My wish in life is just to be,
Healthy, so I could see.
So that was a mini poem that fits in with the daily prompt challenge however that’s not the reason I am writing this post. For those of you that read my last posts you’ll remember that I’ve suffered a bleed into my left eye making me virtually blind in that eye. The reason for this was blamed on diabetic complications. But after initial diagnosis I have just returned from 2 days of test after test in hospital to finally be given a diagnosis I should have had a long time ago.
More than a couple of years ago I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was attacked by some horrible individual who was throwing coins at people from a height and I was unfortunately hit right in the middle of my head. At the time I even heard an audible crack sound of what I thought was my skull cracking from the hit. The hooligan who did this ran away from the busy shopping centre and was never caught. I suffered the immediate effects of swollen head, headaches, etc. Being hit on the head is dangerous and of course I was checked out by doctors who said all looked fine (I was never offered an x-ray) and shipped me back home with nothing more than painkillers. Of course I thought all was fine so I got on with life.
Soon after my head recovered from the swelling I suffered endless migraines, swirly lights and everything. They were so bad I was nearly sick. Doctors again said there was nothing to worry about. So I got used to having these new migraines as part of my life.
Over the course of the next few weeks/months I started getting new floaters in my vision. At first I didn’t think much of it, but ever few days I had more and more. These little specks that are in your vision and move around with you eyes were annoying at first but it felt too serious when several of them clump together creating massive shadow blobs that move around. Whatever this was, my gut feeling was that there was something wrong. I had read up about head trauma and found other people who had suffered similar symptoms and it could be part of something more serious, so I went to the doctor armed with this new information.
Once again the doctor found nothing wrong and dismissed my concerns stating that floaters were nothing more than a natural part of the ageing process. This diagnosis made me uneasy so I sought out a second opinion. The second doctor made a referral to check out my eyes with a specialist. I thought this would be an eye doctor but I was sent over to an optician! Our NHS is strange, opticians are apparently qualified to test for eye problems, however this optician dismissed the floaters as being part of the ageing process and finished up my appointment by trying to sell me some glasses!
Again I didn’t like this diagnosis. By the time I saw this optician I not only had doubled the amount of floaters in my vision but I was now seeing flashes of phantom lights every time I turned my head or closed my eyes. The diagnosis of this being part of the natural ageing process might seem plausible, until you read about this and find that it’s common in those over 50 (I was just a year shy of 30!). As much as I wanted to believe the doctors, sometimes there’s a feeling you have, your gut instinct, and I stuck to it, changed doctors and this time I was referred to an eye specialist.
This eye specialist was far better than the optician and spotted some diabetic problems in my eye, the start of problems, however they completely dismissed any head trauma I had, instead sighting some diabetic issues, stating that the flashing lights were a part of that, but they still maintained that all the floaters (I now saw them all the time, like a horrid curtain of blobs in front of my eyes) were a part of natural ageing. It was during my care under this specialist that I suffered a minor bleed into my eye. They put it down to diabetes, and it may well have been, but I still wasn’t happy with the diagnosis of these floaters. However, this being a specialist, I trusted this doctor and stopped worrying so much about my eyes, and given some time the blood cleared, I could see – though I still had floaters – and I got on with life.
So, here we are with what happened a few days ago. I had a huge bleed into my left eye. My whole vision has gone brown and blurry and (I know the following sounds horrible) I can see a large circle of blood drifting around the edges of my sight. If I tip my head in any direction I can actually see this thick red blood trickle in front of my eye making the brown a darker brown!
At first the doctors saw just another diabetic bleed and I was sent home, but over the next day or two my eye got worse, more blood, feeling more sick, dizzy….I rushed to the A&E, this time of a top hospital in London. I saw wonderful doctors who took a long time testing me with all kinds of tests including an ultrasound! They stuck that cold jelly on my closed eye and yep, an ultrasound of my eye!. Although the doctors initially diagnosed nothing more than a diabetic bleed, they kept testing to make sure there was nothing more. And now, after 2 days in hospital and numerous tests I’ve been diagnosed with something far more serious than a simple bleed. I have a complication from the head trauma I suffered so long ago! While my eyes might have some added diabetic issues, the bleeding is not a result of that but a result of something tearing inside my eye! Something that tore when I was hit on the head!
This diagnosis is both a blessing and a curse. What has happened to my eye is something scary and although I am under observation right now (until the blood clears a little) I may need full blown eye surgery in the near future. However the diagnosis comes as a sort of blessing as doctors have finally diagnosed me with more than just diabetes and age related problems (something I always felt in my gut was the wrong diagnosis). I have finally gotten the testing and treatment I should have gotten right after I had been hit on the head.
Doctors don’t always know what’s best. Of course doctors are miracle workers and the doctors I am seeing now are truly wonderful, but everyone else I have seen so far has been blinded, ironically, by my diabetes and age (I’m not old!). There’s a difference between searching for a diagnosis because you are scared of it and knowing in your gut, your instincts telling you something isn’t right. And if something isn’t right, if you really feel somebody has missed something, don’t give up! Instincts are there for a reason, and I would say follow them. Doctors aren’t always right, they are only human and every human can make a mistake, and clearly many of the doctors I’ve met have, but I hold no malice to them, I just hope my sight will now be fully saved under the right care.
These doctors are very competent and confident that with the right treatment I’ll be okay. But I have to admit I’m still scared. And still blind in my left eye. I’ll be visiting the hospital every week from now on. So fingers crossed I will get better. I hope you can wish me (or my eyes) luck too. 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to read this long post. I’ll be getting back to my normal reviewing activities from now on. I can still see with one eye but with the back and forth to hospital my post schedule might get a bit erratic. I hope and wish all of you your health. It’s such an important thing, you just don’t realise how important until something in your body goes wrong.