It's been a while since I did much activity here, and unfortunately there's a reason for that. About two months ago, I noticed the vision in my right eye had gotten blurry out of nowhere. The GP couldn't find anything, so he sent me to hospital with it, with migraine as interim diagnosis. Since I had the evil grand master of headaches the day after he shone a bright light into my eye, it seemed like a logical one. I have no intention of living through that kind of headache again and bought medication against it.
Since my eye went bad, I've been having other nasty symptoms: bloodshot eyes, painful eyes as if they're burnt, ice cold or scraped, dizzyness, nausea, abdomen pain... These seem to point towards migraine, but oddly, except for that one flare, I've never really had any auras or headaches.
After two weeks, my eyes were bloodshot once more, and the blurry vision was still there, so I contacted the hospital.
The pre-research with a Snellen chart showed that the right eye sight was indeed bad. Eye measuring showed no deviation of the lense. Then the doc put some unpleasant drops into my eyes, for measuring the eye pressure. He gave me a tissue to wipe off the excess. As I looked at the wiped remnants, I noticed they're fluorescent green.
The pressure measure looks positively evil. And it is. I have to put my head in the designated place, as he puts the machine's measuring lense with blue light straight onto my eyes.
And that's just the start!
The second eye doctor, the main one, examines my eye intensely. He makes me do a lot of tiring exercises with it. He notices my right eye tends to swim, and sends me to the orthoptist with it.
The orthoptist is a friendly lady. As soon as I walk into her office, I notice I'm considerably older than her average patient. Her walls are lined with children's drawings, thanking her for fixing eyes in poor spelling. To the side is a large box with all sorts of different coloured eye patches.
She makes me follow her lamp and indeed notices some deviation. So I'm set at her measuring device. She has to put it up considerately. As I look at a dog with the left eye and a house with the right eye, my object is to move the apparatus until I see the dog in the house. Both jump around a lot. The second exercise (with bunnies) went even more troublesome.
My right eye swims and my left eye is slightly deviant, my depth perception is very low - but I knew all that. Is all this going to help the sudden blurriness?
The doctors don't have enough information yet to help me, so I need to come back in a few weeks and administer pupil-widening eyedrops beforehand so they can get a better view. The docs also intend to set my swimming eyes straight - that's going to take at least until November.
I'm scared, I can't lie.
I think I'll take the blue eyepatch.
So earlier this month I had to go back to see the doctor. To widen my pupils, I got this tube of Cyclogyl (or Gyclocyl, I keep forgetting), and I need to administer drops in both eyes, once an hour before the appointment, and one half an hour before the appointment. Since at the moment my main mode of transportation is my bicycle, I decided to leave for the hospital very early, so I can drip there. The brochure tells me it'll blur my vision and advises against driving.
In the waiting room, I find myself talking to a nice old man. He tells me you get used to dropping things in your eyes eventually. Putting the drops in is quite a struggle. The bottle is tiny and squeezing it requires force - which completely deserts you when you're leaning your head back and staring into a tube. I can't make it. Fortunately the nice man is so nice he'll drop me.
The blurriness was no lie. Within a minute, I can barely read. It's not a pleasant feeling at all, giving me eye pain and nausea.
Fifteen minutes later, my father finds me. We try to play cards, but I find it hard - I can't differentiate between a jack and a king! I can't even read the large playing card letters!
Dad administers the second round of drops. I panic a bit and one drop goes astray, but it's not long before both eyes get their second dosis. We then walk to where the eye doctor waiting room is. I warn reception I'm in and try to find some magazine to read. Problem is - I can't.
The eye doctor shows me in. She has an eye measuring device set up. I have to look through it on one side, at a picture of a house.
She measures my eyes and notices I'm slightly far-sighted, which I'd never guessed. She recommends I try out some +1 reading glasses to see if it helps me. It's not going to help my blurriness - that's caused by astigmatism. Which is a condition where your cornea isn't completely round. Because of the sudden onset, she thinks it may be caused by damage (I can't recall any incident involving my eye) or an infection (haven't had any fever recently).
So there isn't much she can do for now, we'll just have to wait and see until November 9.
The research was only a couple of seconds long, but after that... Dad and I walked around in Geldrop and bought some things at the local supermarket. Which was a bad idea - it needed refrigeration and I was in no condition to cycle. I send him home and head for the library, so I can sit somewhere warm - library is closed. Bugger.
So I walk home. On the way I spot a man with an eagle on his arm, and a little squirrel.
The nausea made me very queasy. My eyes hurt from trying to adjust. It's taking hours for me to be able to read, and even then it's still sensitive. My pupils are HUGE! I look like an anime character.
And now we wait.
So on 9 November I got to bring my sister, and she's a bit verbally stronger than me. The doctor has a lot of tests for me now - my eyes are measured alongside a ruler, I do some "following the lights", with special glasses I need to read letters of a digital Snellen chart, there's something with a red reflecting plate, the same picture 3D test I did the first time around... My memory is a bit of a problem since I recall the 3D test too well and recall the letter chart to the extent she switches to numbers. She even ends up looking at my retinas - with a very nasty bright light.
Her findings are as follows: the right eye astigmatism has probably been there all my life and might be the cause of my left eye dominance. The cross eyes, too, are a problem of long term. The sudden blurriness that occurred cannot be explained by either and she is stumped.
My retinas are photographed by another doctor, I get to stare in a machine looking at crosses without blinking - not easy! The photos are discussed between my orthoptist and the general eye doctor.
They're still stumped. Nothing's wrong with my retinas. On Nov 13 (Friday 13th, that's right) I'm getting another eye exam - this one is to check my field of vision.
I'm on my own this time, going to Geldrop... After I'm called in I meet another doctor (the 5th!) who does the visual field test. The left eye is patched up, and I have to rest my chin and forehead in a machine. With my one eye I have to focus on a light, as other lights in the field will flash. As soon as I see something flash, I have to press a button. This treatment is repeated for the left eye.
My visual field is quite normal. So once more the doctors are stumped. Now my file is going to the eye doctor again, and soon I will be phoned to see what has to happen now. The night ends with the terror attacks in Paris. My eye problems become minute.
Reading: Kafka On The Shore