Living with my dry eye condition is hard to really describe. Like the ocean, it ebbs and flows. Like the moon, it waxes and wanes.
Metaphors, metaphors – somehow they help me explain what is unexplainable. And that has led me to describe the discomfort that I currently live with as “feathers in my eyes.” That is definitely an improvement over when my condition began. I’m not describing a spider stinging me anymore, which is up there on my blog header.
When I am having a better day, the feathers in my eyes brush lightly. They aren’t really painful, but they are definitely distracting and annoying.
And it’s even possible to have a day that is “decent” and also “terrible.” My eye condition can change abruptly for the worse. One moment, the feathers become harsh and painful. My eyes are burning and foggy and the discomfort doesn’t even stop when my eyes are closed.
When I’m outdoors and with people, if I’m having a tough day with my eyes I will cry easily. I feel depressed about life in general. If I am at home, I feel safer. If my eyes are hurting I will simply go to sleep.
Since I developed my dry eyes in 2012 after cataract surgery, I’ve gained a lot of weight. Eating takes away some of my pain, and unfortunately that has left me with the pain of being overweight, in addition to my eye pain.
When my eyes are hurting, there hasn’t been any remedy that has taken away my pain significantly. I thought that a steroid eye drop was the answer, but now it has dawned on me. What stopped my pain wasn’t the eye drop. It was when I stopped doing all the remedies: the eyelid wipes, the artificial tears and the hot compresses. It was a coincidence that I used the steroid eye drop at that time. So less is more continues for me.
I saw my dry eye doctor last week. She seemed detached and frustrated for me at the same time. I would have liked more compassion. She had no ideas to help me and reminded me that I was the only patient that didn’t benefit from the Thermoflo treatment. I did know that wasn’t true because the nurse said that there was someone else.
Two years ago, she was willing to try anything I asked for and I could write a long list of all the medications she has prescribed for me. But now, it seemed like there wasn’t anything left for me to try.
The greater truth was that I didn’t want to try anything because my eyes are so sensitive. Last month, I did try a new allergy drop. Within a few minutes, my eyes were foggy and irritated. All of the allergy tests I was given at that appointment came back negative, so for now the “allergy road” isn’t one I will continue to go down for answers.
Of course, I haven’t given up. I have a few other ideas of things I want to try and plan to share them on this blog. But I’m resting now to gather my emotional strength again to reach that place.
One thing I have realized, is that the depression over my eyes is something I am so tired of wrestling with. There was a day last week – ironically it was the day when I saw my eye doctor. As I waited to see her, my eyes were filled with painful feathers. I thought I had an infection from rubbing my eyes, because the burning was so intense.
I left that appointment in tears – filled with confusion. My doctor told me everything looked fine and had no ideas to help me. I was glad nothing was wrong, but still I was on my own with this pain.
Later that day after resting, I decided to push myself to go out for the evening. I noticed my eyes were not painful and I was able to ignore the feathers. I was proud of myself and was amazed how I had the ability to rise beyond my eye condition.
The realization from this was that when I focused on my pain – it threw me completely down. The ability to focus on other things that were good in my life helped me tremendously.
Letting go of the pain is something I’m always working on. The fight subsides when I look away from it, and instead look at better parts of my life that I am grateful for despite this condition.
© Judy Unger and http://email@example.com 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.