Eye Trouble Continued – My endless story

Isn’t it ironic? Roughly two months ago I happily announced my blog anniversary, stating how much I like the whole blogging thing and that I would definitely go on.

A few days later my stupid eye injury raised its ugly head again, so I cut down on screen time. Obviously this blog is the first to feel it – I do rely on email for a lot of daily communication, but blogging is something that is not strictly necessary. As is reading books and writing … all the things I love to do. You can imagine my humour dropped.

November was not great, but December was worse. I spent a lot of time lying on the couch with my eyes closed. I managed to attend all the important pre-Christmas events at school (Christmas concerts, Christmas dinner for the children), we spent Christmas at the in-laws (saved me some cooking at least), but looking back now it all seems a blur.

It slowly got better and the last few days I started feeling like me again – the active me with plans and ideas, running up and down the stairs in my house (yep, we are back home again), tackling the chaos, shopping for groceries, that kind of stuff. I actually opened the book I got for Christmas from my mother-in-law, and yes, I dare look at the computer screen for more than a few minutes in a row.

And I stopped wearing my sun glasses in the house.

I had a chat with my eye-specialist (if you could call it a “chat”: I kept asking questions and he mumbled answers). We agreed to give it one more chance: four more weeks wearing that contact lens for protection, then take it off and see how it goes. If it turns bad again (with or without the lens), I will have another treatment, this time with a laser – apparently the success rate is much higher than with the one I had before, so fingers crossed. (Yes, of course: when I heard that I was thinking: why didn’t we do that in the first place then??? But it is a bit more expensive, and the insurance wants to try the cheaper one first, thank you very much.) If I interpret his mumbling correctly, my eye doctor thinks the cornea does look better and better, so maybe I have a chance to dodge another operation after all. We will see.

So hopefully it continues to go up from here – and I can start thinking and writing about other stuff again. And catch up with my reading… Just thinking of all the cool posts I have missed…. even if I only try to catch up with my four or five favourite blogs, this will mean a lot of work for my eye… But I will try to be patient, finish this post and then go offline again. Start the catching up tomorrow, maybe.

It is almost end of the year. Time to close a few not so nice chapters. Time to move on and concentrate on the nice things. There were a lot of those in 2014 too.

Cheers!

 

Lessons Learned

No, this is not going to be “Eye Trouble, Part IV”, because I don’t want to define myself by that trouble any more. Things are still as they were, I am still hoping for December, full stop.

What I want to do today is think about some lessons I have learned from all of it. The obvious one being: “Don’t poke yourself in the eye”, but that is kind of a no-brainer. “Don’t let yourself get so tired that your reflexes start slowing down”, sounds a bit better. The whole thing definitely was a warning sign: If you think that neglecting sleep for weeks is something that won’t eventually catch up with you, you are wrong. Because you cannot sail along on “want to dos” and “have to dos” and “not enough hours in a day” forever. At one point the body needs rest, and it has various methods of making sure it will get it. Normally when I overstretch my boundaries I get sick, but it looks like this time I had gotten accident prone.

So that is lesson number one for me: “Take better care of your body.” (Ok, nothing really knew here, but it seems that I need to be reminded of that…)

But the most important thing I learned is how much we take things for granted. Having perfect eye-sight was something I never really appreciated. It was just as it was supposed to be. I could read for hours, sit in front of the computer almost the whole day, the worst I would get was tired. And sometimes, during winter, a bit of a dry eye from the heating air.

When Husband said “Where are my glasses” before reading the boys their bed time story, I never realised how lucky I was to just pick up a book and read. When I went to the optician with Older One to get his glasses, I did not think about how the world must be changing around him when he put them on or off.

But now, suddenly, eye-things have my attention. I ask my boy how it is for him to take off the glasses. Does he see everything blurry then? Because he did not seem to see the world blurry in the years before he got the glasses. Apparently yes, he does see blurry when he takes them off, but only for a few moments. Then his eyes focus and compensate and he can see properly again. He is long-sighted, so his eyes can adapt, but it makes him tired if he has to do it for too long. (Plus his eyes have different strengths, so the glasses also compensate for that.) But it means he can take them off for judo and still see his opponents, which is definitely a plus in this kind of sport.

My stupid right eye cannot do that trick. If I close the left one and something is too far away, it is blurry and stays blurry, and no amount of concentration on my side can change anything. (You could say I am now – hopefully only temporarily – near-sighted on one eye.)

