Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Eyes Have It

There are times in life when being "strong and independent" can pretty much be a bitch.

Or at least very, very stupid.

Case in point: Me.

I don't know where this fierce strong will and sense of independence comes from, but it has gotten me in a few scrapes with the medical community....One such time was exactly ten years ago, when I walked around for two days with a severe case of appendicitis. (In my defense, I thought it was just a really, really, really bad case of gas). Because I was too stubborn to go see a doctor ("I can take care of it MYSELF!"), I just about died.

And then there was last week...when I was finally forced to go to the eye doctor by some friends, after I had walked around for weeks with increasingly blurry vision and painful eyes. My first visit was last Wednesday, when the eye doctor did a very thorough exam, and then said, "Excuse me a moment," as he walked out and brought back two more colleagues. Uh oh. That's NEVER a good sign - when they bring in the troops.

Initially, the diagnosis they gave me was severe corneal ulcers, but they later amended that diagnosis to a "flesh-eating" virus that was eating away at the tissue in the cornea of my right eye...which could lead to blindness.

{faints from shock}

I'll be honest. I love my eyes. I'm rather vain about them. That picture at the top of my blog - of the eye? That looks exactly like my own eyes..."Rainbow eyes" is what a lot of people say when they see my eyes, and I don't really want to see them damaged. Ack.

The cornea specialist was out of town until Monday, so I was monitored daily until her which point, she greatly reduced my fears by revising the initial diagnosis...that had only been a "pseudo" virus, and when I heard her say "pseudo", I immediately asked, "Pseudo is good, right?" She replied, "Yes...pseudo is good. But you're not out of the woods."

To make a long story short, I DID have some dead tissue on my cornea, but not from a virus (but we're not sure from where, actually.) After she scraped off the dead tissue, we're now in the process of trying to re-generate "good" cell growth, as well as to prevent scar tissue from building up on the cornea. I'm on a medicine regime that is crazy - but my vision should come out okay when this is all over.

The specialist slapped me around a bit (deservedly) when she said, "If you'd come in MONTHS ago - when this first started - you would have saved yourself a heck of a lot of time, money and treatment."

"But I thought it was allergies," I said, in my defense..."...and who goes to the eye doctor for allergies??!!"

Apparently, I will need to...because of the damage to the cornea, I will ALWAYS have to go in now when I notice anything slightly out of order with either eye...period. I guess I learned my lesson the hard in, don't be so doggone stubborn and independent that you avoid medical care.

Speaking of medical care - I do want to insert here that I am now exactly three weeks in on my gluten-free diet...and here's the findings, so far:

1. I have had NO STOMACH PAIN AT ALL IN THREE WEEKS!!!! This is huge, folks...HUGE. Before my GF diet, I was to the point that EVERY SINGLE MEAL would have me curled up in a little ball on the bathroom floor, clutching my gut in a pure state of agony and intense pain. Gah. It has been unbelievable to be pain-free, and it's been such a turnaround that I don't even have ANY desire to eat the things that are off-limits now - such as cakes, cookies or breads. I've been finding recipes for GF brownies & such, so I'll still get my taste, if I need it.

2. My energy levels are WAY UP. Seriously...I can wake up now at 6:00 am, and go, go, go until 11:00 pm at night...and no more feeling like a slug. I truly love this new, energetic person, as I hate being a slug - and I can't believe all of the stuff I'm getting done each day!

3. I've lost some weight...not a lot...but every pound lost is a good thing. The weight wasn't the main reason to go on the GF diet, but it's been a nice bonus. I've decided to not focus on the scale - but to focus on eating healthy. I've been back in exercise mode, especially with all of my newfound energy, so I'm sure more pounds will drop off - woot!

4. I'm so enamored of my new GF diet that I'll be starting Hubby & Daughter on it next week...I think Daughter has a gluten-sensitivity, as she sure shows a lot of the symptoms. I'm curious to see if this will help her, as well....It can't hurt, because it's really a vegan-based diet that incorporates a lot of fruits and vegetables, which are nutritious.

So - enough rambling.

I'm now off to to have some delicious gluten-free crackers with some hummus for an afternoon snack - YUM!



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