I share my personal story about how I am living with an eye disease called In a Blink of an Eye….
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In a Blink of an Eye
It all happened on July 10, 2018. Just one week after the 4th of July. I woke up one morning and rubbed my right eye. For a minute, I thought I had the “morning boogers” inside of my right eye. I kept rubbing the same eye cause it was blurry when I looked at something. I tried to focus on an object which was our bedroom ceiling fan and my right eye was still blurry. Then, I decided to get ready for work and mentioned to Naught-E that my right eye was super blurry. It felt as if my right eye had a stroke. That all happened in a blink of an eye that morning.
BACKTRACKING AND TRYING TO REMEMBER
I remembered that week, I was very stressed out. The company I worked for began to slowly give me more responsibilities from becoming an Administrative Assistant to being an Equipment Manager, then a Truck Manager, and then a Safety Captain, yet I still had the title of Administrative Assistant with no raise?! Whaaaaaaaat the Hell?? The company never mentioned that on the job duties list. I was still a new hire and had been with that company for only 4 months. I complained to Naught-E that they never included this on the job description when I was being hired. SMH!
MY EYE APPOINTMENTS
First, I tried looking for an Optometrist. This took two weeks to get an appointment. I finally found an Optometrist and went to the eye appointment. We did a bunch of eye tests and I had to explain to the Optometrist’s assistant that no matter what tests you give me, I still can’t see with my right eye. Once I saw the Optometrist, he decided not to go further with any other tests and immediately referred me to a Retina Specialist the next day and squeezed me in for an appointment cause it seemed like an emergency.
The next day I had my appointment with the Retina Specialist. We went through numerous tests and eye x-rays. He was trying to get to the source of what caused my eye to become blurry. I told him what happened. I also mentioned that this happened to me back in 2014 and my vision was fixed after I received 2 eye injections.
The Retina Specialist diagnosed me with a type of eye disease called Choroidal Neovascular Membranes Treatment (CNVM) or some type of macular degeneration, called myopic degeneration. I didn’t understand what he said so I had the nurse write it down for me. The doc said I had lost pigmentation. Probably why I could only see black and white sometimes gray and white.
MY EYE TREATMENTS
I began to receive eye treatments called Anti-VEGF (Avastin) eye injections every 4 weeks until the end of October. These drugs target a chemical in your body that causes abnormal blood vessels to grow under the retina. That chemical is vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. Several anti-VEGF drugs can block the trouble-causing VEGF chemical in the eye. Blocking VEGF reduces the growth of CNVM, slows their leakage, helps to slow vision loss and in some cases improves vision.
There were no improvements with my eye sight no matter how many injections and tests they did during that time. I gave up and decided to not continue to go to my appointments because I was being charged way too much! I wouldn’t mind paying if I saw improvements, you know. But in this case, I wanted a second opinion and started researching for another eye specialist that dealt with my type of eye disease.
THE CHANGES I WENT THROUGH SINCE JULY 2018
In a Blink of an Eye, my life all changed with this vision impairment. I had to live my life with one good left eye that could see all the colors and images than my right eye couldn’t do. I changed the things that I normally do day to day.
- Putting on eyeliner especially liquid eyeliner or any type of eye make up is such a struggle!
- I had to be extra careful cutting veggies, cooking, or baking so I couldn’t burn myself. I had numerous cuts, burns, bruises.
- The hardest part was driving when this all began. I couldn’t see the right side when I needed to change lanes. I had to fully turn my whole head and body to the right instead of looking on my car’s side mirror to glance if there were any oncoming vehicles on the right lane.
- My vision worsened when the weather conditions happened such as rain and snow. I used to look at the weather reports to know what I should wear but that all changed. I had to look at the weather report so I could prepare for my drive on top of what I needed to wear to keep warm and such.
- We installed brighter headlights cause when I leave from work, it would be dark.
- When I would look on my cell phone, my cell phone light is often dim.
- Same with me working on my laptop. I dim the screen because I see bad glares.
- During the day, it’s super bright so I wear these Polarized Sunglasses.
- When I want to focus on an object or when a person comes up to talk to me, I often wink or close my right eye so I can focus with my good left eye. (Please do not think I’m hitting on your Tootz!)
