The relief that I felt after my appointment with a new eye specialist surprised me. I had low expectations and little hope. I had only made this appointment because my cousin pushed me. I had called her and cried when she asked me how my eyes were. She insisted her doctor could help me. My cousin’s eye doctor was far away and referred me to this new one.
Initially, I was a little anxious to use steroid eye drops that the new doctor gave me. In the past, one caused a bad reaction. Plus, an eye doctor I had seen a year earlier suspected that I had Glaucoma. I hoped I wasn’t doing anything risky since steroid drops could increase eye pressure. But I trusted this new doctor and planned to follow up having my pressures checked. The soonest appointment with my regular HMO eye specialist was in three months, unfortunately.
Until then, I was so thrilled that my eyes weren’t aggravating me throughout the day. I wanted to shout out with elation, “I am cured!!!” Unfortunately, it wasn’t like that. I was aware of them still, even though they were so much better overall.
I let the new doctor know that I had found improvement. Of the three steroid samples he gave me, only one really helped. It was called “Durezol.” The other two were Lotemax and Alrex.
He told me that Durezol was the strongest and that his suspicions were confirmed. I did indeed have an allergy. I asked him, “How do I know what I’m allergic to?” His response was that I was the best judge of that.
When the Durezol bottle ran out, I had a few bad days. I was discouraged but not hopeless anymore. I emailed the doctor to update him and to ask him for advice on what to do next, but he didn’t reply.
I longed for artificial tears but avoided them. I still continued to use Restasis but noticed that with the momentary relief of any eye drop (including Restasis), within a short time my eyes began to burn and hurt. The eyelid wipes that I had relied on were actually one of the worst irritants for my eyes.
Eventually, I called and reached the doctor a week later. I told him my suspicions – I was allergic to the wipes and all eye drops. I asked him what to use to wipe my eyes instead and he recommended baby shampoo. I tried his recommendation of Clariton, but wasn’t really sure if it made a difference or not. On days where my eyelids felt more inflamed, I took Clariton.
I began to learn that there was a difference between my dry eye pain and eyelid pain. The dry eye pain was something I felt every morning when I woke up. I had stopped using gel at night because I realized that the gel also affected my eyelids. Thankfully, with blinking my morning dry eye pain went away.
It was the eyelid pain that really drove me crazy. I felt sensations in my eyes, burning and heaviness – almost like I had stickers on my eyelashes.
This was definitely a twist for me after feeling hopeless. For over a year, I had given up on finding a doctor or remedy that would save me. But really, I was seeking answers and trying things again – so I had saved myself!
And this was definitely an example of “less is more,” a concept that fits into so many areas of my life.
It turns out that my friend Carol also realized the same thing about her regimen, which I shared on my last post. Her eyes were feeling better as a result of doing less. It was so ironic that we both reached the same conclusion around the same time. Sadly for Carol, the revelation of this came after being hospitalized. She had had a bad reaction to medication that was life threatening. How upsetting is was that trusting a doctor and medication could end up being risky instead of helpful.
The paleo diet I had adopted for three months hadn’t made a significant difference, but at least it hadn’t harmed me at all. Much of it was healthier. I eased back into a less restricted diet, but still avoided coffee and artificial sweeteners on a regular basis. So many of the remedies I had tried had hurt my eyes. Now it made sense. My eyelids were so sensitive and affected by every remedy I’d tried.
I had another one in my back pocket, though. I had ordered Optimel eye drops and they were coming from Australia. They were made from Manuka honey and I was willing to try them.
It was a great thing for me to have hope again!
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