Friday, November 27, 2015

A Different View

Last Tuesday, November 24th, I went to the eye doctor.  About 5 or 6 weeks ago, my eyes had become very sore.  It hurt to move them and touch them.  It lasted almost 2 weeks.  I blamed it on allergies and didn't think much more of it.  Then I started experiencing cloudy vision, mostly in the early mornings or late evenings.  I blamed my cataract on that and just kept going.  Inside I was a little uneasy about it but I pushed that aside and worked around the cloudiness.  Then it started lasting longer until my vision was cloudy all day long.  In fact, it got to where I couldn't really see what my makeup looked like in the mornings.  I just hoped I was getting everything in the right place!  I decided to go ahead and get them checked.  Maybe my cataract had grown and was causing problems or something. 

Well, as soon as she looked in my eye she knew exactly what was going on.  I had something called uveitis.  It was in both eyes and it was pretty bad.  It is an inflammation of the eyes.  As the eye gets inflamed, the body sends in white blood cells to help heal.  The eye can only hold so many white blood cells and then they end up causing more inflammation which makes the body send even more!  So the eye starts depositing the white blood cells in the eye.  That, along with the inflammation, causes the cloudy vision.  It also makes things inside the eye sticky and gooey.  So the pupil in my left eye is actually stuck to the cornea. 

The solution?  Dilation.  She immediately dilated me and said I would have to stay dilated until it heals.  How long will that take?  Two to four weeks or more.  Why?  Keeping them dilated means that the eye isn't constricting and opening during the day so it helps not cause any additional inflammation.  I also have to put steroid drops in both eyes every hour or so.  I put dilating drops in three times a day.  I have to go in to keep a check on my eye pressure and to see if there is any improvements.  If there aren't any soon, then I will have to go to the next step which is injections (shots) into my eyes or take oral meds.  The injections are usually the way they go though. 

Also, because I have it in both eyes I have to be tested for other things that could be going on in my body that are being manifested in my eyes.  Things like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, viruses and other things.  These tests are just to rule out any underlying causes because sometimes you get uveitis for no reason at all.  That's what I am hoping for.  I will get testing done on Tuesday.

So my life right now is one big blur.  It's blurry up close, it's blurry far away.  Even with the new prescription glasses that I had to get while dilated,  it's still all blurry.  I can see, I can drive, I can do things.  I just do it all with a blur.  People have to read my texts for me and send them for me.  Michael had to read my recipe to me yesterday when I was trying to make rolls.  I had to wake Makenna up to read the thermometer to me so I knew when the oil was hot enough to fry my pies.  Black Friday shopping was not fun because I couldn't really see well enough to do much.  When I do try to see things or focus in, my eyes get really tired and I end up with a headache and achy eyes.  Work is hard.  My computer screen has to be magnified really big so I can read my emails.  I wish I would've worked harder in computer class years ago so I could type better without looking ☺ That would really come in handy now!  I have to wear sunglasses all the time and even then, the light gives me a headache after a while.  I can't see to put on my makeup.  I can't really see to do much with my hair.  I struggle doing my girls' hair too.  Trying to watch movies with the family gives me a headache too.  Today I tried to set up one of our Christmas trees, but my eyes were too blurry to fluff it and trying to focus hurt so I had to give up.  Life is very frustrating right now!

The good news?  It isn't permanent!  She couldn't see any damage to any parts of my eyes so once this is all cleared up, I will be able to see just fine again!  That was very good news to hear!

I know there are so many out there with much more to deal with than I have to right now.  I know there are those that aren't lucky enough to be told it's only temporary.  Going through this has opened my eyes, as blurry as they are, to the struggles that so many face.  Day to day things are so hard!  Things that once brought joy, like decorating the Christmas tree, become a struggle.  Cooking is hard to do alone, reading causes too much discomfort.  So many things are affected. 

I don't like to ask for help.  I have always just done it on my own, whatever it may be.  Having to ask for so much help is frustrating and humbling.  I am grateful for a patient husband and children that help me with all these simple, yet undoable, tasks.  Things will be hard and I am crossing my fingers for a two week recovery and not four weeks so that I can enjoy this Christmas season a little more.  This is my most favorite time of year.  I love the lights and decorations, the smells and joy, the carols, the love and the giving of gifts!  I love the story of the baby Jesus.  He who came to this earth into very humble circumstances, who walked and taught and served those around Him.  He who healed and forgave and loved.  He who suffered, bled, died and rose again so that we may return to our Father in Heaven in perfection.  As I struggle with these earthly ailments, I am reminded of Him and the  promise we have of freedom from these struggles when we return to His presence for eternity.  These earthly imperfections teach us, strengthen us, bring us closer to Him.  Then when we leave this life, He removes them from us so we suffer no more.

My eyes are filled with things obstructing my view of things that I love.  Our lives are filled with things obstructing our view of Him.  Just as my sight will return if I follow what my doctor tells me to do, we will return to Him if we just follow.  We have to take that leap of faith, step out into the darkness so our light will expand and our view become clearer.  I have eye drops to help my physical eyes see.  We have the teachings of Christ to bring sight to our spiritual eyes and bring us back to Him. This knowledge gives me hope on so many different levels and brings peace to my heart as I work my way through this life.

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