Thursday, February 20, 2014

Retina Detachment: My Personal Story

 

This photo of my left eye was taken over a year ago. I always thought it was so cool. Little did I know that I would be using it for a blog post, like this one, months later. 
As you know my last post was over a month ago. Actually the day I last posted, January 19th, I was dealing with a detached retina in my left eye without even knowing it.

I have decided to blog about my experience with a detached retina from a patient standpoint in hopes to help out others who are going through the same situation or to help you know the signs of a detached retina. Furthermore, as you are reading, know that I am obviously not a Doctor and this is solely about my own personal experience.

First of all, people ask HOW did this happen to you!?
I am only 35 years old and in good health.... a nurse actually told me "It's simply bad luck!"
Although I don't fall into these categories, certain people have a greater chance of getting a retinal detachment: people with a high degree of nearsightedness, family history, eye trauma, or previous eye surgery. If you fall into any of these categories you should have a thorough dilated retinal exam regularly.

MY STORY
 January 16th, 2014... the day of my son Brenden's 8th birthday... I took my kids along with food and cupcakes to eat lunch with Brenden's teacher and a few friends in the classroom.
I was packing up my stuff to go and all of a sudden I noticed a flash and I felt a little sick for a second, kind of nauseous, but it went away quickly. I just payed no attention to it and went on with my day.
Looking back on this moment, I know this is right when my retina detached!!
By the evening I felt like maybe my contacts needed to be changed and that is why my eye felt a little strange. I changed the next day but it obviously didn't help. I kept seeing little flashes in the lower right of my left eye. I was also beginning to get a little blurry spot in that same area. 
I tried to ignore it but it was very annoying and sometimes really messed with my vision. However, we had my son's big Skylander's Birthday party on Saturday the 18th so I was definitely BUSY getting everything ready to have 9 second grade boys over to play for three hours! 
Progressively, each day my eye got worse, by the 4th day dealing with this I had a very noticeable grey blurry spot in the lower right corner of my vision in my Left eye. Even though it was a holiday on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr., I hauled all three of my babies to the doctors office to get me eye checked.
The first place I went was a normal eye Dr. where you would get a prescription and glasses. They looked in my eyes and said that everything looked good. FIRST LESSON: a regular eye Dr. cant tell if there are any problems with your retinas. I was sent to a specialist. 
I forgot about the fact that my eyes would have to be dilated so thank God Jason met me at the first Doctor's office to drive me and the kids to the next apt.
At the Retina Specialist they told me that I would probably have to have this vegetable-based dye injected into my veins to track the blood flow in my eyes. The main side effect to this would be that I might feel nauseous and throw up right away. WHAT!?! SERIOUSLY!?!
HOWEVER, after just a few pictures.... they knew what was wrong with me so I didn't need to have that procedure done..... THANK GOD!!!

When I finally met with the Dr. he told me that my Retina has detached in my left eye and that it is  also happening in my right eye!! He asked me when the last time I ate was because he wanted to do surgery THAT DAY!!! WOW!!! 
Everything he was saying at this point was going over my head... I was just sitting there happy that he knew what was going on in my eye and that I didn't have to live with all the flashing and the gray blurry spot.
Since I just ate, surgery was scheduled for the next day.
The doctor explained that once the retina detaches, it is kind of like saran wrap that has nothing to hold on to. This explains why my vision was progressively getting worse each day I didn't have it looked at. I was VERY lucky that the detachment didn't go past my central vision because sometimes its hard to get all sight back if it does! 
I have a friend who said his mom lost sight in her eye while waiting for her insurance to approve the surgery for a detached retina!!! SO SAD!!!!

Now to address my right eye. The easiest way to explain it is that my retina is attached like perforated paper and he wanted to laser over the "perforations" which would basically be like adding "tape" so it would make it stronger. This isn't a permanent fix so my retina could still detach in my right eye! (GOOD TO KNOW!)

