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Saturday, February 12, 2011

And If Thy Right Eye Offend Thee...

Seems like there is never a dull moment around here. We got ice storms. We got new laptops. We got fiscal anorexia. We got Jen getting mad at the whole planet. And just when things start to settle down, we got posterior iritis.

Uh, hold it. Back up a sec. What?

Well, it all started about a week ago, when we were sweeping and shoveling snow off the cars after the Big Storm. I happened to glance in the mirror that evening and noticed my eye was rather pissed-off and angry-looking. Like many the heroine of a horror movie, I Thought Nothing Of It At The Time; I thought maybe I'd had some snow or ice in my eye that had scratched the cornea or something like that, at the very worst. It didn't hurt or anything, so I put some Visine in it (by the way, my eye doc says not to ever do that, unless you're about to have your picture taken) and went to bed.

The next day it was still red and pissed-off-looking. And then it really did start to hurt-not often, but when light hit it unexpectedly. People at work asked me if I had pinkeye. Well, I had a pink eye, so who's to say not? But I looked up the symptoms of pinkeye on the internet and I didn't seem to have it. Also, if you have sensitivity to light, you should call your eye doc immediately.

Immediately took me about four days, in no small part because I couldn't seem to get in anywhere. My regular doc was out of the office all week, I don't have an opthalmologist, and I finally called the guy who does my glasses. He said to get in there right away. So I went in, and he looked at my eye through about eight different pieces of equipment. By the time we got to Piece of Equipment No. 6, I was reasonably certain he wasn't going to say, "You have a mild scratch on your cornea, probably caused by snow or ice." Or pinkeye, for that matter. What he finally told me was pretty complicated. For this we need an illustration. Let's pull one up:

Okay. See the big round white thing? That's the lens, the clear thingy that focuses the images we see and basically allows vision to happen. Normally the lens sits behind the iris, like it does in this illustration. And normally, the space behind the lens is full of fluid that sits at a certain pressure that keeps the lens where it needs to be. Well, somehow, pressure of this fluid has increased, and the lens has been pushed forward into the iris, which is the colored part of the eye. There it has gotten stuck, which is a big problem because the iris is what opens and closes when the light changes. With the lens mashed up against the iris, the iris can't open and close properly, which is why the light hurt when it hit my eye; way too much getting in. Also, the iris trying to close strained the eye muscle, which is also painful in a weird way (it's like a sore muscle from working out at the gym, I guess).

This is absolutely not a good thing. In fact it can be very bad, to the point of sending me off to a specialist immediately. I have an appointment for Thursday, which is immediately in specialist-ville. The optometrist dilated my eye to try to force the iris open to the max, hoping the lens would back off. This was partially successful. The lens backed off a little bit, and my eye feels a little bit better now, but it was NOT FUN at the time. Crank up that sore muscle at the gym times about a thousand. I mean, eyes aren't supposed to hurt, folks. That's just too weird.

The eye doc also gave me steroid drops to take the swelling down, which is helping too. And I go back to see him tomorrow (on a Sunday. You can tell it's serious when they want to see you on a Sunday.) But what caused it still hasn't been addressed, as I can't recollect any blows to the head or eye trauma lately. So the specialist still needs to get involved. And scary words like microsurgery are floating around and I like them not at all. And then there's something about the mashing forward of the lens cutting off the eye's circulatory system, thus causing glaucoma which can cause loss of vision which can eventually cause...yeah. And if I've got it in one eye, it's possible I could get it in the other, especially since they don't know what caused it.

So I'm a little freaked out here. Owing to occasional blackouts in our little piece o'heaven I'm very good at navigating in total darkness and always thought I'd make a good blind person (or a cat), but I was really never all that keen on testing the idea. Besides, I like to drive. I gather they don't let you do that if you can't see. To say nothing of what I'd do for a living. A blind paralegal? I'd do better posing for statues of Lady Justice.

Anyway, maybe none of that will happen. Maybe the specialist will think the first guy overreacted and my lens is falling nicely back into place on its own and everything will be hunky dory once more. Meantime, I'm gonna go take my eye drops and go to sleep. On my back, of course, to better facilitate the falling-int0-place of the recalcitrant lens.


Cele said...

there is no part of this that sounds good. Fingers crossed for Thursday.

Jen said...

It's better now. Still taking the drops. We'll see what the doc says.