BBS Members & Friends,
Today’s story is from a BBS member that is great friend of mine…I think we are all feeling this sentiment these days.
Life goes on around us….I have friends fighting cancer for their lives, friends who can’t see their sick loved ones in nursing homes, friends struggling to make ends meet due to the loss of a job…….it’s pretty easy to circle the drain with all of these feelings of helplessness.
But, then again…
I have been able to spend more time with my parents than I have in several years due to my crazy work schedule (on their driveway at the appropriate physical distance). I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time getting to know many of you on long walks on our local greenways…and the weather has been AMAZING this spring.
I have been blown away by seeing people care for others…by learning how other local businesses have cared for their staff…and by witnessing the way some have modified their businesses to keep serving those that need them (while still protecting themselves and those they serve).
As crappy as all of his has been, it has given me perspective…this time has mattered.
Yours in Health,
You Only Get One Life
By Kim Moloney
My best friend texted me one day in July 2013, asking simply, “What are you doing?” I remember responding that I was cleaning toilets, not knowing my everyday household concerns and routine – and my entire outlook on life – were about to change forever.
In the next whirlwind of eight days, I lost my friend to cancer. She was a divorced single mom of two daughters, one getting ready to go into high school and one just finished her junior year in high school. She had been having health issues and going to doctors but getting no answers. Another friend of hers insisted on taking her to the hospital. Four of us – some of us knew each other but some we did not know before forming this group, calling ourselves “The Core 4” – took turns by her bedside day and night, not knowing she was about to die. When she was suddenly gone and I lost by my best friend, I decided to get on my soap box and tell moms that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.
Fast forward to the coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday, April 19, I went for a walk as I have been doing more often when I noticed “floaters” in my eyes – little dots I would see when looking into bright blue sky. I did a little research on WebMD and decided I would call my eye doctor the next morning and try to get an appointment. Fortunately, when I called the office and got a recording giving a phone number in case of emergencies, I called the number, not realizing it was the doctor’s cell phone. After saying, almost apologetically, that I wasn’t sure this was an emergency, the doctor said she wanted to examine my eyes because seeing floaters for the first time could be a warning that my retina is detaching.
Within two hours, I was in her office. Between time of talking to doctor and getting there, I noticed a small grey snake-like thing in my vision. I really thought nothing of it. As I walked into the doctor’s office in Mooresville – wearing my face mask, with my husband who drove me waiting in the car, as part of coronavirus precautions – I jokingly said I am glad I came in because things have changed with the snake-like thing, though I’m still not that worried. After the doctor put dilating drops in my eyes, I noticed the snake-like thing moving when I moved my eye from right to left. After telling the doctor this, she looked into my eyes with three different types of instruments. I’m usually the worst at describing anything about myself, but the doctor complimented me about describing my symptoms so accurately and quickly. She said the grey snake thing you see is blood. She said she could not see a tear in the retina but called a retina specialist and wanted me to see him immediately because the blood signaled a higher chance that my retina would detach. Her diagnosis: something called Posterior Vitreous Detachment, or PVD for short.
The retina specialist was in his office for emergencies and about to leave for the day, but said he would wait for me. My husband immediately drove me to the office in Huntersville. The retina specialist did another eye exam and again numbed my eye with drops of medicine. Then he uses another instrument, actually putting it in my eye, and asked me to look in all different directions as he moved my eye around with the instrument. That was the weirdest feeling ever in my life. The retina specialist thinks that the vitreous gel that detached was next to a blood vessel and that is why the odd snake-like floater – the blood – is there. The next step is to go back in four weeks. I am to call if I notice any of the following: new floaters, flashes of light, a change in vision.
The moral of the story is this: You have to be your own advocate for your health. If you do not like the answers of one doctor, continue onward with a second or third opinion. I know I was lucky because my doctors were so responsive, during a pandemic! But I also know you have to take care of yourself, because otherwise you will not be here to help your loved ones. Always listen to your body and write down notes before you forget!