So very True - Image by Anne Taintor

So very True - Image by Anne Taintor
I would like this on my very own business cards

Monday, February 20, 2012

The "Eyes" Have it

February sucks!  I hate it.  It has not been a good month for me.  I will be happy when it is over.  It is a good thing it is the shortest month because it may end up killing me.  I think this leap-year of 29 days is crap.  I would prefer this was a normal year.  

On February 1st, I woke up with what I thought was allergies and my left eye was red and watering.  On February 2nd, I woke up with my left eye swollen and feeling like it was popping out of the socket.  It wasn't watering.  It was like a hose was hooked up to it due to the amount of tears that were streaming from it.  It was blood red.  The light was excruciating.  I had to fashion a makeshift eye patch out of a silk scarf and call my best friend to pick the kids up and take them to school.  There was no way I could drive.  I couldn't even keep my eye open and all light seemed to feel like a knife twisting in my cornea.   Moving my eye felt like have a muscle strain in my head.   Horrid!  I took my first sick day at work.   At least it was for a good reason...

This is how I felt the first morning

I found an eye doctor and a diagnosis that day.   The doctor said I had Iritis (eye-right-us).  It is an inflammation of the iris.  In me--that is the blue part of my eye.  It began to swell.  The pupil couldn't constrict or dilate due to the inflammation. I learned that even if one eye is closed (or covered with a patch or a silk scarf) that the eye will still react to light when the seeing eye does.  That explains the constant pain and watering even though it was covered.  I was prescribed steroid eye drops and another to dilate my pupil.  It started to get better.  I went in for a follow up the next Monday.  The doctor said everything looked good and to start tapering the dosage.  So I did.  Then things started to get progressively worse.  A week later I was back to where I had been two weeks prior.  I was referred to a specialist.

The specialist said the inflammation had gotten ahead of the medication.  Even though I had dilating drops, my pupil was not dilated.  My vision had a white blur which was caused by the build up of white blood cells in the eye.  My pupil couldn't move.  It fused to the iris.  I had a number of tears inside my eye caused by the pupil trying to move.  Essentially, it was like superglue in my eyeball.  I got more eye drops to be used every hour for a week.  Dilating drops twice a day now.  Return visit in a week.

Do you see how creepy it looks with one pupil dilated!!!

At this point, it seems to be healing but it still hurts like hell.  My eye is super light sensitive.  On the plus side, it is no longer blood red, just bloodshot.  Worse than hangover bloodshot but better.  I have been wearing a pair of fit-over sunglasses over the top of my normal glasses for over two weeks.  I feel like Stevie Wonder.   

What I have discovered is that this Iritis is similar to having arthritis in your eyeball.  WTF!  It is also the third leading cause of blindness is the world, behind glaucoma and cataracts.   The clincher is that if left untreated or out of control it can cause the aforementioned.  There is really no way to determine what caused this unless I have another case of it.  Usually it is caused by autoimmune disorders.  Blah!!!!!  Aargh!!!  Also, all the literature I seem to find has pictures of eyeballs.  Makes sense but I hate looking at eyeballs.  Also, my sister has a phobia of them so we haven't been facetiming as often since my eye creeps her out.  

This is the kind of diagram I see on nearly all the literature I read about Iritis

My life activities have been affected.  I can't read since I can't focus.  This really bites because I was reading "Atlas Shrugged" and now there is no way I am going to finish before it is due back at the library.  The tv's have all been dimmed.  I can't watch tv in bed either because it can't be turned down enough to stop my eye from watering.  Watching tv with one shut sucks because I just end up falling asleep.  Sleeping is hard since my eye waters at night and feels like it is popping out of my socket.  My computer LED backlight is turned off.  It is difficult to type from copy at work.  It is hard to proof read also.  If you find typos in this, please keep them to yourself.  I don't care.  It is hard to write when you can't see.  Driving is near impossible when you can't focus, or open your eye, or stop the eye from watering.  In Montana, the snow is like driving on a mirror and it reflects the light.  It is more like driving at night when everyone coming at you has their brights on.   The curtains at home are drawn.  It is like being a vampire.  The light may kill me.  I hate this!  It shouldn't be call "iritis" it should be called eye-wrongus.  Plus, I feel like Popeye.  

It's too bad that an eye-patch won't help.  I would wear one like this if it did.....

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