On My Soapbox!, To Your Health

The Eyes Have It – Contacts, Eye Infections, Losing Sight


Dearest Readers:

It is a late and wet morning for me within the City of Charleston, SC. Originally, my plans for today were to walk the dogs, afterward, I planned to walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. The dampness of such a wet day has dictated that I cannot honor my plans. Deciding it is the perfect day to clean my home, I sprinkle carpet deodorizer on the carpets and relax while eating strawberry Greek yogurt and another cup of coffee. Time to write in my blog, I decide…and so…here we go!

Today, I will discuss an important issue. A frightening experience I recently had, giving me a major scare! In early February, I awoke with a pink eye in my right eye. Strange, I thought, Before when I’ve had pink eye, aka Conjunctivitis, I’ve had pink eyes — in BOTH eyes, not one! I used eye drops. I removed my contact, tossing it in the trash. I rested my eye, covering it with a satan facial mask. I doctored it with ice cold packs. Nothing helped. Two days later, with the right eye a bit swollen, and the inability to look into anything bright, I recognized that my diagnosis of Conjunctivitis needed to be confirmed professionally, especially since now, I could not stand bright light of any type hitting the right eye. The pain was unbearable.

Phil drove me to Nason Medical. Their diagnosis was I might have an infection in the retina. They referred me to an ophthalmologist. Early Monday Phil drove me to Mount Pleasant Ophthalmology. After many tests, the diagnosis was an eye virus. For many weeks, I returned to them twice weekly, using a variety of prescription eye drops. At first, the eye appeared to get worse. Testing my eye with the eye chart, all I saw was a blob — a white, foggy blanket, nothing more. I could not see an image at all! I was horrified. Additional prescription eye drops were prescribed. Now I was taking four eye drops throughout the day — four to five times daily. Reluctantly, I stopped wearing eye makeup.

Due to the condition of my eye, I remained at home, afraid to go outside since the sunshine felt as if it exploded inside my right eye, and I was horrified to drive anywhere simply because I could not see properly. I managed to drive to the eye doctor visits — carefully and slowly.

Depression sat in. During the day I cried, recognizing the tears would only aggravate my eye more. I tried to read, to catch up on a collection of magazines on my desk…how could I read them, when I really could not see the words or images? For the first time in my life, all I did was sit around and rest. No wonder I was depressed…my life was not my life anymore.

Finally, the eye virus cleared up, only to have the cornea irritated from some of the eye drops. Still, I struggled to read the eye charts. Forget the contact, or independence now…I felt my life was that of a wilting vegetable. Cooking was a struggle since I could not see to chop vegetables… On one occasion, I almost burned the pasta. “How is it you burn pasta?” I screamed. Simple. When you cannot see what you are doing, anything can happen!

I confess, I have taken the luxury of eye sight for granted, but not anymore. Every time I saw the doctor I asked her “when can I wear my contact again?” Her reply wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I decided it was best to follow her advice. On one visit, she mentioned that my cornea looked like sandpaper. This condition sounded a bit too serious. I drove myself home, researched on the Internet, deciding that the information I was reading would only horrify me more. I walked to the bedroom, spoke with my dogs, threw myself on the bed and I cried like a newborn baby. My pups moved closer to comfort me. I prayed, and prayed. Dear God, please don’t let me lose my eye sight. I have so much to do and say. Please God, touch and heal my eye.

On the next eye visit, my doctor removed me from all of the prescriptions, deciding to use natural tears, rest and a lot of TLC. Today, I am happy to report, my eye is much improved. The cornea is ‘healing well now.’ Natural tears are helping so much. My last checkup was on Monday and I’m happy to report I could actually read the eye chart! What a relief. Over the week I tested my eye, covering my left eye to see if the right eye could actually see something besides a blanket of fog. Like a little child, I recognized the beauty of green trees. Even the pollen blowing in the wind looked inviting, until I sneezed! What a relief. I could see again! Trees. Flowers. My dogs. A TV screen. The sky. The beauty of life. My eyes could see! I danced a happy dance…I CAN SEE AGAIN!

I must see the eye doctor in two weeks, and I’m happy with that. As for my contacts? They are still in the package. I haven’t opened my last box for fear that I would weaken and let temptation get the best of me. For now, I have reading glasses on my desk — two pairs are inside my handbag…one pair is in the den. One pair in the kitchen…and one pair by my bed. Yes, I’m vain…I don’t like wearing glasses. I find them uncomfortable and a bit difficult to walk in. The strange thing about this experience with my right eye is this — since the eye is able to focus and see things again, occasionally I can actually read something without glasses, or contacts. Isn’t that strange…maybe the eye exercises I’ve been doing are helping me, along with the eye vitamins and the sheer stubbornness of this modern day feminist who refuses to allow something to knock me down for long. Funny! My Julia Sugarbaker style has returned!!!

Eye health.

3 thoughts on “The Eyes Have It – Contacts, Eye Infections, Losing Sight”

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