Monday, March 23, 2009

Well, It Wasn’t Exactly in the EyeBALL

Had another appointment with the ophthalmologist today, which included redoing all of the scans, and a new diagnosis. My left eye is still fine. In my right eye, however, the pocket of fluid is a little worse, and I seem to be starting a cataract. I could tell that things were looking (or rather seeing) worse, so the fluid wasn't a surprise. I suppose the cataract is a surprise, but not really. I mean, what do I know, what to expect. The ophthalmologist actually twigged onto the full-brain radiation today, and now thinks that what she's seeing is more likely related to that than to my occasional low iron levels. I was pretty sure I'd mentioned it on my first visit if not my last one, and sure enough, it is in my file. Apparently now is about the time that eye issues will show up (as well as short-term memory loss issues and trouble multi-tasking. So far, nothing I'm experiencing mind-wise seems to be any different from any other over-30 friends. My logic skills also still seem to be fine, as I was able to successfully complete all the Mensa questions in the American Airlines magazine while waiting for our return flight from Dallas last week. I've been trying to work that in somewhere.).

Dr Meyers-Powell thought it was worthwhile to try something more, and she described a treatment where she pulls back right eyelid, I look down and to the left, and she injects a pocket of steroid into the eye socket just above the eyeball. This steroid, supplemented by eye drops, should bring down the swelling, and has virtually no side effects. The next step, if this doesn't seem to work, is the needle IN the eyeball procedure, which can have several side effects, including extreme horror and the worsening of the cataract. "Well, it may do that anyway," I pointed out. "After all, it wasn't here six weeks ago."

So I opted for the needle just above the eyeball. First I was given numbing eyedrops (felt very weird to blink), then she spread another numbing drop, using a cotton swab, onto the top of my eye under the lid, and the flesh there (I couldn't really feel this). Then I looked down and to the left, and she pulled up my eyelid and injected the steroid. I was supposed to only feel pressure. I felt a teeny, tiny sting. And then my eye hurt for about five minutes. The vision in it was already (and still is) blurry from the numbing drops.

Then they let me go, and I drove to Northacres Park off-leash and played with the dogs a bit, and then I came home. It's really amazing to me how much the brain can compensate for impaired vision in only one eye. It appears that I can see very well—I have my depth perception, I can read signs, I see goose families crossing the road in front of me in time to stop (well, I haven't had the need to test that.). But if I close my left eye, everything I see is blurred. But, I am still getting the depth when both eyes are open, and the left supplies the clarity. Very interesting.

Anyway, my new visualization for right before sleep is going to be a draining and clearing of my eye. I do not want that other needle.

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