Ever since I posted about my eye troubles in my new year post, I have not received a single question about it. So I am going to talk about it of my own accord. I know none of you care, BUT YOU MUST!
In the beginning of December, my contact lens started to get uncomfortable and I would be constantly blinking or trying to move my right contact around to make it sit better. I was washing my eyes all the time because there was this feeling that something is stuck in there. My eyes were drying out too like no tomorrow! That feeling of a foreign object being in my eye started growing into eye pain where keeping my lids open were really bothering me. I tried a couple of lubricating OTC drops, but there was no improvement.
Finally, I made an appointment with my primary care doctor, and I had to wait for 2 days, because legendary American healthcare system. I went in, got my eye prodded and poked at, dyed, rubbed vigorously with a Q-tip, but the doctor said there really wasn’t anything. She just asked me to continue with my OTC lubricant eye drops and discontinue contacts for some more time. She did give me an opthalmologist number, in case I didnt feel better in another week.
By the time that week ended, I was crying most evenings out of the pain. I would weep while driving to work, and bawled while driving back home, because the pain was becoming insufferable. My eyes are anyways too sensitive and the high prescription makes it even worse. I am pretty much blind without glasses or contacts and they do hinder my lifestyle in some way or the other. It’s a very sensitive subject for me, even if you leave the vanity part aside. My short sighted friends do agree that it definitely affects confidence and self-esteem. As shallow as that sounds, it is true.
Finally I took the eye doctor’s appointment and went in, another 2 days later. Meanwhile, my insurance decided to play games with me, and that very month increased specialist visit rates by $30. Again, legendary American healthcare.
The optometrist took a look at my eyes through a slit lamp and told me that my tears were evaporating as soon as they were forming, and my eyes were extremely dry as a result. The oil glands seemed to be underperforming majorly and she wrote down names of two more OTC eye lubricants. I noted that down, and asked if that would also make that foreign object feeling go away. She looked at me, and asked me to come back to the slit lamp. She flipped my lids over and declared that it was full of inflammation and bumps. She prescribed some anti-histamine eye drops and asked me to see her in another month and to not use contacts until then. She also asked me to heavily consider switching to disposable contacts in the near future. Holiday season, looking good, makeup, got flushed down the drain. I asked her about estimated recovery time and she gave me between a week to a month and said it was hard to say. Ugh, more bummage.
That evening after the doctor visit, I had to go to a shopping mall to finish some last minute holiday shopping. I think I bawled all the way to the mall and some more while I waited in my car at the parking lot. I spoke to my folks too, and there was a good deal of tears for around an hour. There was some more breakdown in a Banana Republic store, the classy chick that I am. I had had enough! My eyes were hurting like crazy, they were prickly, I had to continue looking dorky for holiday pictures, the drops were $200 and with insurance $80, and I had to handle all that sh*t by myself during that time. Meanwhile, I convinced myself that I am never going to get better and never be able to go back to contacts. I simply lost it.
I did calm down the next day and with a peaceful mind, started researching my condition and all my options. Turns out I have something along the lines of Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis(do not Google it!) which affects most soft contact lens users. Steroid drops, anti-histamines and disposable contact lens help with the condition. You could be wearing contacts for years, and one fine day, your eyes decide to go rogue on you. Such betrayal! My doctor did not prescribe steroids yet, so maybe it’s a good thing? I did some more research and have managed to find a substitute OTC anti-histamine till my drops get to San Diego through someone. Meanwhile the prescribed drops just got into my hands me through a friend, from my father, because they cost a paltry $5 in India! Yep! The same brand, some composition, and it even says manufactured in the US and imported to India! Once again, all hail American healthcare.
I have used my new drops for 2 days, and my eyes are in pain again. Probably because I had skipped a day to switch from OTC to prescribed and the irritation had started again. I am sitting here annoyed by the pain and I know I am being dramatic, but I feel like my life has come to a standstill. I was happily prancing around in my contacts everyday, and had a nice thing going on. It’s all gone out of the window. I don’t want to constantly whine about it to the people who I spend time with, but the fact that I can CONSTANTLY FEEL MY EYEBALL AND EYELID is extremely annoying. So, hopefully this post takes care of the crying and the whining part.
Atleast I have learned to swiftly take my glasses off whenever someone wants to take a picture of me. I am getting used to going to the gym in glasses, even though it’s a real pain to run blindly on the treadmill or risk shattering expensive glasses if they fly off my nose. It’s not the end of the world, and there are bigger problems in my life. With time, and medication, hopefully I can get back to my contacts, and perhaps think of a permanent solution to the problem. Let’s see how it goes.
Hope you all have the answers to the questions that you did not ask. Thanks for letting me rant!
PS- I know you all do care about me. 🙂 I promise, I was only joking when I accused you all of not asking anything, but the scolding seems to have brought all my old-timey favorites back! So yay! “My scolding brings all the bloggers to the yard…”
PPS- I had a follow-up on 1/21 and eyes are getting better but the bumps are still there. The doc prescribed new steroid drops to be used along with the anti-histamines and another visit which will include a prescription and new lens fitting exam. Post all my research about my condition, I had asked my dad to send another kind of drops with Pataday from India, just to be safe. Guess which one she prescribed? I am smart!