Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hmm - I really DO like being able to see!

Most of us are fortunate to be able to take our eyesight for granted. This summer I got a wake-up call and learned once again how precious some things are. I'll make a very long story as short as possible.

Last June (2009) I started seeing 'spots', not floaters, but areas in my eye that didn't move that were 'spots'. I let it go, finally mentioned it to my husband who said "And you haven't seen a Dr. because...??"

So off I went. Sure enough there were spots - blind spots. Areas in my right eye where no light was coming thru and where I couldn't see. Close my left eye and presto - certain things in my vision just go away.

Forward ahead to major tests - the big one - an MRI. Turns out blind spots/eye troubles are a common early indicator of MS. Wow - wasn't expecting that one! That test came back fine - thank God!

Two more blind spots develop. Really having some trouble seeing with my right eye now. More tests and no diagnosis and I'm seriously beginning to feel that I may go 'blind' . This is - shall we say - Scary! No eyesight, even in just one eye - is major. What if is spreads to the other eye? What if, What if, What if? I'm REALLY good about worrying obsessively about things I have no control over.

Off to the specialists. Again MS is ruled out. But still not sure what's going on. Back home waiting for next appointment and welcome the 'Flashing strobe lights' symptom. Something new and annoying.

Finally a diagnosis - a relatively rare disease called MEWDS (go ahead, look it up!). Good news is - the prognosis is good. Normally affects women, normally goes away in a few weeks to a few months. 5 months from the onset I return to the doctor who confirms that yes - you do/did have MEWDS, but that is on it's last phase and some of your spots are gone or smaller.

But... There is still one spot. No idea what it is, no diagnosis, no prognosis (as of Nov. 2009). Still waiting - but becoming accustomed to having some permanent sight loss. Overall my sight is still very good! I see wavy lines when I look at anything with a straight edge and I don't cut so good any more. I have some trouble doing my beading, cross stitching etc - but I just do what I call "Go old lady slow" - who cares if things aren't as straight as they could be. I'm back to "Sure hope this doesn't get worse" and trying to not think about it. After all - life goes on and 'life' happens.

So what did I learn?

Life can be scary sometimes.
A loving, supportive husband is a wonderful thing to have.
Having world-class eye doctors 20 minutes from home is a blessing beyond belief.
Friends are pretty much as good as loving husbands.
The phrase "It could be worse" gets old after a while.
I really don't like having an MRI, even if it doesn't hurt.
Not knowing what to expect sucks (sorry - but it does)
Worrying does me no good at all (so says Jesus) - but I do it anyway.
I get very grouchy when I can't fix things and don't get answers (back to the supportive husband thing here!).
Eyesight is a blessing for which I am so grateful. I pray every day that I get to keep mine and I look out the window at my acrobatic squirrel, deer in my yard and blue sky and say "Thank you God!"


TheFrogBag said...

I can't believe that someone else was diagnosed with this! Me too, a while back. It comes and goes. Very, very scary at first. They tested me for everything... even HIV! Then talk of brain tumors... Anyway, I was told that it might be a bit like an allergy and no one knows the trigger. I don't know your personal history, but whatever you do, don't let anyone give you Clomid! It makes it 10x worse and no doctor will tell you that, since none of them know it. I couldn't go to the movies for a month after that adventure. Anyway, be well, and don't worry! I've had it for years and it hasn't harmed me.

Laura, Pet Scribbles said...

Wow Carla, what a difficult time you've had going thru this. Your eyesight is so attached to your artistry, it is for all of us, that I'm so happy to read this wasn't MS. I like your "go old lady slow" mindset when needed. Besides, straight lines can be boring. --Laura

steph said...

it is so scary to hear other's stories that have experienced vision loss - i'm a fellow one-eye myself! i lost all central vision in my left eye starting in 2000, and it's been stable since 2002.

the downside - losing your vision.

the upside - still having it in one eye. it is scary as hell when it's happening, but still having one good eye is SUCH a blessing as i'm sure you know!

stay vigilant - if you're having new symptoms and your current doctor doesn't seem to listen/care, find another doctor. i was seeing a retinal specialist, if you haven't seen one of those i'd look into it.

Nora said...

As a person with MS I'm glad you don't have that, but will keep you in my prayers that everything clears up for you. I think of all the things that could happen to me, the hardest would be to lose my eyesight. Stay strong and if you don't get answers keep trying with new doctors til they listen to you

FashionTouch said...

Carla, I am so glad you are getting better. I am so glad the doctors could help you. Sending my prayers your way for the complete healing.

It is amazing that in our everyday routine we forget of how many wonderful things we are given. Thank you for reminding me, I will cherish my gifts better now:)

Momma Goddess Treasures said...

OMgosh! I can't believe you have been going through all this. How scary, and no, not a time to hear things could be worse. I'm so glad it is getting better and will pray for that last spot to adios!! Take care of yourself.

Starla said...

Wow Carla! That's scary! Vision is such a precious thing and as an artist it's SO important! So happy things are returning back to normal for you! I can only imagine how stressed out you must have been.

capecodjewel said...

Bizarre! That's one I haven't heard of before.
I'm so glad it wasn't serious!

Pinkfink said...

Well I'm so glad it wasn't MS and that's it's something that is already passing! You are one brave lady!

Isn't it amazing we can send men to the moon yet when it comes the human body there are things that just aren't understood?! Amazing!

Many blessings to you for continued improvement with your sight.