The nurse administering my treatment was a kind and caring woman. She had me lie down. As she started the machine, she put on soft meditation music and I told her it was lovely. She replied, “Oh, thank you! I searched it up and decided to put it on whenever I do these treatments – it helps to relax me, too!”
Today there would be no Beta-dyne brushed on first to irritate my eyes. I closed my eyes as she squeezed out a cool gel over them. The machine began to hum. I could have been in a dentist’s chair, but instead I was having my eyelids brushed.
She said, “After four minutes I am going to press harder. It shouldn’t hurt – but I am trying to express the oils thoroughly that way.”
I asked her if she would see the oil being released. She explained that it showed up as a cloudy yellowish color. The clear gel changed as the oil mixed into it. At the end she actually showed it to me and I took a picture.
She told me that she had time to research some of my questions. One of them was how this differed from Lipoflow. She said that Lipiflow was more invasive; that it required anesthetizing the eye and having a barrier lens put on as protection during the treatment. I didn’t know that.
My HMO did not yet commit to buy this $23,000 machine. I was one of 14 test subjects. Other than me, only one other person did not report relief after treatment. But I was hopeful that this second treatment would be different without using the Beta-dyne that possibly irritated my eyes the last time.
In two weeks, I had a third treatment scheduled. It would follow a visit with my dry eye doctor.
For 30 minutes the nurse chatted while she massaged my eyelids. When she applied more pressure, it didn’t hurt – but it wasn’t that pleasant. Finally, she was done. I sat up slowly and opened my eyes.
Her stories of people gasping with clearer vision didn’t uplift me. I blinked and the residual gel made my eyes blurry. I knew it took time for that to clear.
I thanked that sweet nurse with a hug and promised I’d let her know later in the day how my eyes felt.
The afternoon wore on and I didn’t feel anything remarkable. In fact, my eyes felt slightly sore. I tried to push that thought aside. By evening there was no doubt; my eyes were terribly irritated.
The feeling was familiar – discouragement and spiraling depression. A remedy offered hope and relief. A failed remedy set me way back. The fallout of pain left me thinking that there was little else left to try.
Why couldn’t I have been one of those lucky patients who found relief?
That question was one I didn’t want to ask. But it kept shouting in my head.
I promised the nurse I would let her know how I was doing. I typed out a message and she sent me a reply to follow.
A setback won’t put me back where I started, although sometimes it feels that way.
Even though I feel knocked down, I’m not going to give up my hope. I’ve already traveled farther away from the pain of when this awful condition began. A setback won’t put me back where I started, although sometimes it feels that way.
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