How I Coped with my Angry ‘Eye’.

It all started a little over two weeks ago. I went to bed on Saturday night and woke up in the morning with my right eye swollen half shut. I didn’t think too much about it at the time as I could see and was not in any discomfort. I carried on with my day as usual, playing tennis in the morning and hanging out with friends in the afternoon.

On Monday I worked a full day. On my lunch hour I went to the Walk-In clinic across from my office. I was given some drops. I went back to my office and worked the rest of the day. The next day I worked as well. I was not confident that the drops I was given were helpful so I went to the clinic where my doctor works. I could not get in to see her but I saw the doctor on call. He looked at my eye and described it as ‘very angry’ looking. He referred me to an ophthalmologist and was able to get me in quickly. At first it was only my right eye that was infected but by the time I saw the ophthalmologist both eyes were infected. The ophthalmologist diagnosed me with an bacterial eye infection plus an allergic reaction (to the drops I’d been given by the doctor at the “Walk In clinic). I canceled all my clients because I was in so much discomfort I could no longer work and I did not want to risk transmission of the infection.

I took the 3 types of drops as prescribed until Sunday afternoon. By then I was wondering if I was having another allergic reaction because there was no improvement and I was in even more discomfort. By Sunday evening I was in so much pain in my right eye that I went to the Emergency at the hospital. I was diagnosed with Adeno Viral Infection. The Emerg doctor told me it was highly infectious and the hospitals were fearful about an outbreak. I was directed to see my ophthalmologist again to confirm the diagnosis. He said he was “just a lowly Emergency doctor” He said the antibiotics would not help because it was a viral infection but that he would let her tell me to discontinue taking them. When I left hospital, staff were preparing to disinfect the room I’d been examined in. The doctor held all the doors open for me as I left so I did not touch anything.

I went home. I phoned one of my sons who brought me some groceries. He dropped them off at the door and stood back 20 feet. He did not want his baby and family to get infected and I certainly did not want to infect them. I felt like a leper.

I was just beginning a week’s holidays which was good since I could not work. However, I was really upset and angry at having my holidays ruined. I had to cancel out of a mixed doubles tennis tournament that I was looking forward to. I had to cancel several other tennis games I’d set up as well as other activities I’d planned. I was really angry about not being able to play with my grandson. I’d planned to take him out several times while I was on holidays and spend time with him. I was angry about the weather being great and my not able to enjoy it. We’d had a cold spring and this week was great weather. I was angry at about not being able to spend time with others but I certainly did not want to give this infection to anyone else.

With my vision so blurred I basically could not do anything. I could not read. I could not watch TV, It hurt my eyes to be in the sunshine. When I walked my brain was scrambled from constantly trying unsuccessfully to focus.  I’d come home a sleep for an hour or two.

I could talk on the phone but all I did was complain to my family and friends about my holiday being ruined. One evening when I could not think of what to do with myself I pulled out a DVD of Restorative Yoga. A friend of mine, Evelyn Neaman, had produced this DVD and given me a copy. Although I could not watch it, I could listen to it and follow directions. So that is what I did. By the end of the hour I let go of my anger. It was unfortunate that my holiday was ruined but I came to accept that I had an infection and needed to deal with it instead of fight it. This helped me. The next day my eyes did not hurt so much. It felt like I had only three grains of sand in my eyes instead of a hundred. Was it because of the yoga? the meds finally kicking in? or both?

Now, two weeks after getting the infection, I still cannot see out of my right eye. Well, I can see, but my sight is very blurred. I cannot read with my right eye. To read with my left I have to use a magnifying glass. I am writing this blog using touch-typing. I am also using an enlarged font so when I do edit it I will find it easier.

It is not easy to be alone all the time. It is very difficult not be able to do the many activities that I normally do. We take our eyes for granted. I’m concerned about how long it will take to recover. I’m told 2-3 weeks.

But at least I’m not angry – just sad and concerned.

Take care,

Dr. Bea

P.S. If there are any mistakes I’ll have to edit them when I can see better.

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