The dr said I could have my right eye lasered tomorrow with the other procedure or he could do it right now in the office. I opted to have it done immediately.....SECOND LESSON: I should have waited to have it done while under Anesthesia!!!
I tried to find a picture to help show you what happened to me next.
As I sat in the chair the Dr. held a circular tool to my eye, like the one pictured. It held my eye open. For the next 10 to 15 minutes my eye fought that tool.... WANTING to close!!
 The green laser hit my eye and it HURT....BAD!!!! 
 Seriously, I didn't expect to feel it! Haven't you heard that you can't really feel lasers to the eye? I don't know where I got that information from but I could DEFINITELY feel this!!! All I could see was GREEN and feel PAIN!!!! 
At one point the Dr. stopped and said to me, "You need to breath. I can tell you aren't breathing." I have never gotten a tattoo but I would say that this was probably what it would feel like to get one on your eye!!! 

By the way, I just have to note that I have one of the NICEST Doctors ever. It hurt but he was just doing his job to help me.

The next day I had my eye surgery, Vitrectomy, and what I was told was that there were three holes in my eye from the tools inserted to do the procedure (pictured below). They can't stitch them up so you have to be careful for infection and not let anything touch or get into your eye.... so I had to watch not to get water on my face in the shower.
 There was also a gas bubble placed into my eye to help hold the retina in place. I heard that there are short lasting bubbles which dissolve in about 4 weeks or there are longer lasting bubbles which take up to 8 weeks to dissolve. YEP, I got the longer lasting bubble! However, the longer the gas in in the eye, it helps to hold everything in place so I guess I can handle it. lol
One GREAT thing about this surgery is that my eye didn't really hurt afterwards.... I didn't feel sore once waking up from anesthesia. I woke up with a patch TAPED over my eye.

I was nervous about how my eye was going to look after the patch came off the next day.
What I didn't know to be nervous about was the nurse SLOWLY pulling off the layers of tape to get to my eye. I seriously think I started crying a little from the pain of the process! OMG!

Here is a picture of my eye, the day after surgery....
It actually doesn't look too bad. I dont know if you can tell from this but the white of my eye is swollen.
   
The first week after surgery, I really felt like I was in the dark. I wasn't allowed to do much, not even read. Thank God for Audible Books and Pod casts! I was allowed to watch TV but the eye that I could see out of was down on a blanket or pillow. With a gas bubble in my eye, I had to hold my head to the right for TWO WEEKS!!!!!
The gas acts as a cast to the eye until it heals. You aren't allowed to lay on your back because the bubble will move to the front of the eye and press against your natural lens.
I do have to admit, I feel lucky that I had to hold my head to the right side because MOST people have to hold their head face down.
I had a lot of neck and pain on the right side of my body for the first two weeks from trying to stay on my right side and I'm soooooooo glad that is behind me.

 The gas has made me feel a little like I am under water, when looking through my left eye. I tried to change a picture of my kids so you can kind of get the idea of what I can see....
The only thing you would have to do now is hold up a clear glass of water in front of the right picture and that is what I have been seeing out of my left eye for the past month.
As you can see.... it is BRIGHT. A lot of times I find it difficult to have that light in my vision because it glares into the vision of my right eye. For this reason, a patch really helps or just keeping the eye shut.
   
Here is a cute picture at one of my eye appointments..... "Waiting for mommy"!
 Sorry about this next picture.... I hate taking pictures with no makeup! This is showing me a month out of surgery to my left eye and laser to my right eye, BOTH of my eyes are still dilated. I literally have CRAZY eyes because one is dilated larger than the other. Nice to know, after the fact, that when you get your eye lasered like I did, it could damage the nerves that control dilation. SOOOOOO this could actually take up to a year to fix itself!!!! I don't even want to type this BUT in some cases, it never heals. Only time will tell in my case. 
Now as I slowly watch the gas bubble get smaller I can see what looks like a water line in my vision swashing all around. It's a crazy feeling that can make you feel sick sometimes.
I am slowly starting to be able to see over the bubble....
Sometimes I have double vision when looking at something which I heard is normal, Thank God!
However, as I wait for the gas to clear I am PRAYING that it hasn't formed a cataract on my natural lens! This happens a lot but since I am young there is hope that it would heal itself.