So now I am really thankfull for my still perfect left eye, which is doing a lot of extra work these days, having to see sharply for both of them. I still hope that right one will improve further (at least I do not see does stupid circles around the lights any more, and the light sensitivity has improved a lot). Of course there is the possibilty the cornea will only heal partly, or not get thick enought, or whatever – resulting in me staying partly near-sighted. That would not be ideal, but there are a lot of worse things, so I am trying not to get to crazed out by that idea. It probably would not be the end of the world having to wear glasses for driving in the evening or so. Or for longer computer work. Many people end up wearing glasses when they get older, although there are probably not so many who are clumsy enough to injur themselves the way I did. (Plus I am not so keen on defining myself as “getting older”, but there is no question I am not getting younger either!)

Would that be lesson number three then? Stupid things happen, and sometimes they cannot be undone, but there is no point in letting them drag you down? Stop moaning about something as tiny as this and get on with your life?

Probably. Although I am not sure if I am quite ready for that one yet.

(Still hoping for the magic healing powers of my body to kick in.)

Eye Trouble – Part III

Yes, I know, this seems to be a never ending story. Believe me, I would be the one happiest if it already had ended.

But it didn’t – get much better. Maybe a bit. But when we returned from our holiday I was still wearing sun glasses most of the day, even inside. Still could not read much without a worn and burning feeling in my right eye. Still could not see sharply on that eye.

So I went back to the friendly young doctor in the hospital. She looked in my eye. Said “hmm”, which did not sound quite as optimistic as before. Then she went to fetch a collegue, and older doctor. He came in, looked into my eye, starting showing her things. He did not seem as surprised as she had been. Then he told me that basically, yes, the wound had healed, but it had grown a scar. Which was now smuggly sitting on my eye, causing all the trouble. To top it all, it was not likely it would go away by itself.

“OK…” was all I could say first. Which was a bit ridiculous, since I felt everything but ok.

The doctor then told me they could remove the scar by sort of scraping it off my cornea. Creating a new wound, in fact, but a smooth one, one that should heal better. Hopefully without any scars. He also told me that for two or three days it would not feel great, but after that it should be ok.

Well. Sort of.

To cut things short, they did remove the scar. For two days I felt like a sort of vampire, hiding from any kind of light, wearing my sun glasses even in the evening, plus a baseball cap. Light hurt. Light made my eye stream with tears. So I kept it shut most of the day. Luckily, husband could work from home, basically taking care of the boys, putting eye drops in my eye, comforting me.

From the third day on, things began to improve. After a week, the young doctor declared that the wound had closed nicely. They had put a sort of contact lens on my eye like a bandage, but that could go off now.

I was happy, my eye felt better, had definitely improved. I still could not see as sharp as before the accident, but better than before the operation, and they told me the rest would come in time.

I was happy until last night, when I woke up, opened my eye and felt a shart pain again, felt tears streaming down my face. “Not good”, I thought again.

So today I went back to the hospital. The older doctor looked in my eye and asked my why I was not wearing the bandage lens. I told him they had take it off 5 days ago. He shook is head. “No, no”, he said, “this lens needs to be replaced weekly with a new one. You will need to have one in for three months.”

Three months??? That was the first time they told me that. I guess the young doctor did not know this procedure either, otherwise she would not had taken it out. Apparently the wound had opened again last night, at least a bit. Now it was closed again, but the cornea was still very thin. The bandage lens was supposed to protect it until it has grown thick enough and has attached itself firmly onto the underlying layers. Or so I was told. If the wound keeps opening up, it would stay a weak spot, not being able to heal properly.

Great. So here we go again.

New bandage lens. New eye drops. Appointments for weekly changing of the lens. And an appointment with the doctor in four weeks time.

 

If I am lucky, my cornea has not yet decided it wants to have a weak spot.

If I am lucky, the wound will stay closed now.

If I am lucky, in December I will finally be rid of that lens and have a properly functioning right eye again.

If I am really really lucky, my eye sight will have gone back to normal then.

 

Can I be please be really really lucky???

Eye Trouble – Part II

When I woke up an hour later, at least I could open my eye again without too much pain. But still I could not see properly. Everything that was not really close up was very hazy. That must be how short-sighted people feel, I thought. Or maybe not. Up till then I had never had any trouble with my eyes (apart from itchiness due to hay-fever, but that does not really count, I guess).

Hazy is not good, I decided and called my doc. I felt quite embarrassed telling my story (who is so stupid to poke herself in the eye with her own finger? ME!!), but he was quite unfazed. “It happens more often than you think”, said, not specifying if he meant eye-injuries in general or silly accidents like mine. “The cornea reacts very sensitive, but it will heal. It just need a little time.” “Like, hours?” I asked hopefully. “Could be a day or two”, he answerded. He told me to rest my eye and call him again if it did not get better at all after a few hours.

