Heather R. Breaux BLOG
About three weeks ago, I awoke one morning and noticed that when I blinked there was a string of small spots in the right corner of my eye, and within a few days the number of spots increased.
I immediately phoned my retina specialist and scheduled an appointment.
After all, I’ve been told that I’m the type of patient that can make an eye doctor nervous and that any abnormality with the vision in my only eye should be considered an emergency.
But little did I know that one visit with the eye doctor would lead to blood work, multiple MRIs and other X-rays, and a stop at the neurologist’s office.
My eye exam showed no tearing or detachment of the retina, but what it did show was inflammation of the optic nerve - the part of the eye that basically communicates with the brain.
What concerned my retina specialist was that fact that when I first began to see the spots I also noticed that a small area of my chin went numb.
At first I didn’t think that the two were related and didn’t mention it during that first visit, but after a little nudging from my mother, I asked my eye doctor if the two could be related.
He said that there could very well be a relation there and ordered that I do an MRI of my head and eyes and a few other tests.
I did what the doctor ordered and scheduled appointments for all the exams.
The blood work and X-rays came back good, but there were a few MRI scans that were borderline normal.
My eye doctor’s preliminary diagnosis was optic neuritis - a condition that causes irritation of the optic nerve which in return can cause changes in vision for up to eight weeks.
However, there is also a relation between optic neuritis and multiple sclerosis, therefore, I was ordered to see a neurologist.
Medical research shows that people who suffer from this eye condition either have multiple sclerosis or have a high chance of developing the disease later in life.
I passed the neurologist’s physical exam with flying colors, but was still told that I needed another MRI of my neck to check for any abnormal lesions and to see if any fluid had built up in my spinal cord - all signs of multiple sclerosis.
Never in a million years, would I have seen any of this coming.
My right eye has completely healed from the second vitrectomy - a surgery performed to repair the detached retina - and I’d decided to go ahead and get the partial prosthetic an get on with my life.
Now, I’ve hit a speed bump and have postponed my artificial eye until end of February. I just can’t imagine trying to adjust to a prosthetic and dealing with all of this at the same time.
It’s been nearly a year since I’ve felt normal and while most days I show strength like a survivor, there are still those days where I let it all out with a good cry.
And I know that I’m not alone. I have my family and friends by my side, but it’s just as hard to see them go through this as it is to go through it myself.
I never go to the doctor by myself, but I know that even though they love me, my family is tired of going, too.
And the look of failure on my fiance’s face kills me inside, because he wishes he could take away my pain and make it all disappear.
But he knows that healing isn’t a power we possess and that makes him feel helpless.
I will continue to pray, take it all in stride and hope that these last test results come back showing that I am healthy.
Until next week, take care of yourself and each other - we never know what tomorrow holds.
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