Recently I was diagnosed with “Open early glaucoma (suspected.)” Apparently it is common among “seasoned” individuals. I saw my ophthalmologist on Monday and my eye pressure had gone down from the last time I had it checked. My doctor was happy and I was thrilled! We discussed my upcoming service in the Peace Corps and she said she’d like me to have my eye pressure checked twice per year and get annual visual field testing. I told her I thought the Peace Corps could accommodate this. I was wrong. On Friday I received a letter from the Peace Corps Office of Medical Services which stated they could not provide those recommendations due to the limited resources available in the countries the Peace Corp serves. However, they made a counteroffer: If I eliminate the annual visual field testing and one eye pressure check they can accept me into service. Next week I’ll contact my doctor and discuss this with her. If she approves of the revised care plan, so will I.
As you can imagine, this has brought up thoughts about aging and mortality for me. I truly am a very healthy woman. No heart disease, no diabetes, no arthritis, no pulmonary issues, no blood disorders. I do cardio workouts 4 times per week; I do yoga; I meditate; I’m a non-smoker and I laugh. A lot. But now I have a permanent eye disorder. Ugh.
The blessing for me here is that I wasn’t having eye problems when I went to see the eye doctor. I realized I hadn’t had my eyes tested in years (many) and decided I should. I am very glad I did this because I am at the extreme front end of this eye disorder. Chances are it will be years before I have to go on medication for it. I will monitor and manage it.
Was I disappointed with the Peace Corps’ decision? A little. Did I understand it? I did. Can I do anything about it? Not until next week so for now I’m going to enjoy my morning coffee and thank God for this beautiful day.