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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Loss Of Vision In One Eye – Followup

Since I wrote my previous post last month detailing the story about how I lost (and then regained) the vision in one eye I’ve received a number of hits to this blog from Google from individuals searching for terms related to loss of sight in one eye, obscured/blocked vision, only being able to see out of part of your eye, gray cloudiness in the eye, and many specific variations thereupon.

Because of the number of hits, and my own personal experience in which I scoured the internet for information about what was happening to me looking for reassurance or hope, I feel it’s my responsibility to follow up on my original post with the following advice.

Please, please go to a doctor immediately if your vision is blocked or obscured in any way, even if you just noticed and aren’t sure if it’s serious or not. Anything that’s blocking vision in part of your eye can be serious, and it needs to be checked out right away. Even if it’s just in one eye, and even if you haven’t completely lost sight in that eye yet. Go to an ER as soon as possible. Don’t wait. The sooner it is caught and correctly diagnosed the better the chances are that something can be done about it.

I was lucky in that my symptoms turned out to be optic neuritis, and that after it was treated I was able to fully recover my vision. This is not always the case.

I should also note that when I did my research I discovered that there are several other conditions that can cause you to lose sight in one eye, and many of these are not treatable or reversible unless they are caught right away. Some cannot be repaired at all.

If you are having problems seeing out one eye, there’s no way to tell which one of these could be the cause of the matter without going to the doctor, and depending on which one you have, time is often essential.

The longer you wait the greater the chances of permanent damage to your sight are. If you end up having one of these other causes for your vision loss and you do not seek help/treatment right away it might not be reversible.

So please, I urge you, if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • sudden pain with eye movement
  • sharp pain when you look in a certain direction (in one or both eyes)
  • gray cloudiness partially (or completely) blocking your vision
  • unusual blurred vision in one eye
  • part of your field of vision is missing (either the top, bottom, or side)
  • can’t see out one eye at all

and you’ve come to this site looking for information on what that might be, trying to determine whether it’s serious or not, or if you should be worried, please do take it seriously and go the doctor right away. Go now. Stop reading and just go, it’s important.

If you’re experiencing symptoms and haven’t stopped reading yet to go get help, let me offer one last plea. I do understand how important hope is. I was there myself, and desperate to find anything to put my mind at ease so I thought there might be a chance that it wasn’t permanent, and that everything could be fixed and would be okay. And there is hope, there is a chance, but it depends entirely on finding out what the specific cause of your vision loss is, and treating it right away if there is something that can be done about it.

The sooner you get help after you notice there’s a problem, the better. So please, don’t read my story hoping it’s not a big deal and you don’t have to do anything about it, go and get it checked out.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Health & Well Being

 

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Second-Class Dental Care

Over the past several months my daughter has been complaining of tooth pain. We suspected she most likely had a few cavities bothering her, and seeing as MediCAL (California’s state version of Medicaid) covers dental work for children (though not for adults) we tried to find a dentist that accepted it and would treat her.

Finding the information was not easy. My social worker told me I needed to contact the MediCAL offices to ask for a list of approved doctors, and to determine what was covered and what wasn’t. The MediCAL representatives stated I should ask my worker for a list of local dentists. They also said that my daughter’s file wasn’t listed as being approved for dental work, despite the fact that she’s under 18 and should be covered, so I would have to wait for them to fix that and call me back. Once I got the go ahead that she could be seen and her work would be covered, I was given information about one dental office in my area that accepts DentiCAL. Apparently there’s only one in my area. If there are others, no one seems to know which ones they might be.

I called at the beginning of February to make an appointment, and was given a date nearly two months away, for Tuesday, March 27th, as the soonest possible available appointment. The day of her scheduled visit we arrived to the dental office to find out her appointment (as well as all dental appointments) for that day had been cancelled because the dentist had called in as unavailable that day. We were asked to reschedule the visit we had waited over six weeks for just to be seen.

Could we come in June 7th?

Wait… What?

We’d already waited this long, and now we had to start our wait all over again though it was through no fault of our own that the cancellation had occurred? Surely there was something sooner, if not April, at least May… But June? That’s a longer wait time than we had the first time.

What about May 22nd?

I couldn’t believe this was the absolute earliest available appointment date when they were the ones requesting us to reschedule. Didn’t they understand she was in pain?

Apparently I said the magic words. If she was in pain they might be able to schedule her in a separate time slot they have set aside for emergency services. By luck, a space popped up the following day. She happened to have a doctor’s appointment for a physical already scheduled for that day as well, but I knew I could reschedule the doctor visit without having to wait months, and the tooth pain was the more urgent issue, that was just a checkup, so I booked the available spot and we returned the following day.

After her dental exam to determine the source of the problem (cavities, just like we thought) the dentist scheduled her for a series of follow up appointments, four in total, which included a cleaning and all the fillings and sealants that were needed to complete the work on her teeth. The first appointment – the basic cleaning – was scheduled, April 9th, twelve days later. The final three appointments are spaced out throughout May, with the first appointment that actually does any sort of corrective procedure on May 11th.

So, from the beginning of February, when I first called the dentist explaining my daughter had pain in her teeth, and made her dental appointment, no work to actually ease that pain (i.e. a filling or similar) will occur until her visit on May 11th, over three months later, and will not be finished until another half of a month after that. This is all routine, basic dental work that would be completed within a week or two anywhere else, but it takes nearly four months to be done for us, because as MediCAL patients we are limited to a single overcrowded clinic at which we may seek care.

It does not matter to them if my daughter must be in pain for four months, she’s a second class citizen when it comes to her dental health, even though we technically do have coverage.

Myself on the other hand, well, that’s an entirely different story, which I will detail in a separate post.

How do you feel? Should patients– even children – just accept their lack of options and ridiculous waiting times to be seen and treated because they receive public assistance? Should doctors and dentists be able to treat and serve patients on Medicaid differently than those with private insurance or cash patients? Leave your thoughts in the comments section and let me know.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 15, 2012 in Family, Health & Well Being, Welfare

 

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