Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Eye Panic--But all is fine.

About two weeks ago, I was in a dark room and a bright flash of light streaked down the side of my left eye. I have a very faulty left eye. Every eye doctor who looks at it is amazed that I see much of anything out of it. Six years ago, I developed a small blind spot in it which lead me on a two year, full of panic journey, to rule out MS, a tumor in my occipital lobe, cancer, etc. Fortunately, I don't have MS or any other scary condition but it took about 5 eye doctors, 2 neurologists and finally a Nero-opthemologist to come to that conclusion. It was a crappy time and one I did not want to relive again. It impacted everyone around me.

So, imagine my fear when that flash of light hit my left eye. I decided to ignore it but the flashes kept on coming--usually noticed when I was in a dark room but not always (once, while I was singing a solo during a Stake Relief Society Enrichment.) I went to Web MD and again, things were pointing to MS and I thought, "I don't have the time or the emotional energy to go down that road again. It was completely ruled out six years ago and now the fear is back." And, it was back big time. A few posts ago, I wrote about calling my mom. I did more WebMD reading. I started waking up in the middle of the night checking my balance, etc. I DID NOT want to go to a doctor and be sent in for a million tests again. The flashes continued and I was near a breaking point.

So, finally on Saturday, on the soccer field, an opthemologist father of one of the boys on my team was sitting next to me. In my best calm voice, I casually described my symptom. He very casually said, "Oh, that is normal. Your vitreous is pulling away from retina. It happens to everyone. You are at the age when it often happens." He then said, "If you develop a blind spot, go immediately to the doctor. It should go away in a few weeks." He didn't even look me. It was all very "no big deal" talk as our sons beat Sparta (YEA!)

So, it was all reassuring with the exception of the possibility of a blind spot. I already have one of those and other weird benign but making it hard to see out of my eye problems. So, back home, on the Internet again and back to me constantly checking the vision in my left eye. After a few more nights of no sleep, my vision getting crappier because I wasn't sleeping, I finally made the dreaded appointment to the eye doctor convinced I was going to be sent in for a million tests, which I knew I would fail, etc. Fortunately, it is just the vitreous pulling away from my eye. My retina looks healthy and fine and he said it should stop in a few weeks. There is still a small chance of my retina pulling away (one in 100) but based on what he saw, currently no. Retina is still attached.

So, if you develop flashing in your periphery, yes, do go to the doctor (to rule out retinal detachment) but don't freak out. Trust me, I have done all the freaking out for you.

5 comments:

Queen Elizabeth said...

WHEW! Glad all is well...

michelle said...

I am with Liz! Sometimes don't you think life might be more peaceful if you were less educated/intelligent? I mean if you were some poor uneducated gal in the middle of a rainforest or something you would probably just get irritated at the inconvenience instead of terrified! But alas, you are a smart woman of this century! so glad it worked out okay. and now if that happens to me you will have already freaked out for me, thanks!

Jane Anne said...

You really do like WebMD don't you. Hopefully you'll be able to get some sleep now.

Paige said...

I think all medical questions should be casually asked and answered at soccer games. Or church. We have a neighbor who is a general practitioner who is the GREATEST! I could ask him things in primary and get the casual answer. Then you don't waste time and money and the stress of going in to the doctor's office, and you find out if it's something serious or not.

And STAY off of WEB MD. It is not for paranoid worry warts such as yourself (and I say that in the most loving tone immaginable).

love.boxes said...

I would have totally paniced too. So glad that you are all well and OK.