 So for another month I will be sporting my sunglasses EVERYWHERE I GO!!!! 

"Yes, I am wearing sunglasses at night! What are you looking at!?!" LOL 

This picture does show the JOY of me holding my baby boy because for a month I was not allowed to!
The dr said that it would put strain on my eye to hold anything over 20 pounds. I think that was the hardest part of this whole process! THAT AND not being able to drive!!!!
It is crazy to have stuff that you rely on daily to be taken away from you.

I want to Thank everyone who made my family a meal during the first three weeks I was down.
It helped so much to know I have so much support around me.
AND what could I have done without My Husband and his parents (Nana & Papa)!?! 
THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!
I want to leave you with a facebook post that I wrote on February 12, 
It's so easy to take things that we use and rely on regularly for granted, like sight! No matter how your week or day is going just be happy in this moment that you can SEE this post! You seriously NEVER know when something this important can be taken away from you... No matter your age or health! I am definitely an example of this... But I am thanking God that I still have one good eye at this moment! Let's try and focus on the positives in our lives today! 

***UPDATE***
August 2014, after 8 months of letting my eye heal, I finally had Cataract surgery to fix my left eye.
I was also 6 months pregnant at the time of surgery!
You can read about it HERE!

39 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! It is just so lucky that the main problem was only in one eye. So sorry you have to deal with it at all!!

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  2. Oh, wow! What an amazing story. I so feel for you, especially that you couldn't hold your baby for so long! I hope everything goes well for your recovery. I'll be looking forward to hearing more as you get better.

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  3. Great post! Been reading a lot about dealing with retinal issues recently. Thanks for the info!

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  4. Anonymous3/31/2015

    My girl had her left eye retinal detached last year when she was 8. She had vitreo surgery but doc said retina is still detached as water is still in the eye. It is very rare in kids so she is in very bad luck. I hope to hear from anyone who knows of a kid with this problem.

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  5. Just curious: did your dilation muscles ever regain their function?

    Thanks for the informative post. A small bit of constructive criticism: I would suggest using less exclamation points. They make haggard readers like me feel fatigued after a few sentences. :-)

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    1. Yes, my dilation muscles are back to normal, Thank God.

      Also, thank you for the suggestion.... I seriously don't know why I do it. I always use so many exclamations. I went through and removed a BUNCH. I am not a writer but I don't want that from stopping me from getting my ideas and experiences out there. It helps when someone like you notices.

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  6. I would argue that you ARE a writer, and I'm very grateful that you shared your experience on this.

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  7. Oh my, this sounds like it is such a hard thing to deal with. I'm sorry you have to experience this. That first picture of your eye is lovely-- I love your eye color, it's really pretty. Wow, so you can pinpoint the moment that your retina detached? How incredibly interesting that you felt nausea. I would think your vision would go blurry or something.

    Doris Gibbs @ Moody Eyes

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  8. Thank you for sharing your story about having laser eye surgery, your blog is both inspiring and informative. I liked the eye images that you included to show what happens during surgery. I have been considering laser eye surgery for a while now but have never quite been brave enough to go for it. Your story has inspired me to find out about surgery in my area. Thank you!

    Lucius Calhoun @ Bolton Vision Centre

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  9. Anonymous3/31/2016

    I have recently experienced the shock of having a left eye detached retina at 58yo - now 4 weeks after local anaesthetic my gas bubble is smaller - some vision returning - my left eye sees things half size of right eye. Due to meet consultant next week. Hope I have such a positive outcome. We don't get such sunny weather in Scotland - but your post gave me a bit of a lift,

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    1. I am happy that my post helped you a little! I hope after the gas bubble is fully gone your vision is good! Thanks for commenting!

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  10. Anonymous5/12/2016

    Hi,
    My left eye's retina detached last year and I work full-time but it is very difficult. I have a constant headache, double vision, nauseous, and trying to stay upbeat. Do you work full-time and how do you cope?

