Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Eye Update

I'm finally coming down from the dilation of my eyes, enough to get back on the computer anyway. Still not enough to look at the little numbers on tax returns. Wow. I forgot how much I hate having my eyes dilated. My pupils are larger than normal anyway, so basically the entire iris is black when they do this. And everything up close is double and triple vision for awhile.

I went back to my office afterwards and the flourescent lights created a foggy halo effect around my peripheral vision. And of course, they were bright and painful, and they made me squint. I went into my office to pick up work for later, after the dilated pupils constricted, and to try to clear my desk of the debris that built up while I was out for a few hours, and to talk to everyone in the office that had questions about things they were working on for me (it never fails when you are trying to get out of the office, everyone wants to talk for "just 5 minutes.") I turned the light off in my office and then everyone stopped by to laugh at me working in the dark. Then when they saw my eyes, they laughed some more. I get no respect.

Anyway, the good news is that my eyes are responding well to the drops. The pressure dropped to 22 and 27 today (vs. 32 and 47 the other day). The goal is to get them both under 20 which the doc said may or may not happen over the next few weeks on drops alone. He suggested two drops in my right eye to "kick it up a notch." Then, if this doesn't completely do the trick, I am a candidate for laser surgery. The technician, whom I love (a different technician than last time...this time I got Lottie and she's a gem. She's a "fat old woman," her words, and she's a hoot...she liked a necklace I was wearing and wrote down on my chart, "patient is burdened by the large pendant around her neck, so I took it from her") described the laser surgery as working like Scrubbing Bubbles, energizing the drainage tissue (which she described as sponge-like) to clean themselves up. This is a new form of laser surgery in which no tunnels are bored and no scar tissue can develop. She said that they do many of these procedures every day and "did you see any of those people leaving today, screaming or crying?" "No, but did you bribe them with lollipops?" I still think I'll try the drops first, but good to know the surgery is an "easy" alternative.

They took photos today of the optic nerves, to see if there is any damage. Last time I was tested (in 2004), there was none. Of course, that was great relief at the time, but also made it easier to let it go. Wrongly, I also thought this meant that I didn't have glaucoma yet, just high pressure in my eyes. Being told that I actually "have glaucoma" is sobering. So, while my corrected vision seems unimpaired and I hope there is no damage, it will probably do me good to see some damage in the photos.

I go back in a few weeks for a follow up and review of the photos as well as a visual field test. I am such an over achiever that the visual field test makes me very nervous. I know it's not the LSAT or the GMAT, but I just can't help myself. For those who have not gone through a rigorous one of these, it is intense and you walk away with a headache. You basically put your head inside a black box. Then, every time a light flashes anywhere in the box, you hit the button on your joystick. Of course, the lights go off at unpredictable speed and direction and all of your button pushing is recorded on a computer where they read the results. I got a little trigger happy last time, pressing the button furiously the entire time, hoping not to miss a one, like I was playing a video game rather than trying to get an honest read on my eyesight. Exhausting, it was. I'm not looking forward to doing that again. Silly, I know. There are worse things that people have to go through at the doctor's office.

In the meantime, I've got a new prescription for new glasses. Aside from the slight need for bi-focals, which I'm opting not to correct at this time because it's not bothering me much at all yet, my prescription hasn't changed from the glasses I'm wearing now that are over 6 years old.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go practice for my visual field test. ;-)



At 6:35 AM, April 04, 2008, Blogger Sisiggy said...

Do you shout BAM! every time you squeeze that second drop in your eye?

At 8:10 AM, April 04, 2008, Blogger beth said...

I'm glad the drops are working, hopefully they'll continue to do the trick (though the nurse lady sounds very nice.)

At 12:32 AM, April 05, 2008, Blogger Janie said...

Wow. That sounds like a rigorous day. Glad the drops are working! I'm praying over here for ya!!

At 12:45 AM, April 05, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

sisiggy, the thought of that makes my eyes burn. ;-)

Thanks for the prayers! I think they are working. :-)

At 12:46 AM, April 05, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Janie, I ain't got nothing on your idea of "hectic." ;-)

At 9:21 PM, April 08, 2008, Blogger Lynellen said...

I too have HUUUUUUUUGE pupils (about 9mm when dilated) and high pressure... no official diagnosis of glaucoma yet, but they always test it a few times and purse their lips.

I wonder if glaucoma and huge pupils are related?

At 9:54 PM, April 08, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Lynellen, maybe? I think also near sightedness is related to high pressure. And I'm not sure but I think that high pressure essentially IS glaucoma. Have you been to a specialist? Since this came as a complete surprise to me (no symptoms at all the first time around...some eye fatigue recently sent me back but only because I knew I had been negligent and feared the worst), I encourage everyone to get checked, especially if it runs in the family, or if you have HUUUGE pupils. ;-)


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