I was so relieved to learn I most definitely did not have diabetes, and couldn’t wait to share the good news with the “optometrist” so we could explore other possibilities for why my vision was giving me such a hard time. He had a 4:10 appointment available, so I took it.
I gave him the scientific proof, those “beautiful numbers” as my friend Amy put it, and waited for his sigh of relief that I was not diabetic.
Instead, I got this:
“Hmmm. Well. Actually, a hemoglobin A1C is not an accurate screening for diabetes. You needed a fasting blood glucose test.”
I was shocked. I was momentarily speechless. And then I was mad. (I’m even more mad after reading the freaking Mayo Clinic’s definition of an A1C test.)
“My non-fasting blood glucose in December was 88, and my fasting blood glucose in January was 82. My doctor and my internist said those numbers were perfectly normal.”
The “optometrist” was unconvinced.
“I can appreciate that you might be afraid, but there is no other explanation for the sudden change in vision. You have diabetes.”
“My doctor and my internist insist I don’t have diabetes,” I countered.
But the “optometrist” was like a dog with a bone. Maybe he really wanted to be a doctor, but couldn’t hack the coursework so he settled for optometry where he could randomly diagnose people with diabetes, work them into a frenzy, then make them feel like garbage when the tests came back negative. Maybe he just likes to exercise power however he can. I don’t know why he was so convinced I had diabetes.
A few minutes passed–I said nothing, he said nothing–and finally he said, “there is one more thing I can try.” He put a dye on my lower eyelid and looked at my cornea with a special light.
“Well, there does appear to be some minor irritation and inflammation on your corneas. We usually don’t catch it in early stages.”
It’s called Keratitis, folks, most likely brought on by the more expensive contacts he put me in back in January. And if he had listened to me on Saturday, he would have heard me say, “I didn’t wear my contacts yesterday because my eyes were red and irritated.”
His tone did not reflect that he thought it was a good thing he caught the Keratitis. He prescribed a course of action, suggested that after a couple of weeks of treatment, my eyes would probably normalize, and made me set up a follow up appointment.
Here’s my course of action: cancel the follow up appointment, and write a letter (have it notorized just to be snotty) requesting my records be sent to my new optometrist.
A real one this time.