Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Cornea's Fascinating Journey.....

this isn't my eye, but a good rendition of what is wrong with it. If it was my eye, I'd be plucking the eyebrow above, but that's just me. 
It's been a month since I've been here; my plans were to do a better job of staying in touch.

So much for good intentions.

Our oldest daughter, Sarah, and her family moved to northern Idaho; I came home, and left four days later on what was to be a total relaxation vacation with my husband.

Two days into it, after spending an afternoon lying on a beach, my contacts felt dry from the wind and my eyes felt tired, like they needed a rest. I took out my contacts. Without solution. Threw them into the bag of sea shells I'd collected and figured all was okay.

Two hours later I was getting medical care because I could not stand any light in my eye. And isn't hindsight so wonderful? Apparently most contact injuries occur from either sleeping in contacts when you're not supposed to (I don't) or taking them out when your eyes are dry and tired. That's what I did, apparently. At the doctor I filled out the little form, telling them various surgeries they asked about that had nothing to do with anything, and also mentioned that I WAS ALLERGIC TO SULFA. IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS.

The doctor told me I had conjunctivitis - possibly contact related, or not. Lucky me, there was NO corneal abrasian. Just use the antibiotic / steroid drops every few hours and I should feel better in 24 hours. Not being able to see so well, I took what the doctor prescribed, and started dropping it into my eyeball. He also told me I was 'irresponsible for getting sunburned' but since that's minor compared to his other failings, we'll be mature and move on.

24 hours later I was back because my eye was much worse, and they said to just keep using the drops, it would apparently take a bit longer.

24 hours later I could not see out of my eye, could not stand any light into it, in severe pain. My eye was a complete mess. What started on Monday afternoon ended on Thursday afternoon at Urgent Care, and a doctor telling me I now had a severe corneal abrasian, use this new $100 bottle of drops and STOP using the other one because IT WAS SULFA THAT I HAPPEN TO BE ALLERGIC TO. And I might consider seeing an optometrist to check out the overall condition of my eye.

The optometrist told me my eye was such a mess it 'was above her pay grade' and immediately sent me to a corneal specialist to be sure there was no hole in my cornea so that I would not need a transplant..... She also took about 20 photos of my eye because it was a mess like she'd never seen. Off we went to the cornea specialist who (I'll spare you the gruesome details here) treated my eye, gave me more medicines and told me to come back Monday.

On Monday I was told the steroid I've been using, that is necessary to prevent scar tissue from forming and possibly permanently affecting my vision, is also, unfortunately, thinning my cornea to a dangerous level, so here I am now - putting stuff in my eye every two hours, praying my cornea is thickening rather than developing a hole. I go back tomorrow to see how we're doing. I can now see some light and some colors but no definition.

It's amazing what you can't do without both eyes, and how much you use them. I know that sounds obvious but you don't realize how much you take them for granted til you take them for granted.

So if you feel so inclined, feel free to pray for my little right cornea, that she'll grow and heal and that tomorrow the specialist will tell me she sees improvement.

Soon as that happens I'll be back to tell you what else I've been up to, or have planned, or am hoping to do. 

10 comments:

Jill McKinney said...

Definitely praying for you!!

Linda said...

Praying for you Bev. My husband is blind in his right eye and I absolutely understand the limitations. I'm so sorry things have gotten so bad.

Debbie said...

Bev, I'm sorry to hear about your cornea and will be praying for complete healing. I've come to the conclusion that the question about medication allergies is a mostly rhetorical one to which doctors pay little or no attention. I can't tell you how many times and from how many different doctors I've gotten prescriptions containing the specific medication I've listed as something I'm not supposed to take. I no longer fill prescriptions for a new medication without first checking the Mayo Clinic website to see what it contains and what side effects it has.

I hope you get great news at your appointment!

Chris said...

Praying hard!

Anonymous said...

Oh my. Praying for you. I recently found out I have skin cancer on my lower eyelid, so I'm dealing with some eye "stuff" too. Hope it heals without any need for more drastic intervention.
Blessings,
Toni

Bev said...

I'd say this has been a real 'eye opener' but..... I am amazed that when you write down, in letters inches tall, that you are allergic to something, they don't necessarily pay attention to it. A real lesson there. And a lesson in what I take for granted. For how much I need my eyes, and how difficult it is to do anything handicapped, which is what I am pretty much right now. When this is finally healed and I am able to sit and read a book with both eyes I'm going to be feeling mightily blessed by God! By then it might be scary too, to think what our bathrooms look like. Right now they look pristine!

Kelly said...

Bev- I am so sorry! It is especially frustrating when you suffer with things that are totally avoidable. Praying for healing - and quickly:-)

Leah said...

So sorry this happened to you, but hopefully by now you're back on the road to recovery. Can you get a rain check on your relaxation days!?

Anonymous said...

Bev,
So very sorry for your ordeal. I too am very allergic to sulfa drugs and last year with it on my records...a very good Dr. put me on a drug that I became very allergic too...broke out in a horrible rash...my skin peeled off for months. I looked it up and it had sulfa in it. I was pretty stunned. I will from now on always look up each new med.
Praying your eye improves daily and heals completely.
Elaina

Sam said...

Oh my gosh, how awful! This is literally one of my biggest fears--something happening to my eyes. I am so sorry. I will absolutely keep you in my prayers. What a terrible thing! Hang in there!