July 19, 2011

Desperate to be Healthy Again

This is going to be a long rant today. The last month has not been good for me in the health department. I've been thrown down and knocked out by a wicked sinus infection and even worse, an eye infection with serious implications. I was diagnosed last week with Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis. Sounds long and scary, right? It is kind of scary. It is an infection affecting both the conjunctiva and cornea and symptoms include red eyes (in my case, VERY red eyes. Both of them.), swelling eyelids, sensitivity to light (so much fun since the sun is out a LOT in the summer and my sensitivity is very bad), discharge causing sticky eyes in the morning, feeling of a foreign object in the eye, blurred vision and eye pain. ADDITIONAL symptoms that I also got from this (that apparently not everyone gets) were headache, extreme tiredness and swollen lymph nodes.

Good freakin' times man.

Example of what the cornea looks like with this freaking virus.
How has this affected my life over the past three weeks?? Let's see... because of the extreme contagiousness of this virus, I have had to be a virtual germophobe freak as in every time I even touch close to my eyes I have to use hand sanitizer to wash. I use Lysol wipes on just about everything in my office at the end of the day as well as my computer and mouse at home. I have to use a new washcloth every time I need to wipe my eyes. I had to throw all of my makeup away and buy new stuff. I also had to throw my contacts away (not the worst thing as they are 2 week disposables anyway) but also the case and bottle of saline solution. I can't WEAR my contacts until the infection clears entirely which could actually take weeks, even months. My vision has been affected and has been worsened by the condition- I have to wear my glasses to see, but they are nearly ineffective and give me a headache because of the discrepancy in prescription. I don't have prescription sunglasses, but the sunlight hurts my eyes so I've been wearing sunglasses OVER my regular glasses. That feels so good on my nose and ears. I have also had to work without an office light on as well as turn down the brightness on my work monitor so as to minimize the imminent pain and headaches caused by staring at it all day not to mention the annoying questions that every single person asks when they walk by, "Working by candlelight today are we?" The exhaustion is overwhelming- I am typically in bed before the sun goes down as my eyes just cannot take any more stress.

The worst thing about this? There is no treatment or cure. It has to run its course. My ophthalmologist prescribed a steroid eyedrop to help treat the symptoms and has an antibiotic in it to help prevent any further bacterial infections but sadly, it could be several weeks until I am cleared from this. I am also terrified of my husband or kiddo catching this from me (although pretty sure I got it from the kiddo in the first place). It is the worst and I am so miserable.

The only good thing that has come out of my illness is weight loss! Ha! I lost about 5 lbs in the last month which considering I kept losing and gaining the same 3 lbs for like 3 months straight, it is kind of a victory. I am very close to reaching my 10% although I'm not getting my hopes up as I'm sure I'll have some fluctuation now that my appetite is returning.

I really miss working out. I suppose even if I could physically go out for a run, I wouldn't thanks to the 84 degree DEW POINT and 118 degree HEAT INDEX (seriously... WTH Minnesota???). I listen to my running playlist and long to be out there pounding the pavement. I would love to call this illness a typical excuse for why I'm not working out, but I really physically cannot because of the exhaustion and headaches (not to mention, I am terrified of what it would feel like if sweat dripped in my eye... OMG... the horror... the agony... the pain).

So happy to see the whites in my eyes again. I had to take a picture.
I would like to think that I am being a trooper about all this. I've had my little whines here and there but this is my first big rant. I'm just over it. Done with it. I want my life back. I want my eyes back. I promise, I'll never take them for granted again.

3 comments:

  1. Yikes! I can't imagine...Hope your eyes heal soon!

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  2. I know this is over a year after your illness, but I had to write to say how I understand. We have been suffering this awful disease for two months now, between my husband and I. I am still trying to recover my vision after four horrible, scary weeks of eye mush! My husband actually caught this from an ophthalmologist on a routine eye exam. The doctor didn't practice standard infection control and now we are paying for it. Hope you are better by now - I would never with this on anyone except the doctor who gave it to us!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mali! It may have been a year but I have NOT forgotten how awful this eye disease is- I cannot believe you got it from an opthamologist! ACK!!! I was sent to an eye specialist who thankfully gave me steroid drops for my eyes and it helped with the symptoms significantly. It was at least 6-8 weeks from start to finish, but it does get better! I promise! Hang in there. So sorry this happened to you both.

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