Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Macular what?

Macular Edema to be exact. That is what I found out about my eye last week. A few weeks ago my vision started to go blurry in one eye. It was not painful, just really annoying. I would be grading papers and think,  "Why is this so hard?" I started to realize there was something very wrong with the very center of my vision in my left eye. I had a cold at the time and thought it was probably related and would probably go away. Boy was I wrong!
This is my eyeball. The dark spot is not normal.
I explained to Joe what was going on. "It is just like right after you look into the sun, and you have  big flashy dot impairing your vision, except it doesn't go away." He told me that sounded serious and I needed to have it checked out. I protested. My mother asked me to see a doctor. My mother in law asked me to see an eye doctor. I was convinced they were all overreacting. When my cold symptoms went away, and my eye never got better, I started to wonder. The way it all happened was rather fortuitous, or maybe inspired is a better word. I did not have to work, but needed to get some things done around the house, so I still took Benjamin to the sitter in hopes of having some uber productive hours of cleaning. I headed to Wal Mart to look for a window cleaner that I had looked for the day before, thinking "I do not even know why I am going back here." I do not love Wal Mart. Finally found just the cleaner I was looking for and thought I was scotch free and heading home. As I walked out, I passed the vision center. I thought to myself, "I have a minute. I never have a minute. Maybe I will just ask." I went in and told them about my eye. They directed me to an optometrist office that was connected to the vision center that I did not even know existed. I walked in. It just happened to be slow. They just happened to take my insurance. They just happened to have the time to do a full exam. This all just happened to end with the Doctor on the phone trying to schedule an emergency exam  with an ophthalmologist. "There is something very wrong with your macula. It is very likely you will have to have surgery where you will need to lie down face forward for a week. Will this work with your job?" Forget work. What about my baby? My baby who is still nursing every 3 hours. I tried to remain calm. Thinking,  "Let's just wait and see what the other doc says." He scheduled me an appointment 2 hours later with a retina specialist. My brother came in answer to my pleas of needing a sitter. I headed across town to the retina  specialist. I told Joe that something was wrong with my Macula to which he replied using an expletive or two, which only had me more freaked out. He seems to know too much. He left the hospital and met me at my appointment where they sent me from room to room, (4 total) and machine to machine (5 total) to run about a million more tests. "You have a rare condition called Macular Edema. I never see it in people your age. I have no idea how this happened." Those are just the words you want to hear from a doc. He determined that I was in need of another specialist to proceed with the procedures. For the second time that day I waited while the doctor was on the phone with another doctor scheduling an appointment for me. I was scheduled to see the opthalmologist who specializes in Macular conditions.
The next day I headed to my appointment where they determined that a blood vessel had burst in my macula causing new blood vessels to grow in my 20/20 spot creating central blindness in my left eye that may or may not improve with treatments. Once again, he had no idea how this happened and told me I am just plain "unlucky." Awesome.  They injected a die in my arm called contrast so they could take a picture of my eyeball. I had an allergic reaction. They pumped my body full of benadryl and told me that they would now proceed with treatments which means injecting needles into the whites of my eyeball until it hits the macula. These will take place for one month and I will go once a week. Some have seen improvement, but there is no guarantee. The injections do however stop the veins from continuing to grow.
This whole experience has reminded me who is in control and what is truly important. I have so much to be grateful for. I have so much love and support. This has not been fun to go through, but I know that the Lord is testing my patience, long suffering and ability to see the many wonderful blessings he has given me. I truly am grateful for the things I learn from the trials in my life. I know I am watched over and that I am prompted to do things that eventually lead to my protection. I am so thankful for that. I choose to count my blessings, name them one by one.


Lizzie Jones said...

Katie, please keep my posted. How scary. I wish I was down there and I'd hold Benny boy and clean your house and cook your dinners until we got everything figured out. TVB

Kristi said...

Oh, my goodness...Katie!! I'm so sorry! What a scary thing to be going through. I'm so glad you listened to the Spirit and decided to just stop in. It sounds like you are in good hands. I am so sorry you have to go through all this! We will definitely keep you in our prayers and thoughts! Sending our love! xoxo

Melissa said...

Yikes, man. That is scary. My prayers are with you. TVB, collega!

The Tenneys said...

The Lord is definitely watching out for you! I am so glad that you went in and that you had great doctors getting you the appointments you needed. I hope that they treatments go well for you and that your vision goes back to normal.

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