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    1. Hi, I know how you feel! I am always on the go because I have 4 children! One of the toughest parts of it all is driving and seeing my children at a far distance. I will just say that over time your eyes just adjust to it as the new normal! After my cateract surgery it has taken almost two years for me to feel a little better about my vision. I still have one more corrective eye surgery to go after I stop nursing my son. I am hoping for even better results. However, I have to say.... You have to let go of the idea of ever seeing the way you did before your retina detached. It's such a hard thing to go through! I would say to talk to your doctor about the headaches and feeling nauseous because all I have is the double vision sometimes. I hope things get better for you as time goes on!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story! I just had the pneumatic retinapexy and it helped me to hear about your experience! Praying you never have another problem!!

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  12. good your vision is back.ihad also gone retina surgery here
    https://youtu.be/VRNc3sNZZ6c

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  13. Hi I read your experience about your eyes and it was like reading my own life . I cried and I'm not ashamed to say it . About me the retina and macula started to detach 2 days before my 50 th birthday I knew something was not normal but did not realise how serious it was .My party which was attended by 102 people was one of the confusing nights of my life people knew I was not myself but I put on a brave face then 2 days after my party and 4 days after first warning signs that I did not recognise I had a full detachment that took about 15 seconds and there was no pain
    It has only been 2.5 weeks since the full surgery and I'm happy so far I have accepted that it's not going to be perfect but I compare to when I went into surgery I was blind in my right eye

    I can also relate to your story about the preventive treatment to the other eye painful is not the word

    A little more about me 50 only just look 40 and I'm Australian living on west coast of the land down under I Loughborough to laugh and smile that keeps me young and I gave the most amazing daughters 17 and 20

    I tell you this because I see amazing family values in your blog

    I love your blog can you let me know how your travelling now with your health

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    1. Gino,
      Thank you so much for commenting! I love hearing from others about this topic and knowing that my post somehow helped them, even just a little. I can't believe it, I am sitting here thinking back and its been almost 3 years since my eye problems all started! Time does fly and in this case I'm so glad! I am definitely used to my "new normal" vision. I only find myself closing my "bad" eye when correcting something when i'm typing, really trying to see something on my phone, or trying to see my kids when they are playing at the park and are far away from me. Other than some of those scenarios I feel that my eyes are adjusting to working together. Around the house I don't really notice any double vision. I do get it when Im driving but I feel that I am so used to it now that it doesn't really bother me. I am still supposed to get PRK Laser vision correction surgery in my Left eye which I pray might make my vision even better but they won't give it to me till I stop nursing my son. Currently I just wear one contact in my right eye. I feel that that is strange because I have always needed to wear two but I have adjusted to the vision I get out of my left eye.
      There is hope!!! The only thing with this is time! It takes time to heal and adjust! I pray that your eye heals from the surgery! THANK GOD for surgeons RIGHT!?! What would we have done without them!?
      Thank You again for commenting and sharing with me!
      *Colleen

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    2. Thank you so much for writing this! I'm 33 my name is Tiffany. I was hit by a drunk driver September 2016. I suffered right eye trauma. I just had my vitrectomy the end of December. Prior to the surgery my eye had severe symptoms of glaucoma, I was on multiple eye drops at one point 7!!!! It took me over an hour to put them all in multiple times a day. I was also on a diuretic. Since the vitrectomy I am off all the meds but a couple days ago I noticed pain in my eye and I go in today to make sure it's ok. I so appreciate you sharing your experience. I have felt alone and very scared through this. Most people do not understand what this feels like. lol I talk with my 75 y/o grammy about our eye problems! Do you have any suggestions on how to get through this and stay positive? I also have many more surgeries down the road and I am very anxious about my eye health! I'm a mother of two and I am also a nurse. I'm very worried about going back to work as well. I feel embarrassed by my vision problems. Any advice is appreciated πŸ˜€πŸ’—

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    3. Tiffany,
      First of all, Thank God you are ok after that car accident!!! I am so happy that your injuries weren't worse! I will be praying that the pain in your eye is nothing to worry about! It is so scary when you have problems like these! It is very easy to feel alone! TODAY is the 3 year anniversary of my retina detaching! I have had a heavy feeling ALL day! It is a tough thing to look back on! Such a long path to recovery!!!! And when I say "recovery" I mean getting used to my NEW normal way of seeing. It can be hard to stay positive sometimes!!! I do say, Thank God this happened in this day and age because of the doctors and technology we didn't go blind! That is the one way I stay positive because I am grateful for the fact that I CAN see even though it might not be as clear. Keep me posted on how your eye is doing!!

