My last visit to the ophthalmology clinic

That's a scan of my eyes on the computer screen.
That’s a scan of my eyes on the computer screen.

This morning my father-in-law kindly drove me to Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy for what turned out to be my last ophthalmology clinic appointment.

I started going there last August after an episode of suspected vital meningitis took a side-swipe at my eyesight. Nine months later and my eyesight has recovered remarkably well, with only a little ‘wobble’ in my right eye to show for it.

I went through the usual eye clinic rigmarole: which letters can you see on the eye chart? what’s the smallest writing you can read in this book? eye pressure test (where they flick a tiny piece of paper onto your eyeball); eye drops to dilate my pupils; then scan and photographs of my eyes, before I returned to the waiting room to… well, wait.

Having found the waiting room a rather tiresome experience the last few visits this time I brought a book. Completely forgetting that by the time I get back to the waiting room everything is about three times brighter than normal and completely blurred. Still, I persevered, removing my glasses and holding my book (The Orthodox Way by Bishop Kalistos Ware) about 10 cm from my face and got through about 10 pages before I was called by the eye doctor.

One of them: an ophthalmologist's machine thing.
One of them: an ophthalmologist’s machine thing.

He was a doctor I’d never met before. He looked middle-eastern, spoke quietly and calmly and examined my eyes using that thing above.

There was nothing obvious from either the earlier scan or his examination, and not much change at all since my previous visit six months ago. So the doctor disappeared to another room for a few minutes to double-check with the consultant that it was okay to discharge me.

Before I left the nice doctor told me that they still had no real idea why this had all happened, but he did assure me that one of two things might happen: my eyesight may simply continue to improve. Or it might not.

I’m hoping that it will. Or do I?

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 47 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

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