Friday, 17 July 2020

Cataracts III

The Eye Institute, at the Ottawa Hospital, is operating at 20 - 30 % capacity. Hospitals are ramping up on a limited capacity. Apparently, they are prioritizing cataract surgeries, for example, taking in the most serious cases first, on a limited basis. 

"The Ottawa Hospital's Riverside Eye Care Centre (RECC) has been closed since March due to COVID-19. Despite a directive from the province in May allowing elective surgeries to resume, the RECC has yet to reopen. Priority is based on acuity, and the health condition of the patient." 

The RECC performs 10,000 eye surgeries a year. They estimate, according to the article, that 5000 people are waiting for eye surgery. I was getting discouraged. I'm not a priority. It is having a profound impact on my mental health, and our family situation, but there are people with far worse cataracts than I. Single mothers, etc. We fear the 2nd wave of COVID–19 might set us all back, including JB's cancer treatments.

I was diagnosed with fast-growing cataracts a year ago, July, 2019. Cataract Surgery Part I, There was a second try: with a new referral to Ottawa July, 2020: Cataracts II

Appointment, July 7th – Dr. B, in Centrepoint, Ottawa, referred me to another Dr. B at iCare Centre, for surgery.  It was a referral to a private clinic. It irks me, but it's the only way we have to move forward.

Monday, July 13th – We were sitting, having dinner with the grandkids  and there was a call from a 'private' number. I let it go to voicemail. MISTAKE. Marwa left a message saying to call the iCare office. I did.  I called back within 4 minutes. No answer. I left a message. NADA.

Tuesday, July 14th, I called again at 9:30. This time the receptionist was there. She forwarded my call to Marla, and it went to voicemail. We still wait.

Wed., July 15th – 9:47 a.m.
I phoned, and got a message about the new location of the offices (2148 Carling), ste. 205.
They next part of the message said to stay on the line to speak to someone. Then, the voice told me that there were 13 people in the queue, waiting ahead of me. I hung up.

In the meantime, there was a piece on the news that someone had been murdered at a motel in Carleton Place, not too far away. Pretty creepy. 

10:15 a.m. –  Marwa phoned with a cancellation for that afternoon at 2:15. In hindsight, I should have asked how long the appointment would be. We prepared the girls, puzzles, Lego, popsicles in the freezer. They usually make their own lunch. Momma was in touch, texting them. Jos is 12 1/2 now. They would be fine.

12:45 – we left for the city. They were out snipping down the ditches and the wild parsnip.

Perth has several restaurants with new outdoor seating.

We were stopped by a train.

Closer to the city, wild parsnip.

I like snapping vanity plates. This one said FREWGAL!

I like the Experimental Farm fence, covered in wild grapes.

We used to live in this area, Trend-Arlington. This plaza has changed over the years.

They are taking down the old mall, Lincoln Fields, to put up condos. The city is growing.

There was construction everywhere. I checked Google Maps, and found construction along most of our possible routes. It's a handy piece of technology.

2:07 – We made it to the clinic for a 2:15 appointment. The construction really slowed us down.

What a well-run organization. All staff had masks. All clients did, as well. I asked special permission to have JB stay with me, otherwise spouses were kicked outside.

It was wonderful seeing people of colour. Sounds weird, but it is what I am used to, growing up in multicultural Toronto. Women with hijabs, as well as face masks. One woman with lovely long dreadlocks, plus a face mask and a face shield. All staff were really kind. I was a bit shaky. I hadn't been able to have lunch, my stomach was a bit upset. A staff member brought me a bottle of water, seeing I was so shaky.

I had 5 different tests, using 5 different machines that looked at my eyeballs; a pressure test, a peripheral vision test, as well as the dilating eye drops. 
 Finally, we met with the surgeon himself. 
The good news is they have surgical dates, on a private basis. The bad news is that it is at my cost. I will have surgery in August. I haven't jumped the queue, since the hospitals are doing catch-up and surgeries are limited. We'd put money aside for my surgery, as OHIP covers cataract surgery in hospital, but not in private clinics, or lens replacement. My eyes are so bad. I'd be happy not to need distance glasses for the last few years of my life!

We were out of there by 3:30. The charge was $80 for a test OHIP does not pay. 

Future charges: 

Pre-surgery laser measurement: $250 x 2 =    $500
Non-hospital (Lasik MD) surgery:  $2900 x 2 = $5800   
                            Total = $6380, so far. 
You can get a non-corrective lens at no cost. Specific replacement lenses are on top of this. Those range from $290 to $1510 per eye, depending upon your vision needs, or if you have astigmatism
We were happy to mount up and ride for home. We have a large booklet to read, with the details and information we need.

P.S. The government, OHIP, doesn't pay for two eyes to be done at once. That is another bonus, we can do this privately.

On the way home, public wading pools are still closed.

I remember bungalows being here when we lived in Craig Henry.

More construction... as well as people ready for outdoor play!

The Barrhaven sign! I managed this photo through the back window, across the car.

Peaceful cows.

They are renovating this old, old house.

A different old house in Perth. They work hard on their gardens.

Grampa fetched pizza for dinner. We put our feet up and all of us went to bed at 9:30! 


Anvilcloud said...

Sorry that you have to go private.

Olga said...

What a day. And everything is so much harder these days. Had I know what would be coming, I would have stayed in VT and had my cataract surgery last January. Now, who knows. But I have not reached your wwait time yet, so I can't complain too much.

Tom said...

...$6380, WOW! My Medicare insurance took care of my surgery with perhaps a $50 copay! Good luck to you.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Hmmm... how about estimating years left (at least 20?) and dividing that cost. Less than a dollar a day for clear sight seems to me an okay deal. Though, admittedly, the lump sum output is a tad offputting! YAM xx

RedPat said...

My friend in England has been waiting months to hear when his could be done and they just called and told him they will do it on July 29. I will have to ask him if he went private or not.

Nancy J said...

Just a bit or a lot !!! less than what I would have to pay down here, it transfers to NZ $7165 . If I went privately, would be about $11,000 NZ for both eyes. That would include pre op consultation, lenses etc . BUT as I have to be on anti clotting meds for 12 months, cannot contemplate it now.
'Love the scenic story, I always feel I am there with you, you are a real story teller.
Made it a long day, but never mind, you are in the system now.

DUTA said...

August is not far away. Wishing you a successful cataract surgery!

Jenn Jilks said...

Well, Tom, as I wrote, OHIP would take care of it if we weren't in a pandemic! Getting a surgery date is the issue.

Christine said...

Thanks for the update on your glad you can afford the cost.