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    4. Wow how ironic that I find your blog the same day as your three year anniversary! I also have a torn Iris from the accident so I hv more problems on top of the others. My torn Iris causes my filtration in my eye to flow correctly causing and angle causing glaucoma. I hv to go back on three glaucoma drops three times a day the "max" to see what happens. If my eye doesn't respond by Friday when I come In then they will schedule me for surgery to get a tube placed in my eye. I hv known this was a possibility the whole time. I also am prepared for cataract surgery down the road. And eventually plastic related Related to scaring around my eye. But I am waiting to get my eye stable at this point! It sucks cz I was finally off lifting restrictions as of yesterday. I hv a tiny 4 year old who loves to b carried. I hv not been able to since September. I am lucky she isn't a baby though! You are 100% right! I'm so glad we were able to get the surgery to help! And so glad for Dr's n surgeons who have dedicated their lives to eyes! How well can you see out of your eye? Are you allowed to wear contacts? How often do you have to go back for check ups? Thank you again for sharing. I have searched the internet high n low looking for others who have been through anything similar but mostly find people that are much older than me. Which is ok. But u are the only other young mom who I've come across. I celebrate your 3 year anniversary! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰. I'm just learning how long n scary the road to recovery is I can't wait to be further down the road as well!!! πŸ’—

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    5. Tiffany, what an ordeal!!!! WOW!!! You are a strong woman! I would have hated to know how LONG the road to recovery is when my retina first detached!
      It hit me hard when you said "lifting restrictions" !!!!! I almost forgot about that!!!! SOOOOOOOO Horrible! My third was a baby and still nursing when this happened to me! My MIL had to lift him up into my lap when he needed to nurse and I couldn't work out for SO LONG!!! That was probably hands down the worst part of this whole thing beside being blind in one eye for two months!
      Did you see my post on cataract surgery? I was 6 months pregnant with my 4th when I had it done. That was when things started getting better in my vision. I had to get used to my new lens but finally things were CLEAR!!!! What is crazy is I now only wear one contact. I don't wear one in my eye that had all of the surgeries. The vision far away is hard in that eye but I just use my right eye for that. I will go in in a few months for sort of a lasik type surgery for my left eye and I hope to see even better!!!
      There is HOPE to better vision!!! It just takes time and its slow to notice!

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    6. I am now at yearly check ups with my retina surgeon.

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    7. I did see that you got the cataract surgery pregnant! I don't think I could hv done that! You are brave! And also brave to have more babies while going through all that not knowing what would happen! That is so selfless! I wanted more but I am at a standstill. One because I know some of these surgeries can't wait and I hv too much scaring to get a block around my eye and two it's hard enough taking care of two kids and my eye problems! I can't imagine a baby! Go Mama!! I'm told eventually I will also be yearly, I can't wait for that! That's funny I was thinking about wearing one contact for days I don't want to wear glasses(special occasions, date night ect) πŸ˜‚For now I'm usually sporting sunglasses. Even in stores! I'm so glad to have come across you! I was thinking about sharing my story publicly but I'm not quit ready. I was thinking a YouTube video talking about it probably once I know more next week I will think about it. Especially because there is not many people talking about it and it helps so much to find people with similar difficulties and challenges through life! πŸ’—πŸ˜Š

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  14. Thank you for sharing your retinal detachment experience.

    I am a first-year MBA student at UCLA Anderson working with a group of graduate students on medical innovation in ophthalmology. Our goal is to improve the experience and outcomes for patients with a macular hole or retinal detachment.

    We are looking for US patients who have had a vitrectomy procedure for a macular hole or retinal detachment and are in the post-op or long-term recovery phase.

    Would you be willing to complete and/or share our 5-10 minute optional, anonymous survey with relevant macular hole and retinal detachment patients? The survey responses and results are completely anonymous; no respondents will be followed up with unless they give permission and choose to provide contact information.

    The links are included below and any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Link to macular hole survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BQKPG8Q

    Link to retinal detachment survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B753WYJ

    Thank you,

    Emily

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    1. I filled out the servey!!!! Thanks for including me!

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  15. Thank you for sharing your story. I went in for dry eyes a month and a half ago. They noticed something in my retina and had me go to a retina specialist 3 1/2 weeks later. I saw the first doctor on a Saturday and he scared the crap out of me. On Monday I received a second opinion. I had a lower retina detachment, and upper retina tear and thinning in my right eye and lattice in my left eye. This all happened right when my husband came home from surgery to his femur and knee bone due to a work injury. Needless to say, it's been overwhelming. Apparently, I have been walking around with a detached retina for six months to possibly several years. About two years ago, I became very nauseous tunnel vision and called my husband that something was wrong. I was told that I had a panic attack, but now I believe this is when the detachment occurred. due to everything going on, we went for a less invasive approach and had the detachment weld. This means there is still fluid between the layers, but the hope is the damn will keep it from progressing. My issue, is I've been having anxiety attacks of going blind since this happened. Every day, I'm concerned that something is wrong. I'm having my left eye done this Thursday. Your strength is amazing, I wish I were so strong. Any words of advice are appreciated.

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    1. Brigitte,
      I wish you luck for tomorrow! I KNOW you will do well! It is such a scary thing to have to deal with eye problems! I can't believe you have been living with a detachment for SO LONG!!! mine was only 4 days and it progressed so quickly that I couldn't ignore it! I find it interesting that we both experienced being nauseous and tunnel vision when the detachment occurred.

      I will have to say I also worry about something happening to my right eye because it's my "good" eye! I seriously go into the eye doctor when i think ANYTHING is wrong! I would rather them be sick of me than have something happen to my eye like detachment again!!!

      With these issues TIME is the best healer. It just takes a lot of time! Praise God that we have amazing Doctors these days who can help fix our eyes and get us back to as close to normal as possible!

      Let me know how everything goes tomorrow!

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    2. Update My eyes are still dilated, and tired from the laser. I think it went well. My eyes will be checked again in one week, next Thursday the 30th. I will always need to be near a retina specialist and aware of any changes in my eyes as it can happen in a moment. However, for today, I can see. As the doctor said, I will need to take time to adjust and get used to my new norm.
      I feel like it's so much easier said than done. I'm literally terrified to go anywhere that doesn't have a retina specialist. Because I've had laser now to both eyes, I think I'll always have a little anxiousness. I'm just hoping and praying that one day I can feel freedom again. This is the only post I have written on, and it meant so much to have your response and to know I'm not alone.
      May I ask, how do you deal with things like going on trips? My biggest concern is that I won't notice that I'm having a detachment in time or they're will be no help. Again any suggestions or words of wisdom are so much appreciated. Thank you so much.

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    3. I understand your anxiousness Brigitte! You won't always feel that way.... It may come and go. I had my right eye lasered and as my Retina surgeon has checked it many times over three years he has said all fluid is gone. I am now at yearly checkups! I will pray your eyes heal well as mine did and you can feel some freedom again! Any trips I have taken after my eye situation have all been within the US so I am not worried that there won't be someone who can help me if something should happen to my eyes.
      Let some time go by and Im sure you will start feeling more at ease with things!

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    4. Thank you for your encouragement. Everything else I've read is so discouraging and scary. I'm really struggling with anxiety and just getting used to my new vision norm. I always have light (like a blurry string of lights where laser was done) and floaters, so I'm praying at some point I will know difference between what's normal and something going wrong. Anyhow, is it OK if I occasionally write and ask about updates and if I have questions along the way? Also, is this the best way to communicate with you? Or is there a way for me to give you my direct email? Again, thank you for your encouragement. Wishing you all the best.

