctum.” I found my husband in an exam room waiting for the ophthalmologist to arrive. Apparently the Urgent Care doctor called in a specialist to have a look although he was pretty sure the floaters were just that. During the initial exam, however, the doctor did discover a “murmur” while checking Hubby’s carotid artery and decided that Hubby should undergo a vascular ultrasound to determine whether there was a blockage in the artery…oh swell…something else for us to worry about.

When the eye doctor finally arrived, we all traipsed up to the Ophthalmology Department to do the actual exam with all the fancy specialized equipment. The Urgent Care doctor (who is actually one of the Geriatrics doctors that my mom has seen) came along because he decided it would be a good time to learn the specifics of an eye exam (he is such a character). The good news is that my hubby is just suffering more of the vitreous detachment and there is no sign of any retinal involvement…whew!

Urgent Care Doc, Hubby and I then went back downstairs so that the doctor could see if he could arrange to have the vascular ultrasound done while we were there. I had to laugh at his optimism…did he really think there was someone there on a Sunday to do such a specialized procedure? Anyway, as expected, we were told that we would be hearing from someone within the next 3 days to schedule the procedure.

So after our four hour "adventure" in Urgent Care, Hubby is home fretting about his carotid artery and I’m exhausted. Am I worried...only a little. If I remember my physiology correctly, a blockage of the carotid artery is often the result of hypertension, high cholesterol and the buildup of “sludge” inside the walls of the artery. Hubby’s blood pressure has always been in the normal range and his cholesterol level is naturally low. His regular physician has always marveled at how healthy he is. In fact, the doctor keeps telling him that he’ll live to be 120 years old. I’ll just be glad when he has his test and gets the results so he can stop driving himself crazy with worry.


Susie said...

Larry King just had the procedure done to clear out his cartoid artery. He was back on his show very quickly. My Mom had that test done, and it was a pretty quick in and out..not painful at all.
Good luck to your hubby..

Midlife Mom said...

What a day! Isn't it exhausting waiting around to be seen by the doctor? I get more tired from that then if I'd done a full days work. You were wise though to get him right in, you just can't be too careful when it comes to ones eyes. I hope he gets the appointment quickly for the carotid artery, it's hard waiting and wondering but sure sounds like he is in super health so there shouldn't be a problem. I envy his low cholesterol as I have high as do both my parents, have to take Vytorin to keep it in check. My husbands is naturally very low and we eat the same things so that tells you something about genetics!

Patti said...

You had quite a Sunday. The waiting and waiting to see a physician can be emotionally draining.
It's a good thing you went right away to get hubby checked out. Hope all is well with him.
All the best to you two.

Rhea said...

Glad Hubby is OK. But now I have something else to work about: black spots in my vision. Jeez.

Joan said...

Susie: My mom too had the procedure after having a TIA. Thank goodness the results were negative!

Midlife mom: I also have genetically induced high cholesterol thanks to my parents and I take a pill to control it. I guess I'm the one who should be worrying about "sludge"...not Hubby.

Patti: Thanks for the well wishes. Yes...sometimes it's the waiting that's worse than the diagnosis.

Rhea: spots before your eyes...just another sign of the "glories" of aging.

patches said...

Sorry, that you and Hubby had to spend so much time waiting for results, but better safe than sorry. Tell me, is a bad day golfing better than a good day in the waiting room?

Renee said...

Glad that you got seen and it turned out okay...hope the heart test turns out well too. Nuthing like spending the day at the doctor's office.

I did something dumb today, I switched DD's doctor to mine thinking I could get her physical I have to wait until it kicks in in May!

Joan said...

Patches: According to Hubby ANY day golfing (good OR bad) is better than just about anything in this world.

Renee: I've never understood this whole "waiting period" when it comes to health care. It seems to me they should want to have the patient seen as quickly as possible to avoid any problems...present or future.

Pam said...

I hope all turns out well for your hubby. I am the worrier in our family and just went through the whole worrying and waiting process on some tests my husband had. I think the waiting is the worst. At least with information you can act. It sounds like your husband at least has plenty of good health on his side!

sari said...

Good luck, I hope it goes well!!

Joan said...

Pam: I guess every family is allowed only one fretter..imagine an entire family of worriers! I hope your husband's test results were what you hoped to hear.

Sari: Thanks for the well wishes. We have our fingers (and toes) crossed.