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First cataract surgery done--medi-fest week continues


LexieCat

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Lexie,

So sorry to hear about the MRI discomfort.  I know how painful a tough position to be in can be.  Regarding the eye; Carol (wife) has AMD treatments every three months (new med) and used to have them monthly and they always include the injection and she never feels anything.  They numb the eye with drops, inject some lidocaine into the eye and then inject the medicine.  We've been going for these treatments for over 3 years and I can only remember one time when an injection made her "uncomfortable" and that was because they hadn't put enough eye drops in.

Lou

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Well, that's good to hear! Latest is that the retinal doc will be calling me to schedule the appointment. But knowing she didn't have pain is reassuring.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Went to see the retinal doc today (no lie--she looked like a high school kid). She did a pretty thorough exam and said it looked like the new lens was in the right position and that everything had healed well. She also said that, however it seems, my vision in my left eye had improved since I saw the surgeon for followup. She DID say, though, that there were signs of "Posterior Capsular Opacification" (PCO), which apparently involves the re-growth of tissue behind the new lens. She said it's probably necessary to wait another 3 months or so, but then it can be zapped with a laser--she said it's outpatient and takes about 5 minutes.

She also wants me to start seeing her every 6 months or so to monitor my retina, which does have some early signs of macular degeneration, so we can try to stay ahead of it. 

So that's where we're at. I REALLY need new glasses, but my prescription is so expensive, she agreed it might be best to wait to see what happens with the PCO.  If it bothers me too much I guess I could just get some inexpensive computer/reading glasses to tide me over.

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@LexieCat, I guess this is good news/bad news. Hopefully they get your eyes to where they should be.

For macular degeneration, I wonder if your doctor will recommend a supplement. I know my 90 YO aunt takes one for this condition. 

My progressive prescription glasses used to be super expensive until I started using the Costco optometry department. Believe it or not, theirs is the first lab where I didn't have to send back the lenses to be redone. I'm very happy with Costco. 

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I already take a supplement (zeaxantin/lutein) recommended by my optometrist for this very reason. The doc today mentioned that if I buy the AREDs supplement to be sure I get the one for smokers because the regular ones can contribute to lung cancer in smokers. I'd read that--beta carotene is apparently a no-no for those with a risk of lung cancer. 

I've gotten a bit spoiled with LensCrafters glasses--you can exchange for any reason if you just don't care for the frames. But you're right--if I need something to tide me over, going somewhere cheaper isn't a bad idea. 

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Lexie,

I also had to have the laser to zap away the secondary cell growth on the back of the lens.  It worked pretty well although I saw UFO's (unidentified floating objects) for a while afterwards, but that faded away over time.  It sounds like you're doing well and the laser treatment is not that uncommon.

Lou

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Yeah, I thought that might have been what you had. The doc today recommended waiting another 3 months to see how much it progresses before zapping. I called my referring ophthalmologist and the clerical person said they'd already gotten the report from today's visit. I asked her to give me a call to set up another appointment after the doc has a chance to review the report.

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Incidentally, I just noticed today that at some point, when I wasn't paying attention, I was graduated to *ahem* "Senior Member." That would explain all the senior moments I've been having.

Maybe I should've kept coloring my hair...

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Well, I saw the hip guy today. I'm sure he's a good surgeon but he was a little on the brusque side. The resident who spent the most time with me was pretty nice, though. Of course, just like the car that stops making the funny noise when you take it to the mechanic, my pain this past week has been minimal (don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for that, but I don't trust it to last).

The doc basically said about all he could do for an arthritic hip is to operate, but he didn't think I was to the point yet where that was appropriate. (Agreed.) Apart from that, his recommendation was physical therapy. (Agreed.) He actually recommended aqua therapy, but even though they normally do it at this location, it's shut down due to the pandemic. The only location offering it is a good hour away in PA. I suspect that's true of most places right now--not that practical to have patients wearing masks in a pool. So I made an appointment for "land" PT in a couple of weeks. I'd like to build up strength so I can start walking again without worrying--or hurting. 

I'll be very interested to see if there is a recurrence the next time I get Zometa. I still can't get that potential connection out of my mind. 

In other peripherally related news, my short-term disability benefit has run out and my application for LTD (employer-paid policy) is pending. The guy who's my contact there called today claiming I hadn't worked the requisite number of hours before I went out on disability to be eligible. I didn't know WTF he was talking about--he got stuff from our (outsourced) HR company. So we went round and round with him insisting the records didn't show what I was claiming. As soon as we hung up I called our HR person to try to figure out what the deal was, but had to leave a VM. No sooner did I hang up from that than the guy from the LTD insurance company called to say "Never mind." He found the missing info in separate documents tucked behind the ones he was looking at.

So bottom line is I should have that approval (he said he didn't see problem with the medical info) shortly. 

Nothing is EVER simple.

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Lexie,

So the treatment they recommend is over an hour away?  Geez, we've got to get more open locally.  Perhaps they could put "fully vaccinated" patients together in treatment scheduling.  After all these vaccinations have to count for something otherwise you'll never get the majority of folks to take them.  I'll look Zometa up, but is there any data that it can affect you in that way (pain and joint deterioration).

Lou

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Oh, yeah, there are several articles and it's in the drug info as a potential side effect. Not actual arthritis, but bone pain, joint pain, and/or muscle pain. The thing is, I also have arthritis, so it's kind of a chicken/egg thing. It's possible that the Zometa aggravates the inflammation or something, I suppose. I never did find a cause for that lower back (muscle) pain shortly after the first infusion of Z. None of the docs seem to think it has any connection but I still have my suspicions--so far we're two for two.

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Oh, and I meant that the only Penn Medicine location offering the aqua therapy is in PA. There may be other places in South Jersey/Phila, but I didn't feel like randomly calling places that may or may not be good. Eventually they will start doing it here again. Right now I don't think I NEED the buoyancy of the water--I think the regular therapy should be tolerable.

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This thread seems to be the right place for an osteopenia update. I recently had a Dexa bone density scan, and while my January PET scan called out some degeneration changes in my hips, my osteopenia has only slightly changed from 2 years ago. No medication/infusions are needed yet. 

My primary doctor showed me the calculation of where my bone density could be in 5 years, and she wants to slow that down with vitamin D, calcium and weight-bearing exercise. Think about that: she's treating me for the FUTURE. She is the one who delivered my initial lung cancer diagnosis in 2019 and said it wasn't a death sentence anymore. I guess I'll invest in some wrist and ankle weights! 

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Yeah, I had the osteopenia diagnosis for a while before I graduated to osteoporosis. Mine isn't terribly severe (yet--hopefully it stays that way) but I was taking Boniva (ibandorate) before the oncologist put me on Zometa. My clavicle is the only broken bone I've had in the past 30-plus years. My SIL apparently has VERY severe osteoporosis (same age as me). 

Sounds like we both have good primary care docs--mine was the one who told me about lung cancer screening (which I'd never heard of).

Incidentally, I think weight-bearing exercise doesn't require the use of weights--walking is considered weight-bearing exercise. It just means exercise where your legs/hips are bearing your weight.

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@LexieCat, I sympathize with how severe osteoporosis can be.

I do walk almost an hour every day. But my PCP did suggest the weights, particularly for upper body exercises she wants me to do. Can't hurt, right? 

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