Injustice at the retinologist's office

I’m rarely a whiner about my diabetes. I’m not a “poor me” sort of person. But something about the bi-annual retinologist visit makes me bitter.

Today I was having my insurance updated by the receptionist and happened to glance down at the daily patient list. The paper detailed each patient’s name, insurance provider, and age. I noticed the Insurance column was filled with “Medicare”, “Medicare”, “Medicare”. I looked at the age list. As if it was not apparent by the people in the waiting room, I was the youngest person scheduled for the day (age 39). The next youngest person was 67, and there was a host of others in their 80’s–the eldest was 88.

I guess when you’re 88, you expect to have health issues. But it’s just NOT FAIR (stamping foot) that at age 39 I have to deal with the same issues as the elderly folks in their wheelchairs.

And the elderly patients don’t seem to get upset over the eye exam. I see them getting helped into the room to get their angiograms and they are completely relaxed and usually smiling. When I had an angiogram I was sniffling and almost passed out from nerves and the fear of getting bad news. When you’ve already lived a full life and have great-grandchildren, I suppose you have a different perspective on eye problems and complications. They can accept that their bodies and health are not perfect and have no fear of receiving bad news.

I hope I get the chance to be alive at 88 and experience that perspective for myself.

Oh yeah - been there, done it. My doc treats a lot of age-related macular degeneration so I’m usually one of the younger ones too. I am a single woman and rarely share my db fears with family or friends. I would never consider asking anyone to come with me to an appointment. Once I was in the waiting room chatting with an elderly lady and she said “it’s so hard going through this alone - at least if my husband were still alive, he’d be here with me.” How heartbreaking.