I took plenty of pictures this week, but none of them seemed fitting for this weekly project. Then today, as I was about to head out to my second doctor's appointment this week I grabbed the camera determined that I would take at least one picture there that represented what the appointment was about. I was a little bummed that I didn't take my camera to my earlier appointment since it was with the eye doctor and it would have been cool to get a picture of one of those eye contraptions. However, that appointment was a whirlwind of tests and at one point I had 4 medical professionals in the room with me. No way would I have worked up the guts to ask someone if I could take a picture.
So today's appointment was a follow up, in a way, to Monday's appointment. I've been dealing with dry eyes for some time and in the last couple years it's gotten a little out of control. So recently I checked in with my eye doctor and he suggested I see a dry eye professional. I was very excited for this next step - feeling like I might have some more options. That was the appointment I had on Monday.
The doctor was great because he didn't just ask about my eyes - he got the low down on my other health issues and suggested I get tested for Sjogren's Syndrome. I've always thought that there was a relationship between some of these issues so I like when doctors try to look at the whole picture. I was tested about 10 years ago for Sjogren's and came up negative, but I've heard that the test wasn't always accurate back in the day and has advanced since then. Plus, my symptoms have changed (gotten worse). Basically, Sjogren's is an auto-immune disease and its significant symptoms are dry mouth and dry eyes. Check and check.
I won't know the results for another week or two and it won't actually change the way we treat my dry eyes, but it might give me some answers. Oh, and the eye doctor did give me some new treatment options so I am hopeful that they will provide me with some relief.
At any rate, when I showed up at the eye clinic today I snapped off the following picture in case I was too chicken to ask the doctor to let me take a picture in the office.
Riveting, I know.
While in the waiting room I snapped off some more pictures, but they were crooked and blurry because I was trying to be sneaky. But then I met with the Physician's Assistant and she was so informative and pleasant and it made it so easy to ask "do you mind if I take a picture of that?" The test involved a finger prick where she needed to collect quite a few drops of blood to evaluate. So that is what I took a picture of.
Sorry if you are squeamish about blood. I probably should have given you more warning. My husband gets a little faint just talking about blood so he found the picture a little disturbing, but I think it's interesting. It just blood, right?
So now I wait for the results. Part of me doesn't want it because it's an auto-immune disease (who wants that?), but I have so many of the symptoms (besides the dry eye and dry mouth there are about 5 other things I could check off) that it would sort of be a relief to have an answer and start working with a rheumatologist.
At least I can check this off my list - asking someone if I can take a picture in my doctor's office. I have a long way to go in the bravery department when it comes to this, but it still feels like a big step to me.