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    5. Brigitte,
      you can email me directly at glitterlips78@hotmail.com

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    6. Colleen,
      Thank you again for your encouragement with my detachment. I'm doing better overall but still struggle with my new normal. I do have some permanent peripheral vision loss and floaters. I had a scare my first month with flashes but I was ok when I went in. I was reminded my detachment is still there, just welded around. I'm coming up on 3 1/2 month mark. I get concerned some days the veil is growing, but I've also noticed overcast days are harder because less light. I'm so hopeful that the laser demarcation will be enough but also realize it has mixed success.
      I'm finally starting to become me again. It was really hard on me when it first happened. I do get nervous about driving to much or going where it's really busy but I can tell each good day is healing. Probably the hardest thing is when I have a headache because I get horrible pain behind my eye during them.
      Anyhow, I was wondering if you still have days you get concerned or any words of encouragement as I continue on the road to recovery. When did you finally feel "like ok I'm past this" or is it something always in the back of your mind?
      My 3 1/4 month appt is this Thursday. Hoping all is well. Again thank you for sharing your story and helping those of us that are working through our own journey as well.

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    7. Brigitte,
      Thank you for letting me know how you are doing. Its crazy that when you get headaches you feel pain behind your eye. I have struggled with migraines my whole life and the pain is behind the eye that my retina detached in. I always have wondered if there was some connection in some way. Thank God I haven't had a migraine in a long while. They are HORRIBLE!
      To answer your question about the road to recovery, it gets longer in between the time when you think about things happening to your eyes. Sorry to say I don't think the thought ever fully goes away though. I am always concerned when anything little seems to be happening to my eyes and I rush to the dr even if its nothing, "just incase"!
      I have been doing better and better with my new normal, I actually took a long vacation with my kids to Los Angeles and I was driving all over the place in the stop and go traffic. Only one time I had a hard time and that was when I started driving at sunset.
      Today is the day I stop nursing my toddler so I am looking forward to setting up my last eye surgery and PRAYING my vision improves even more!

      I hope as time goes on things calm down for you as you get used to your new normal.

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    8. Colleen
      Thank you for your honest response. I had my ophthalmologist appointment on Wednesday. It's the first time I've seen them since they referred me to a retinal specialist. So I guess it's been almost 5 months. I was telling my doctor that I reached out to one person on the Internet, because you were the one person who in the midst of everything still had such a positive attitude. Also, I'm assuming we're probably about the same age and we are very young to have had retinal detachment. So it's nice to have someone kind of in the same situation to ask questions of and be encouraged and supported by. So I wanted to thank you.
      This is a journey I never thought I would have to take. It's nice to know that you are doing so well. I know that there must still be days that are very difficult, I'm thankful that you were honest that you still get scared or concerned at times. It made me feel normal.
      Also, I pray that all goes well with your, hopefully, last surgery. May I ask what the surgery is for? I hope your eyesight is even better after.
      Again, thank you for your honesty, encouragement and support.

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    9. Brigitte,
      I have been meaning to reply back for a while now! Ive been so busy. Crazy story, a few weeks ago my good eye, which is my Right, started hurting. I went in and found out that I scratched my cornea!!! OF COURSE, in my GOOD eye!!! ahhhh! I had to stop wearing my contact for a week and put this goo in my eye 3 times a day which made it hard to see. I did find out after getting my glasses fixed so I could still drive that my left eye can get better!!! I have been wearing no contact in that eye and when they fitted me with glasses they put in a lens that helped fix my astigmatism. It took away a lot of my double vision in the distance but it was still hard on my eyes to have glasses so Im back to one contact in my right. I am going in for a Lasik type surgery in August and I am hopefully that my vision will get a lot better because my dr is going to fix my astigmatism!!!! It was another crazy eye experience but now I feel even more hopeful for the near future with my vision!!!
      Hope things are still getting better with you!

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  16. Thank you for sharing. I cried reading your story. I had cataracts when pregnant with my 6th child and worried everyday since about my eyes as no on could tell me why. I recently had a detached retina and it has honestly been the most testing time of my life! It is so refreshing to find someone in a similar boat as it is such a lonely experience xx

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