March 15, 2017

Of acetylcholine receptors and vanity

So I contacted my ophthalmologist's office and asked them to check if the ptosis surgery will be covered by my insurance, and if so, how much.  They're going to check the cost of fixing the affected eye by itself, and fixing the affected eye along with addressing the issues of the other eye.  Depending on what the numbers are, I'll be moving forward with this.

I talked to my sister about the procedure.  I learned that she is as squeamish about all things eye as I am, so that was comforting.  Even so, she's miles more solid with blood and gore than the better half, who once almost passed out during a labor and delivery video.  She agreed to drive me to and from the procedure.

And being the immunologist she is, she wants me to ask my PCP for a blood test to check for acetylcholine antibodies.  She's thinking myasthenia gravis is the cause.   And who knows, she may be right.  I don't think it is, as its rather rare and the only symptom I have from the list is the drooping eyelid.  But I do fit the "at risk" profile, being a female over 40 and being on a beta-blocker for the long-term.  I have my annual physical next week and it couldn't hurt to ask about it.

Here, read up on the disease if you're unfamiliar:  I had to refresh myself on it as well.

My research did turn up that ptosis isn't a cause, but a symptom of some underlying problem, be it myasthenia gravis or some other issue.  Fix the problem and the ptosis could go away.  Or not.  But it's not as though they can schedule the surgery next week.  It'll be several months before it would happen, so that gives me plenty of time to do more research and rule out potential causes.  I know that if I don't treat it one way or another, the ptosis is only going to get worse.  It's not going to magically resolve on its own.

I admit that I also want to get this fixed for aesthetic reasons.

While the ptotic (yes, it is a word!) eye is giving me physical grief, I am--or feel like I am--starting to notice the ptosis more.  I feel like it's become glaringly obvious in every picture I take.  I'm wondering if other people notice it.  I'm wondering how to ask other people if they notice it AND get an honest answer from them, with none of the "it's not that bad!" crap.

I feel weird that I'm considering the aesthetic along with the medical.  I feel like I'm getting an eyelift.   Well, technically I would be, as it's pretty much a similar procedure.  I personally have no objection to plastic surgery.  If it makes a person feel better about themselves, then fine.  If it fixes a problem, even better.  And yet, even though I have a valid medical reason on my, face, for having this done, I can't help but feel like I'm being vain in doing this.

And is feeling that way necessarily right...or wrong?


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