Monday, March 28, 2011

Get your eyes checked. A PSA from your friend Jo.

Remember when I posted a picture from January 1 excitement and said I hope this isn't any indication of how the rest of the year would go?  Well, I think it was.  In the first quarter of 2011 the following events have happened:
  1. The wounded eye
  2. My dad had a cyst, that was between his brain and his skull, sucked out through his nose.  All is well now.
  3. My mom had rotator cuff surgery.  On her other arm.  She also needs knee surgery once her arm heals.
  4. I have a lump in my boob that is a cyst.  I have a follow up in six months and if it is still there I am demanding it be removed and if my doctor refuses I will find one who will remove it.
And drumroll, please....I now have to have surgery on my eyes.  MY EYES people.  And before I go into all of the gory details of MY EYES, I want to tell you all - go get YOUR EYES checked.  Even if you are not having vision issues.  I went because my glasses were getting old and worn out and I wanted new ones.  My vision had not really changed much, but I knew the eyeglass place would require a current prescription, so I made an appointment and went to the eye doctor at the end of February.  And that was how it all started.

We got through all the vision stuff, you know "better now or now?" "better with this or this?" routine.  The doctor made some notes and I was figuring we would get onto the numbing drops, dilation and all that stuff.  She then says, "I cannot dilate your eyes today.  You need to go see a glaucoma specialist because you have narrow angles.  If I dilate your eyes I am afraid those narrow angles would close off completely."  I assumed that would be bad.  And boy was I right.  Because if those already narrow angles close and stay that way?  Blindness sets in in one to two days, often without warning.  And if you do have warning signs and symptoms, they are often attributed to something else - migraines, stomach flu if you have vomiting, or some other more common illness.

So last week I saw the glaucoma specialist.  I was supposed to be there for four hours and I had to have a driver because the dilation he would do would be pretty serious stuff.  Way more than a regular eye doctor.  An hour later I'm told I am finished.  He can't dilate my eyes either, for the same reason as my regular eye doctor, and I need to have surgery.  And the surgery can wait no more than two to three weeks.  Oh, and they can only do one eye at a time so I have to do this twice.  Fuckin' awesome.

I have since been reading about narrow angles in the eye and closed angle glaucoma.  As my doctor explained, I DON'T have closed angle glaucoma.  My angles are narrow, not closed, and the pressure in my eye is normal and my optic nerve looks great.  There is no scar tissue or permanent damage to indicate that the angles have ever closed and opened again, so all of that is good.  If I don't have the surgery, though, I am at very high risk of developing closed angle glaucoma and that is bad.  Very bad.  At least for those of us who wish to keep our eyesight.

So in less than two weeks, I will trek to the eye institute and have a tiny hole burned in my eye, in between my iris and my pupil, that will act as a drain to keep the fluids flowing and compensate for those narrow angles.  Then the next day, I will go back so he can do it again to the other eye.  He normally waits a week in between, but due to his schedule, my schedule, etc. it would have worked that it would have been longer than a week in between and he doesn't want to wait that long.  I tried to talk him into doing them both in the same day, but he wouldn't agree.  I was happy he agreed to two consecutive days.

So there is your PSA for this week.  Get your asses, and your eyes, to the eye doctor.  Pronto.

6 comments:

  1. yikes. Good luck, I'll be thinking of you

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just before the end of the year, my sister went for an eye exam after noticing she wasn't seeing well to the sides and such, and was diagnosed with glaucoma, and referred to several different specialists as the next step in her care starts to take shape. I made a mental note THEN to make an appointment for a check up (gah...I haven't been in almost seven years. SO BAD!), and...um, well, I haven't made it yet. Your posts, and my sister's experience, is prompting me to get up now and put this on my list, and by that, I mean make the phone call. Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never seen an eye doctor without the nurse FIRST dilating my eyes! sheesh you were lucky. I found out that by the time my diabetes was discovered, I'd already started macular degeneration. The doc gave me five more years of eyesight. As for that cyst? Even though cysts are NOT dangerous, during my life whenever I had one, I said "Get'er outta there!" If it shouldn't be there in the first place, I never wanted the job of "watching" it. Too scary.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just realized you haven't been online in quite some time. I hope you're doing okay!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was shocked two years ago when I was diagnosed with macular degeneration. The doc said I had 5 years of vision left. Now, I've recently noticed that when i read, I have to cover my right eye! It has me too scared to return to the doc, cuz nothing can be done. I count you lucky that there ARE options. I just hope they succeed for you! Time for an update.

    ReplyDelete
  6. well that sucks sucks doesn't it!! I hope it all worked out!!

    I'm having eye lid / tear duct surgery next month - oy'

    ReplyDelete