Gacad: When it rains, it pours

MACULAR edema is the build-up of fluid in the macula, an area in the center of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye and the macula is the part of the retina responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision. Fluid buildup causes the macula to swell and thicken, which distorts vision.

Arteries and veins carry blood throughout your body, including your eyes. The eye’s retina has one main artery and one main vein. When branches of the retinal vein become blocked, it is called branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). When the vein is blocked, blood and fluid spills out into the retina. The macula can swell from this fluid, affecting your central vision. Eventually, without blood circulation, nerve cells in the eye can die and you can lose more vision.

Guess what? I have been diagnosed with macular edema secondary to superior BRVO. Oh dear! That simply means I have blurred vision on my left eye which will require an intravitreal injection - a shot of medicine into the eye. The inside of the eye is filled with a jelly-like fluid (vitreous). During this procedure, your health care provider injects medicine into the vitreous, near the retina at the back of the eye. How much and how often? It will be for three months, at least, at a cost of taymis taymis taymis . . . ay apo. The injection will hopefully reduce the swelling in the macula which is directly proportional to the thinning also of the wallet and the bank account!
Bank accounts, you say? Have you heard reports of bank accounts miraculously losing their deposits without any actual withdrawals by the account owner? According to that amazing PGT magician from Ilocos - wow, magic! That's ATM skimming - a type of fraud which occurs when an ATM is compromised by a skimming device, a card reader which can be disguised to look like a part of the machine. The card reader saves the users' card number and pin code, which is then replicated into a counterfeit copy for theft.

Guess what, again? I got "skimmed!" Both my Landbank and BPI ATM accounts lost a very considerable amount of money just this weekend. "Withdrawals" were apparently made from ATMs in Tarlac and Urdaneta last Sunday, February 4 and Monday, February 5 for my LBP account and February 5 and 6 for my BPI account. How could that be when I was here in Baguio nursing a slight fever at home? I reported the incidents to both my Land Bank and BPI branches here in Baguio and I'm hoping they'd be able to come up with answers very soon. Otherwise, I'd go blind because I won't have any money left for the very expensive monthly eye injections to save my vision. When it rains, it pours! I hold on to God's promise in his message today from Isaiah 57:19 - I create the fruit of the lips: "Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near," says the Lord; and I will heal them."

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." ~ Desmond Tutu

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
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