Last Thursday when I woke up, it was apparent to me that my eyesight had gotten worse over night. I tried not to worry too much because I hadn’t had more than thirteen hours of sleep since that Sunday and I felt a lot like a zombie, but I was concerned.
I got out of bed and started to go about my morning routine, until I caught my reflection in the mirror. I was mortified. Through my left eye, I could clearly see that my right eye was bulging more than the night before and in the past, that’s meant the CSR (central serous retinopathy, also known as central serous chorioretinopathy) has worsened.
I tried to stay really positive...
Before this last flare-up, I’d had central serous retinopathy once before, but this time was different because it wasn’t gone in a matter of months.
This last flare up was diagnosed during a partial exam on June 21, 2016 and then again during a follow up appointment on July 16, 2016 to see if the CSR had either decreased or increased.
During the month in between those two appointments, it had gotten worse and the optometrist told me she was referring me to a specialist. I left the office feeling quite down. I was terrified I was losing my sight and although I was told not to stress, that news made it worse; it was really hard.
I went home and waited to hear from my optometrist’s office, but weeks went by and nothing.
After about a month, I decided I better follow up with one of the receptionists and was told that a letter had been sent out ...oh and to be patient, as it took months to get an appointment. I reminded her that the Doctor said it was important to treat this right away, but she told me it could take months to get an appointment and that I needed to be patient.
More time went by and I called again. I was told they were (still) waiting for the specialist’s office to call them back. I got really mad and told the women on the other end of the phone that I wasn’t going to wait any longer! I told her to get the Doctor to call me and hung up angrily.
I received a call a couple of hours later but it wasn’t the Doctor, it was the receptionist I had spoken to earlier. I told her I didn’t want to speak to her and that I wanted to speak to the Doctor, but she said she wasn’t in the office. She ignored my requests for the Doctor and told me they’d solved my appointment issue. Apparently, the referral letter had been mailed to the wrong specialist and had been “misplaced.”
I didn’t know much about CSR at this point, but I did know that it’s extremely important to treat it right away. I knew that if it wasn’t treated early, scar tissue could form and cause permanent damage to vision.
Needless to say, I was pretty pissed off that the first time I got an appointment to see a specialist was October 18, 2016; 17 weeks after my second diagnosis!
Once I did see the specialist, she started me on a medication called Voltaren to try and reduce some of the fluid that had accumulated, but it didn’t work. She told me we would wait it out and reiterated that I must stop stressing about it!
Really?! I’m not sure why I never thought of that!!!
I have a mental illness and I’ve told her that, but according to her I should be able to just stop stressing.
What I want to know is, how?! How do I ignore the bulging eye that has been staring back at me in the mirror for almost a year? How do I ignore the fact that I have little to no depth perception and haven’t been able to drive my vehicle in ten months? Furthermore, how do I ignore that on most days, the strongest readers (+300) in the house can’t help me see?
Which brings me to the reason why I’m writing this week’s blog...
I have some good news and some bad news...
The good news is that the hole in my retina has finally closed, but the bad news is that it closed with quite a large accumulation of fluid inside my retina.
The ophthalmologist told me that my eyesight has deteriorated dramatically but that I need to “accept this as my new reality,” that “this is the best my sight is going to be going forward.” Plus, she told me to start using the drops she previously decided weren’t working and when I questioned her, she just stared me down and repeated the request.
I just want to cry.
I used to have perfect vision and now I’m close to being legally blind in one eye. Accepting this as my new reality and moving forward is going to be really hard; especially when I can’t get correctional lenses until all of “this settles out.”
I’m not sure that she remembers me telling her that driving is impossible and sitting in front of a computer or trying to do any sort of writing is causing me to have headaches.
This has been going on close to a year and I just don’t get how the fuck I’m supposed to “move forward?!” Sorry for the language, but no other word seems to fit right now!! I need some time to wrap my head around all of this, because all I want to do is crawl under the blankets and have a full blown pity-party!
In the meantime, my husband is going to try and “jimmy rig,” me a pair of glasses so that I can back to writing. It may be a couple of weeks before I write my next blog, but if you’d like you can go to my blog list and get caught up on any you haven’t read yet - http://www.davinalytle.com/bloglist/.
I want you all to know how much I appreciate your support and understanding, as well as the follow. Stay safe and stay strong.