Hey All! I'm alive, here and still blogging. Well, maybe not so much on that last one for the past week or two. However, I'm hoping I'm back in action now. Wondering what was up? Here's the whole story of my cloudy eyeball. It's kind of a novel, but I hope that if you decide to read on that you will take one thing away from my story. Please, please get your eyes checked every year and don't ever ask to avoid the dilation. Yes, it's sort of annoying, but it only lasts a few hours and it's worth it.
A few years ago at a regular eye checkup, my doctor saw a small hole in the retina of my right eye. I was sent immediately over to the retinal specialist to be checked. The hole was confirmed and I was scheduled for laser surgery to intentionally scar the surrounding area to stop the separation. Sitting in the chair with this very odd scope on my eyeball, the doctor ready to laser, and he says, "Oh!" Let me tell you, that's not what you want to hear when they are about to laser your eye. Out of the laser room, back into a regular room and lots and lots of looking later, it turns out I don't really have a hole in my retina. Say what?!?!?! I have a partial separation of the retinal tissue or something they call retinoschisis. Yep, it's a mouthful.
So what does that mean? It means I've learned a lot about my retina in the last few years. Here's the short version. There are apparently 9 layers of your retina (kinda like the layers of your skin) and the schisis is when only a few layers of the retina pull away from the rest that is still attached to the eye. It is not a retinal detachment they fix with surgery or a laser. There is also no blood that actually flows through your retina so it can't try to fix itself by pulling the cells back together or forming your own scar type tissue to stop the tear. Crazy, huh?
What happens to your vision? Well, in my case it's toward the outer edge of my vision in the right eye toward the lower corner. When this all first started I didn't notice any vision change at all. In fact, I never knew it was there. A few years later and way too many days with dilated eyes and the lower corner of my vision is a bit fuzzy and grey-ish. It's hard to describe, but its kind of like a little grey-ish cloud that sits there and you want to clean it off as if you're wearing glasses and there's a smudge on them. Kind of distracting when it's all you focus on because you're freaking out about losing your vision.
Back to the present....a week ago or so, I was in to my regular eye doctor for my annual check up and he was checking like always. I still have my spots (yes, in the past few years I've upgraded my first spot to two in the right eye and one in the left - apparently the first one was lonely and wanted company) but the larger one in the right eye seems bigger than normal. What now?? Come again??? How's that???? Turns out my comfy spot wants more real estate. Grrrr.... So we immediately schedule an asap appointment with the specialist. You can imagine my level of excitement and how I freaked out a bit.
Three days away (Friday) was the earliest they could get me in. Thursday morning I woke up and vision was not right. I head immediately to the wall of white curtains in my living room (very handy for this kind of situation), stare straight ahead and start wiggling my fingers in the required area. Left hand, normal pasty pale color, right hand, some sort of tan/grey not right color. Bad...very bad. I call the specialist asap and they work me in that day. Some ridiculously powerful dilation and numbing drugs later (did I mention that they need power drugs because most of their patients are on the elderly side?) and the specialist says the spot is unchanged. Really?!?! Are we serious here?? Yes, and they are seeing me again in a month. Most likely I see more grey because I'm stressed and not getting as much sleep as normal. It's harder for my brain to trick myself into "seeing" my cloudy spot clearly when my eyes are tired. Big surprise on that one. Wonder what could be the cause of stress and loss of sleep..... :)
So here's the latest news as of today. My eye is still in the same situation as a few weeks ago. Unchanged and being rechecked in a few weeks to make sure it's not growing. Since I have bad vision already (but corrected by contacts/glasses) eye issues really freak me out and it makes most of my crafting life shut down completely. Something about vision issues just sends the creative mojo right out the window. You might be wondering what they are going to do to fix the eye issue. Absolutely nothing. There really is nothing they can do. It's a total sit and wait game. If it fully detaches, they fix it. If it really spreads, they assess what the options are to keep it from totally wrecking my vision and I get to make some educated decisions in how much I want to see versus the risk in further aggravating the situation. I just get to wait. No meds, no exercises, no lasers, nothing. There is no cure or fix for this condition. However, I can take comfort that those who have this issue can live with it for a very long time without any issues. I'm crossing my fingers that I get to be one of them. Sight loss in my 30's is not on my to do list.
The best part of this whole situation is that my specific type of schisis is not genetic. The kind that is genetic is passed to sons by mothers who have the coded gene but don't actually develop the condition themselves....at least that's what the research has shown so far. The best they can determine is that my schisis is due to the specific shape of the back of my eyeball which makes it difficult for my retina to hold on. Guess I don't have very strong retinas. The odds that my son has identically shaped eyes are hopefully very tiny and he will never develop this condition. Since the upper portion of his face strongly resembles my husband, I'm hoping he's in the clear and he has his dad's eyes.
So that's the full long story of what's been up with me lately. I didn't want to put up a post when I was freaking out before my appointment with the specialist. It's always better, in my opinion, when less people are freaking out. :) I'm sure I'll be back in the creative swing of things with projects to share soon. It's just going to take me a bit.
If you're still with me, thanks so much for reading it all. Don't forget to get your annual eye exam (and get dilated!) and I'll be back soon.