My eye exam was in the Clinica San Fernando in Panama City. This is a very modern and well equipped medical facility. The actual exam was done by INDELCO (Instituto de Laser y Cirugia Ocular).
I really did not know what to expect on the eye exam. Had I known more about it, I would have prepared better. The exam was basically to take photos of both eyes at 5 minute intervals after an injection of Fluorescein.
The technician told me that some people feel hot following the injection. He said others become nauseous. He said some have no reaction.
The injection went in and they started taking the photos. A bright flash goes off and I had a little feeling of psychedelic lights flashing. I could handle that. He did the right eye, which as far as I know, has no problem. Then he did the left eye which is the one that has been diagnosed as having macular degeneration.
At the end of the second eye, we were to wait 5 minutes and take more photos. At that time I started to sweat and came close to passing out. They immediately brought in a wheelchair and wheeled me into what appeared to be a emergency room or recovery room for patients that have just had surgery.
I must have been in there for close to an hour. They hooked me up to an IV and monitored heart rate, pulse and blood pressure. The heart monitor made that beep beep sound and a couple times it went to a constant alarm sound like you hear in the movies when the brainwave goes flat. Luckily, that was not my problem. My brainwave is most likely flat all the time anyway.
Here is a photo I took after they removed the IV and had me sitting in a chair for observation.
After they had decided I had not had a heart attack or anything major wrong with me , I went back to the lab area. The technician took some more photos, but when he looked at them, he said that too much time had passed and we would need to do another injection and start over.
It was not about 12:30 PM and I was starved. I knew I could not take another injection on an empty stomach. They said it was OK if I went and ate and came back in a couple of hours. I went next door to the McDonald’s and got the biggest hamburger and french fries I could get. All this time I still had the IV connection of the previous photo in my arm. This would prevent having to stab me one more time for the test.
I ate and then went back and waited for my turn at the lab again. I was not anxious to have the dye injected again, but the option of coming back another day, was more objectionable.
The dye was injected and the photos were taken again. This time I had no bad effects as I had in the morning. I have to assume the mornings problem was a result of not having a big enough breakfast.
I had some other pressing things to do in David, so I decided to schedule my next appointment with Dr. Adriano Young in David.
My bill for this day’s excitement was $175. Of that, $50 was caused by the visit to the emergency room following my blacking out. I don’t know what that would have cost in the US.
For that money I got these neat glossy photos of my eyes. I hope they make sense to Dr. Young, because they just look like photos of Mars and the moon to me.