WHEN DEPRESSION HITS
This past summer, I became depressed. I let myself go and did not care. I was stressed out about my vision loss with my right eye. One day I had two eyes, then the next day I had one eye. I gained about 25 lbs since the summer. It totally sucks cause I don’t fit my clothes the way I used to.
When you look at me, I look normal. There is nothing wrong with the exterior of my eyes or facial features. You can’t even tell that there is something wrong with my eye unless I mention my eye condition to you. It’s difficult at times to explain that I can’t see especially shopping at a store. I get approached by a salesperson, sometimes I don’t even notice them and they think I’m a B!TCH for ignoring them when in reality I’m blind in one eye. I feel like some of my neighbors assume I am a B!TCH cause I don’t say “Hi! or Hello!” to them when them come out of their houses. Honestly, I can’t see and I don’t want to have to explain all the time. Ugh, the struggle is real! 🙁
SEE THROUGH MY EYES
This is an example of what I see. I used a Snap filter of myself as an example to show color. (Should I rock the Pink hair color though?!)
I am not joking. This is seriously what I see. My Left Eye is my good eye. My Right Eye is the bad eye and I only see grey 🙁
I found a video done by Linda C Howard on Youtube that shows exactly what I see! Check it out here
Now, it is the last week of January 2019. I was laid off from that stressful company on January 25. (That too happened in a blink of an eye!) I thought to myself that this must have been a sign not to work there anymore. Part of me thinks it’s a relief and the other part of me feels horrible. Naughty-E was surprised and mended me which such kinds words. My momzy was thoroughly glad! LOL! She didn’t like the fact that I was driving Chevy trucks around cause they were too big for my petite height. Plus, she rather have me working at a financial corporation because of my Business Degree.
More eye pains around my right eye are happening. I think it’s because I am stressed out with this whole situation and no insurance coverage. I was at the verge of finding another Retina Specialist for a second opinion as mentioned earlier. We felt that the previous doctor was just charging us and lagging on an answer for a cure just to get more money out of me.
- I filed for unemployment insurance and it’s pending.
- Researching free medical from this state (New Mexico)
- Changed a little of what and how I ate. I now incorporate chicken and fish cause they help improve eye health. I was a vegetarian that concentrated on a plant based lifestyle but right now I am testing out what helps me improve my eyesight.
- Work out 3 times a week on my Elliptical. I bought this Elliptical cause it’s the right size for me.
- Researching more topics on CNVM, my eye disease.
- Job hunting and taking the time to do so. My family and friends told me to take my time cause when you start working, your coworkers are going to be your “third” family. I do agree cause you spend about 9 hours with them during the day if working a full time job!
- Cut down on expenses such as going out to eat or buying things I don’t need at the moment.
- Hustling hard and making side HUSTLE$. I started selling on eBay again. I have a few nice clothes that I don’t wear so might as well sell them. Also, I decided to become a Part-Time Virtual Assistant 🙂
- Creating more recipes that focusses on low sodium
- I switched to another doctor hoping I would get a second opinion. He told me I suffer from SRNVM – another form of Macular Degeneration with loss of color pigmentation.
- The Ophthalmologist decided not to continue with the eye injections (Anti-VEGF) cause they weren’t helping
- I was to have my eyes checked every 3 months for any changes in my vision.
If you can relate or have any advice for me, I welcome and truly appreciate it, tootz!
It’s funny how all things can happen, in a blink of an eye!
Aight I’m Outro…
Oh my god I was feeling so sad during reading this article! I believe that eyes disease are some of the worst, you are doing a great job at holding on!
I don’t have the exact same disease, mine is much less worst, my left eye hasn’t been working properly since I was a baby, BUT I am lucky to have my right eye which is doing great! My biggest fear is to lose my right eye and then and litteracy won’t be able to do anything, no more reading, no more movies (well I guess I could still understand what is going on lol), and certainly no driving (this is already a tough one sometimes haha)
I hope for you that another specialist will find a way!
Oh Gees! I’m glad someone sort of feels what I’m going through. I feel you on losing the other eye as our good eye seems to help us focus with our good eye. I’m scared of losing my good eye just like you. OH GOSHY, driving is totally tough! Thank you and I hope for the better for both of us xoxo