The good news: I probably can’t blame the tumor.

The bad news? Hopefully there won’t be any, but that remains to be seen.

Last month I had my routine optometric exam, and as mentioned here, my optometrist thought he saw signs of vascular damage and early macular degeneration.

Today I had an appointment at UCLA with the chief of retinal disorders, who is pretty certain that I have neither. What I do have is some very slight spotting on my left retina that is probably nothing; I do have a family history of macular degeneration so apparently my optometrist concluded that was that. It isn’t. What it is remains unknown.

As for the “vascular damage,” the opthalmologist I saw today believes the optometrist saw that my ocular vein structure is “very thin” which is something that happens when there is vascular damage. The ophthalmologist doesn’t think it’s that; he just thinks like the rest of me, my veins are small. His words: “Your veins are very thin, but so is the rest of you.” Fair enough.

But. He ordered further testing for something completely different than what brought me in: cone dystrophy. I’ll be getting an electroretinography and color testing next month, hopefully to rule things out rather than to diagnose anything but we all know how that goes.

He also tested my blood levels of Vitamin A, B12, and folate, as a vitamin A deficiency is a common cause of some of the vision disturbances I’ve been having, and as someone with gluten and fructose intolerance it’s really likely that I have some vitamin malabsorption issues. This would be the best-case scenario and would probably be solved by injections of the stuff I can’t get from food. Easy enough.

Worst-case scenario: if I do indeed have some sort of cone dystrophy and it’s not a malnutrition issue, there is no cure.

While being screened for yet another “rare disease” is not what I hoped or expected would be the outcome of this appointment today, I have to say I’m relieved that what I’m getting tested for is in no way related to prolonged untreated hypertension or anything else related to the tumor. After the 9 years of clueless doctors who never ordered the tests for hyperaldosteronism, I will probably always be a little bit worried that somehow, something got damaged as a result. At least that isn’t the case this time.

Anyway – here’s hoping that lots of vitamin shots are in my future!

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