So I went back to bed.

It did not get better after a few hours. So I called him again. “I should better see you then”, he decided and gave me an appointment for in the afternoon.

Until then at least the feeling inside the eye had improved – but I still felt like a mole on that eye. Doc put some stinging yellow fluid in my eye and looked at it with a blue light. “Oh yes”, I can see it, “he told me placidly. “You managed to scratch yourself right in front of the pupil. But it is not a big one. I am sure it will heal soon without complications.”He put some antibiotic cream in my eye just in case and put a patch over it. So for the rest of the day I walked around looking like a pirate captain, much to the astonishment of my boys. Interestingly enough they did not roll on the floor laughing but looked at me with real concern. “Can you take this off now?” Little One asked. “Tomorrow”, I promised.

Tomorrow came, the patch came off, the haze was still there. Ok, I thought, give it another day. Don’t worry.

Monday came, no change in eye-sight. I called my doc again, getting a little worried. He seemed concerned. “Maybe you should let an eye specialist look at it just in case”, he told me and arranged an appointment at the hospital (in the Netherlands, the specialist doctors do not have their own practice).

When I went there, a young and very friendly eye-specialist checked my eye-sight, put the yellow drops in again, looked with differents lights at different angles, measured my eye pressure – the whole lot. She then said cheerfully: “Yes, you managed to scratch your cornea right in front of the pupil.” (I already knew that.) “I can see that it is healing and it looks fine.” (Did not feel fine.) “At the moment you can see 80% with your right eye.” (Felt like less.) It should heal by itself in about one week. I can give you a gel to keep the eye moist, so that it feels better.” On one hand I felt relieved, on the other not completely reassured. “If it is not better after a week, should I call you again?” I asked. He shrugged. “You can call, if you like”, she said, which sounded a lot like “it would not change a thing”. She added “some people heal faster than others”, which hinted at a longer period of recovery.

That was almost three weeks ago. Since then, my eye-sight has not really improved. I can see ok-ish up close, blurry at a distance. It does feel better, less sensitive to light though (during the first week I was wearing sun-glasses almost constantly, even in-doors). I found some eye-drops and cream that is supposed to help (via my mum and her doc, because this stuff is not sold in the Netherlands, even though it is available at my mum’s place without prescription), and I am trying to be patient. It helps that we are on holidays at my mum’s place now.

I have tried to keep the computer time to a minimum and I am not reading a lot either. I could try to get an appointment at my mum’s own eye specialist here, but I am not sure if he will tell me anything else. I just hope this thing will heal, and at a reasonable pace.

Just now my eye feels a bit used and worn again… so, good night. Hopefully be back soon.

Eye Trouble – Part I

Do you have an internal list of stupid things you did to yourself?

Well, I do, and I have a new number one.

Right on top before was hitting the stairs with my fist out of anger and frustration about a good friend’s early death. Another story. Number two was missing the last step of – different – stairs and spraying my ankle. Stupid, but not unheard of. Rather common in fact.

But last Friday I managed to poke myself in the eye with my own finger. Don’t ask how I managed to do such a tremendously silly thing. I really don’t know it myself. I only know it was early in the morning, I had just gotten up, was searching for a pack of tissues in the bathroom to blow my nose. Found the tissues. Next thing I know is “ouch”. Really ouch. My eye clamped shut and was not ready to be opened again for quite some time. Tears streaming down my face, I stumbled into the bedroom, where Husband was just getting out of bed. “Can you have a look at my eye?” I asked him, “I poked myself with my finger.” “What?” His was still trying to really wake up and did defintely not look like he was ready to investigate anything, let alone some delicate eye business.

“Never mind.” I went back to the bathroom. Put some cold wet tissue on my eye. Managed to get dressed, to get downstairs to the kitchen, starting to prepare breakfast one-handedly. (One hand I needed to hold the wet tissue to my eye.) In between I tried to open my eye from time to time, without big success.

Husband came down, looked at my eye, did not see anything wrong. Which was a relief of some sort, but did not take away the feeling that there was something not right at all.

Boys came down, looked astonished at their mother’s strange behaviour, but wolved down their cereals as usual. Husband offered to drop the boys of at school, which was a relief as I was not fit for traffic at all.

So, with all three of them out of the house, I thought I might as well go back to bed, close both eyes and hope that things would be better after half an hour’s rest.

They were not. Not really. – They are now, but not completely. Which is why I not only have been missing out on everyone’s lovely blogs during the last week, but also why I should give my eye some rest now. And tell the second part of the story maybe tomorrow.

 

To be continued.