OK, I guess it is time to provide some sort of an update on happenings around us.
Don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I have been having problems with my left eye since shortly after we moved to Costa Rica. First, and this has been ongoing, I experienced a sensation of having something in my eye, like an eyelash. Nothing helped to alleviate this, and I tried everything I could think of – eye wash with a Boric acid solution, eye drops, and went to see an ophthalmologist in Liberia, who was recommended as the best in the entire province of Guanacaste.
He was not cheap, he did do a pretty thorough exam, but he said he could not find anything other than maybe the tear duct was clogged and inflamed. He said he cleared it, and he gave me eye drops, mostly steroids. I returned to see him, and all he offered was that maybe I had some sort of allergy, and he thought I should see an allergist, in San Jose.
I asked the doctor at our local clinic (the Caja) for a referral, and he gave me one. I ended up seeing the same specialist that I had seen as a private patient, and he had nothing better to offer me. He did prescribe some allergy drops (Patanol), but the Caja pharmacy hardly ever stocked it, and it was too costly to buy on my own (the one time I bought a little vial of this stuff it cost something like $64.00). Meanwhile, I have noticed over time that my vision in the left eye has deteriorated, to the point where I can no longer read, even with reading glasses.
Finally, I got the name of another specialist, this time in San Carlos, and saw this guy (a Dr. Vega) a week ago last Friday. He said that I have a corneal tear (not a good thing to have, but it explains that sensation of always having something in the eye) and also said that my diminished vision is due to a cataract.
Now, I can accept the possibility of a corneal tear, mostly because (after he mentioned it as a diagnosis) I do seem to remember the symptoms of this condition do seem a lot like what I have experienced. Regarding the possibility of a cataract, however, I have trouble accepting that as a possible diagnosis, because all I have noticed is diminished visual acuity, and no limiting of the visual field that I thought was the classic and most prominent feature of a cataract.
The doctor in San Carlos wrote me a detailed referral to see another specialist, in San Jose, and estimated that it should cost less than two million colones (about four thousand dollars in real money) for the two separate surgeries that he thinks I need. Of course that does not include the cost of travel to and from San Jose, and who knows what other expenses might arise.
So, I have concluded that I need to see a doctor in the states, especially since I am paying for Medicare already. I have therefore made reservations to go to Texas in early November, after making some calls to various doctors' offices and to Medicare. I have no idea how much time might be needed, but am giving myself two months to take care of this. I can only hope this will be adequate. Any questions, give me a holler, and I'll try to keep things up to date here, and on Facebook (for my faithful Facebook friends and followers).
Meanwhile, Blanca is still in Texas since she took the grandkids back in August, so she will just wait for me, and then we'll return home in early January.