Parkinson's Disease, and Cataracts
A personal account:-
My appointment this morning (Friday 9 April) with my ophthalmologist was labeled ‘routine’. The outcome was far from routine:
The doctor’s examination confirmed that the cataracts, mild six months ago, now required surgical attention in both eyes. She recommended that I should be operated on as soon as possible while my Parkinson's tremors are still relatively ‘mild’.
There is no medical link between cataracts and PD as neuroparalysis gradually destroys the body’s ability to control its muscular network.
So, how soon was ‘as soon as possible’? And why the urgency?
I found the doctors answer interesting in that it she had no causal comment about my health file, or reference to, environmental extremes from my employment history where the beginnings of Parkinson’s disease might possibly have originated.
Instead, the medical criteria were predicated upon the possible (probable?) decrease in muscle control (and the increase in tremors to all muscle groups).
One of the eye tests was that of looking at a familiar wall chart through a hand held device that allowed the aperture to be altered in size.
Without my glasses my vision blurred, and yet I experienced the unfamiliar sensation as I looked through the smallest aperture that I saw the the letters “moving” to the point that I could not clearly, or accurately, identify them.
My first impression was that my eye was flickering as it does when a grain of dust embeds itself in the eye, but there was no pain, just the sensation of movement and yet I was aware of a lack of control from behind the eyes.
This experience was explained to me as the Parkinson’s effect on the tiny eye muscles not responding to ‘commands’ of the trembling muscles.
The eye test was evidence of the need to operate on my cataracts, I was told, before my muscles deteriorated further.
Should that happen and my neck muscles trembled then my head would have to be taped to a ‘solid object’ to hold it motionless before the operation could begin.
I am due to have my first operation on my right eye in May and my left eye operated on six weeks later.
How do I feel about my day today? I feel that it went very well in that my clarity of vision will be greatly enhanced as a result of the cataract operations.
My writing might benefit because reading will be less tiring, as will, I hope, my writing output, which is a life-line between me and the world beyond the computer.
Parkinson’s is an energy sapping disease. I can’t do anything about that reality other than to accept it and to learn from the experience, and perhaps along the the path to help others.