It can't be good, can it?
When you're forty, and you have a good job in a great place, but you're home on the sofa on a week day?
It can't be good, can it?
When you're forty, and you wake up at 4:30 in the afternoon on Friday, in a dark living room, dazed, clutching a stuffed orangutan like a lifesaver?
It can't be good, really.
When you're forty and you find out the only thing that can possibly save your rapidly failing vision in one eye is a drug FDA-approved for cancer treatment.
Injected directly into your eye.
Once a month for many months.
At $60 a shot.
When you're only forty.
"Ms. Merujo, I'm afraid that, despite the laser surgery, the blood vessels have continued to grow. The blister is now at the center of your vision, and, because of its size, it's more defined..."
"The only course of action is a series of injections. Drug X is most effective, but it's FDA-approved for the elderly only, so your insurance won't cover it. If you want to pursue this treatment, it will be $2000 an injection... there is a cheaper drug, related to Drug X... it's almost as effective... $60 a shot... also not covered by insurance... unless you have $20,000 at least to pursue using Drug X, I recommend the $60 shots."
"At least 8 months of injections..."
"There's a risk of stroke..."
"There is no guarantee..."
"I know this sounds horrible - injections directly into your eye - but the only other option is blindness..."
"I don't want to wait. Let's schedule the first injection for next Friday."
"As this is a controlled cancer drug, it has to be ordered from a pharmacy and delivered directly to you. Then, you'll bring it in to the office for the injection..."
I came home, e-mailed the family, and then slept a little.
Then, the phone rang.
"Ms. Merujo? This is Doctor D's office. The doctor has reviewed the photos of your eye with some colleagues. They feel that next Friday is too late to begin. We'll get the pharmacy to send out the drug immediately. Can you come in Tuesday morning?"
What choice do I have? Needles in my eye or blindness?
"Thank you. I'll be there."
I returned to the sofa, but this time, I stopped en route and picked up the big, soft, friendly stuffed orangutan on my bookshelf. I slept in a fetal ball for two more hours, the orangutan at my side. Stupid, but reassuring.
So, I have another weekend of peeing electric yellow fluoroscene and a jaundiced face from the eye tests & photos today, as I wait for a pharmacy package.
To take willingly to a man to shoot into my eye.
I'm ready to get off this merry-go-round. I really don't like the music it plays.