Sometimes on a Monday, I jump on the train to London to go to ballet lessons for greatly aged people like myself. I have a lovely day meeting friends for coffee, go to two lessons, coming home in time for tea having used journey times to write or read. A day of tranquillity. But last Monday I didn't go, partly because there were some ACW things to do, but also because I had a hospital appointment later in the day so would have to hurry back after one lesson.
Ken, my other half, was pleased I stayed home, because we had a motor home specialist coming round to do a few minor repairs to the motor home, so he needed my opinion. When it came to fixing 'the little bit of water that's coming in over the door' it was a shock to find out that we had a really bad leak with extensive water damage and the estimate to fix it and replace all the panels was £3000!
Reeling from that and thinking our motor home days might be over, I began to concentrate on a few other things. Opening my emails I was surprised to find that a publisher wanted to publish Losing Face. This was rather a puzzle because it's already published but it was lovely to read the great things he had written about it. We had discussed the sequel at the CRT retreat and I had given him a copy of Losing Face to see the kind of thing I had written and whether something like that would suit his list - hence the muddle. There were other good emails, too, so I found myself praising God - even for the motor home.
The day carried on in a slightly topsy-turvy manner - some things good, others certainly not so, until it was time to go to the hospital.
I arrived early for my ophthalmology appointment - I was taken in for the usual eye test and surprised myself by doing very well reading those illuminated letters. I then had photos of the back of my eyes taken by a nurse. This has been done before, but maybe not with the same machine. Then it was time to see the consultant.
A very bemused consultant, as it turned out. He looked at the photo and flicked through my file. He examined my eyes carefully including testing my eye pressures. Then he asked me lots of questions about my medical history, and especially about the diagnosis of glaucoma and how long I had been in treatment for it. The answer to that being fifteen years. Finally, he looked at me and said the most astonishing words - 'You do not have glaucoma'.
Now, glaucoma is incurable. I have seen probably five different consultants through the fifteen years. I have had at least two, often three, appointments per year. They took me off all medication a year or so ago on the grounds that it didn't seem to be doing any good and to see what happened to my pressures without it.
The consultant showed me the photos explaining that the lack of red areas indicted no nerve damage. He told me how good a recent field test had been and referred to the eye test I had just done. By then I was thinking of all the things I had recently been able to do which I hadn't managed for years - such as threading a needle and reading a smaller font size. I had stopped stumbling, too - seeing the edges of steps and kerbs better.
Meanwhile, the consultant was flipping back through the file again. He wondered about misdiagnosis but could see why I was diagnosed. He was obviously perplexed. I was praising God inwardly. My mind was shouting 'I DO NOT HAVE GLAUCOMA'. I couldn't understand what had happened, but as I left the hospital having been discharged, it hit me that a miracle was actually the most probable explanation.
I give all the glory to God for once I was going blind, but now I can see!
Annie Try is the pen-name of Angela Hobday, Chair of ACW. Annie's novels reflect her training as a psychologist, focusing on feelings and emotions, with themes including friendship and triumph over adversity. Her new novel, Trying to Fly, will be released in February 2017, published by Instant Apostle.