About a month or so ago I went to see my GP Agustín because I had suddenly developed floaters in my right eye, accompanied by flashing lights in the right hand corner (only noticable when it was dark). So he put in a request for an appointment with the ophthamologist and said they would get in touch. Then I started getting those flashing zig-zaggy prisms right across my eye, though they didn’t last long. But the point was that things weren’t getting any better and I still hadn’t heard from the specialist about my appointment.
The reason I wasn’t super worried about it was because this very same thing happened to me almost exactly 9 years ago. And I got it checked out and it was nothing, and eventually went away. But after having mentioned this here, and also to a couple other friends via email/whatsapp I was suddenly being pressured (in the kindest way possible) to GET IT CHECKED OUT. Because the threat of retina damage and vision loss is actually quite a real one. So I checked again with my GP this morning, and he agreed I should go to Emergency, so I hopped into a taxi and found myself once again at my least favourite place in Sevilla.
Gotta say that I have been to both Emergency and Traumatology at Hospital Virgen de Rocío more times than I can even remember. Aside from cancer stuff and eye stuff, there has been the sprained ankle stuff, tachycardia scares, recent tendon issues and that time I ended up with another emergency op (thankfully not cancer related). So I know my way around the place. But I have to say I have never seen it as busy as it was today.
It took over an hour just to get into triage. But once classified as “Opthamology” things started to look up, as our waiting room wasn’t so packed and things seemed to be moving along quite well. Then I got in and after a consultation they put some dilating drops into my eyes and told me to go and wait for an hour until the drug kicked in. And then I remembered this same thing happened 9 years ago, and that I had popped out for a beer instead of sitting around the waiting room. This time I didn’t even have to suggest it. When I said… “what, a whole hour?”… the doctor looked at his watch and said, “Well, why don’t you go out for lunch and come back at 3.30?”. PERFECT.
Totally by chance, while in the taxi on the way to the hospital, and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw a photo of a place that looked so “old school” that I stopped to read more. And it turned out that it was a five-minute walk from the hospital! I mean, what are the odds? So that’s where Peter and I went to kill time while we waited for my eyeball to get sufficientlly stoned (see right pupil above). And it turned an otherwise drudge of a day at the hospital into some fun “Tapas Research” and it was actually lovely meeting the owner of this bar. Food was great too.
Ran a bit overtime at the bar, so as we were just coming back to the waiting room I heard them calling my name. Then came THE TEST. Not quite the Clockwork Orange experience, but really kind of weird and uncomfortable. A plastic cone was slathered in goop and inserted into my eyeball, and then they twisted it around while shining a light all around. I was actually glad that when the (clearly) newby doctor was finished, the more established doc said he wanted to have a look too. And so… no retina damage. That’s the big deal. And they have given me a new “follow up” appointment request with my clinic opthomologist, which they say will happen much quicker than the previous one. So there. What a day.