Saturday, August 5, 2017

My Baby Blues

I have posted before about the Uveitis I keep getting in my eyes. I happened the first time right before Thanksgiving almost 2 years ago.  They were so inflamed that the iris was stuck to the cornea (or something like that, not sure the names of all the layers - the second layer was stuck to the top layer).  I had to have my eyes dilated for a month and ended up having to get injections in both eyes.  Eventually it cleared up but no reason could be found for why it happened.

A year later, it flared up again.  This time it was just in my left eye.  There wasn't as much inflammation in the front so I didn't have to stay dilated but I did have to get another injection in that eye to help get rid of the swelling in the back of my eye.  I continued on drops for about a month.  That was November of 2016.

May of 2017 it came back again.  This time it was in my right eye.  The inflammation was only in the front this time and it was not very bad.  I went to see a retina specialist per doctors orders.  He gave me drops and said if it comes back again we would have to start over with blood tests and things like that to see if we could figure out what was causing it.  I went back to my eye doctor in June for a followup and it was all cleared up.

On July 24th I had my yearly eye exam and I expressed to her that I felt like my vision was not very good.  (This inflammation causes blurry spots in my vision).  She checked and sure enough, it was back - in both eyes, front and back.  She put me on drops and I made an appointment with the retina specialist again.

This last Wednesday I went for that appointment.  It had for sure come back and was much work than it was in May.  The inflammation in the back was not being helped by the drops.  So... I had to have injections again.  Yuck!  The last time I had them was not a good experience.  I think they (not the retina specialist - different office) put dilating drops in my eyes instead of numbing drops because when he put the needle in, I felt it!  I squished my eye up as a reaction to the pain so he pulled the needle out and gave me another drop.  Then he put the needle back in.  Again, pain!  This time I held still though.  As he was starting to put the medicine in my eye, the head rest that my head was on fell backwards and my head moved.  He pulled the needle out to see what had happened.  Then he had to put it in a third time (still pain) and finish the shot.  Oh my heck I hated that!  My eye was dilated for 2 days after that.

So, hearing that I needed injections again was not pleasant.  The retina specialist does it differently.  Instead of going in to the bottom corner of the eye like my previous doctor, he goes up into the top.  So instead of just a numbing drop in the eye, the upper white part of my eye has to be numbed clear up and to the side.  It is a 15 minute process for each eye.  They get these really big q-tips and stick them in some sort of numbing medicine.  Then they stick that up under the eyelid in the top corner.  Because it can scratch your cornea, you have to look down and away from the q-tip while it is in your eye.  After 5 minutes, they come in and switch it out for a second one and then again in 5 minutes with a 3rd one.  After that, I get the shot.  Then they repeat on the other side.  It is really hard to sit for 15 minutes looking down and to the side!  It is also really hard not to pull that q-tip out when they first put it in.  It's very irritating!  It does make the shot painless though.

I was so glad that Michael went with me that day because I would not have been able to drive home!  My eyes were dilated and very irritated from the q-tips and the shots.  I could hardly open them all the way home.  The rest of the night they ached and most of the next day.  It hurt to move them or touch them.  By Friday they were much better and because the medicine he gave me was so strong I don't have to do the stupid drops anymore!  I go back in 2 weeks for a followup with my eye doctor to check my eye pressure and then I go back to him in a month to see how things are clearing up.  In the meantime I have a whole list of blood work that I have to get done and I had to schedule a physical to see if they come up with anything as to why this may be happening.

Uveitis is usually caused by some sort of auto-immune something.  We are trying to find out what that is so that we can address that and hopefully stop having issues with my eyes.  Until then, I am hoping that this last set of shots did the trick because I do NOT want to do it again!

My eyes that night after I got home.
My eyes the next morning.  

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