Yesterday I had an appointment with my eye specialist, Dr. Baumann, at the North Central Methodist Hospital [it is there that Dr. Baumann does the procedures he can’t do at his office] to remove a secondary cataract in my left eye. My regular ophthalmologist, Dr. Kotara-Wiatrek, had found, during my regular check-up in September last year, that my eye sight on my left eye had deteriorated by 50% in one year, and she wanted to know the reason., and thus she had sent me to Dr. Baumann, who diagnosed it as a secondary cataract. That’s neither serious nor unusual. In my case it’s just some scarring [it can also be leftovers from the original/natural lens that is destroyed in cataract surgery] that occurred after my first cataract surgery in Germany in 2008. That scarring can easily be removed by laser – absolutely no problem. It had taken quite some time before they could fit me in for an appointment at the hospital [4 months] and I got that appointment only because they had a suddenly occurring opening, but yesterday they could fit me in. I was there at 12:15, and the first item on the agenda was payment, of course. As usual here in the US, it was done by credit card. $1,250 wasn’t actually cheap, as – I assume/fear – it’s the hospital’s costs only. And it was not really much/costly what they did. I mean, I was there for about 2 hours, which included quite a bit of waiting – more time waiting, in fact, as Dr. Baumann joked, than the actual treatment took. And it didn’t take much of an apparatus either. And now I’m really curious if my German health insurance [70% is refunded by the State of Northrhine Westphalia – that’s called “Beihilfe” – and the other 30% through my private health insurance] will cough up all the costs.
A short time later I was called up [by number instead of by name, for privacy reasons, they said, as they didn’t want to shout a name across the waiting-room]. It was nothing much they needed to do: some more medical history [the bulk of that – much more than what would have been asked in Germany – they had already taken donw by phone the day before], taking my heart rate and my pulse, and putting some drops [anti-septic and to enlarge the pupil] into my eye. And then it was waiting again until Dr. Baumann came and led me to his room for treatment – which was amazingly short [not much more than 5 minutes, I think] and absolutely pain-free. After that I had only very minor impairment on that eye, and that lasted for maybe 4 – 5 hours only. What has remained, though – and I hope that this will go soon – is some kind of a small dark/black spot [much like me seeing – out of the corner of my eye – a fly buzzing around ] that sometimes seems to swim across my field of vision. Well, on Monday I have an appointment with Dr. Baumann for a post-operative check-up and then we’ll see – literally.
Something else that needs to be done sometime soon with my left eye is the removal of a think film that sits on (parts of) my retina and that distorts the picture that is deliverd by that eye. I had surgery to do this back in Germany in 2007, but, as Dr. Baumann discovered, they didn’t manage to get all of this fim removed, and he’d like to go in again and try to finish the job. And that’s what I want to be done, too, even if there’s no guarantee that the retina will then get back to normal without any “creases” in it so that I will get my undistorted eye sight back. But I think it’ll be at least worth a try. I hope I’ll get an appointment for that quite soon.
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