Heather R. Breaux BLOG

Heather R. Breaux
February 06, 2008 at 10:55 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Itís been nearly a year since the retina in my right eye detached, and just when I started to feel like I was out of the danger zone and that I could finally breathe easily, I started to see spots with the only eye I have left.

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, Iíve been told that Iím 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 neurologistís 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 didnít think that the two were related and didnít 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 doctorís 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 neurologistís 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 Iíd decided to go ahead and get the partial prosthetic an get on with my life.

Now, Iíve hit a speed bump and have postponed my artificial eye until end of February. I just canít imagine trying to adjust to a prosthetic and dealing with all of this at the same time.

Itís been nearly a year since Iíve 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 Iím not alone. I have my family and friends by my side, but itís 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 fianceís face kills me inside, because he wishes he could take away my pain and make it all disappear.

But he knows that healing isnít 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.

View other articles written Heather R. Breaux

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