Sunday, November 18, 2018

Returning with Good News

Four weeks have passed since I last posted. That hiatus resulted from an appointment with a glaucoma specialist. Since December 9, 2015, Dr. Ann has worked to lower the pressure in my eyes; to do that, she has operated on my eyes several times.

I now put glaucoma drops in my left eye 3x a day and in my right, 2x a day. I also put in eye drops/lubricants between 7 and 9x a day. (The oven timer rules my life!)

All this is done so that I can maintain—for as long as possible—a level of vision that will permit to go about my life as I always have—minus driving. My passion, as you know, is writing. The thought of blindness stymied me in October and left me searching for ways I could continue to write if I lost my sight completely.

Now I want to share with you the good news that Dr. Ann gave me this past Tuesday.

In my earlier visit—the one that prompted my hiatus—the outcome of one vision test alarmed the doctor. Through an eyehole in a machine, I looked at a vision chart. Normally, I’ve always seen three rows of letters with 4 letters per row—12 letters in all. Then the tech would ask me what the lowest line was that I could read and I would say aloud the letters I saw.

At that visit, with my left eye, I saw all 12 letters—most weren’t distinct, but I knew they were there. With my right eye, I saw only 2 letters. Not 2 of 12 but only 2. It wasn’t that I didn’t recognize the letters; it was that there simply weren’t there for me to see.

For Dr. Ann that meant my field of vision had narrowed on the right and at the bottom to almost nothing. She was alarmed and talked about how long my eyesight might last given its rapid deterioration from the visit preceding that one.

In my most recent visit—on Tuesday—I saw all 12 letters with my right eye. 12!!! And I could read the letters of the second row, while seeing squiggles below it. 12 letters and squiggles in all!!!!

Dr. Ann’s smile reflected how I was feeling. The explanation for the difference? She believes that a large—very large—floater was in the vitreous humor of my eye during the previous visit. (I think I have that right. Not sure.) The floater blocked my vision.

This past Tuesday, she did set up a field-of-vision test for me in February just so we can know the parameters of my vision. But before leaving the room, she said that my eyes were “doing well.” What uplifting words.

However, she encouraged me to spend only 25 minutes at a time staring at—focusing on—the computer screen, the television, an iPad, or a large-print book. Then I am to take a 10-minute break and rest my eyes—close them. Also, I must try to keep my eyes lubricated by blinking often. My vision will be a little sharper if I blink. I’m going to be the best blinker in Independence!

Come to find out, I’ve been mistaken in my belief that dry eyes damage the optic nerves. Dry eyes can affect eyesight, but they do not affect the optic nerve.

Next week I’ll share my new book with you. This week, I wanted to tell you that my niece designed an author web page for me. If you’d like to see it, here’s the URL: