Friday, September 11, 2009

Scary news

Okay this is scary, but I really want to get it out there in case ANYONE has had the same issue and can help me.

Also because talking about things is the best way to cope with them.

About a week ago, out of the blue, I started getting a very bad headache on the left side of my head - right behind/next to my eye. I also noticed that anytime that I abruptly moved my eye or closed my eye, I had a very sharp and intense pain at the top of my eye, though I could not tell if it was my eye lid or my eye ball. I took some ibuprofen and that helped a lot. I also noticed that when I wore my glasses (instead of contacts.. I'm kind of blind) it helped with the pain, though it still hurt.. so I wore my glasses a few days and just thought it was due to my allergies (which were horrible last week). My sinuses were very awful last week and there is a sinus cavity right behind your eye where the pain sort of was.

Fast forward to Tuesday. The pain is almost gone at this point, but I start noticing that I feel like I need to keep adjusting my contact in my left eye. For you contact wearers, you know when your contact comes up just a little off your eye and you feel like you need to move your eye around so the contact lays back flat on your eye? Welcome to my Tuesday, for most of the day. Wednesday was even worse. At one point I was walking from my car to Matt's apartment and felt like my contact was going to pop out. When I looked down to readjust it, everything was blurry and yellow. Um? Then the entire night I felt like I couldn't really see.

I wore my glasses Thursday and made an appointment with my eye doctor. Pain I can deal with, seeing yellow I cannot.

I went to the eye doctor today and she immediately brought up my thryoid condition. I have an underactive thyroid and take thyroid hormones every single day to supplement my body. My mom has had both an underactive and overactive - so this is clearly a concern for me but I have been tested for both of her diseases and came back negative, though that just means I don't have the antibodies currently for the diseases - I could still develop them. The doctor explains to me that my problem sounds like a condition known as "Thyroid Eye Inflamation" (obscure name, huh?). This is when the eye muscles in and around your eye become inflamed and your eye tends to stick out a little farther than normal. It's also characterized by your contact not sitting flat on your eye. The DR had me put contacts in my eyes and looked at them through her light machine - and sure enough, I was right - my contact was not sitting flush (or flesh.. oh well) on my eye... therefore seeing was not happening.

So what happens next? Well I have to have a CT scan of my brain and optics to determine if the muscles are actually inflamed. She suspects they are because my left eye is stickout a little more than my right eye AND the ibuprofen helps (which is an antiinflamatory). If I do in fact have this condition, then I'm lucky because so far I have a mild case. A more severe case (which could still happen) means I will get double vision in my eye and potentially need surgery to make the cavity behind my eye that holds the muscle larger to accomodate the enlarged muscle (excuse me while I throw up).

The part I'm very nervous about is this is a direct symptom of an overactive thyroid - which is EXTREMELY dangerous and if I have both underactive and overactive, I'm going to be switching back and forth and be on a roller coaster. Rapid weight gain, rapid weight loss and a whole slew of symptoms to come. This all will kill my thyroid too, which isn't THAT big of a deal but not pleasant to go through. If my thyroid dies (or I have to have it removed) it just means they will up the dosage of medicine I already take and I'll take it the rest of my life. I already have to take this medicine the rest of my life with my current situation so not much change there. This is the ONLY symptom that I have of overactive thyroid so far and I just had my thyroid levels checked in February, which is a long time in the thyroid world.. but still it's not like I haven't been staying on top of it. Symptoms to worry about are rapid weight loss (I wish!), increased appetite (in fact not being able to keep food IN your body if you know what I mean) and rapid heart rate. I don't have any of these.

I'm nervous about the CT. I'm nervous because if this condition worsens there is a possibility my eye muscles could deteriorate and my eye could permanently be "bugged out". Also if the muscles deteriorate completely I'm not sure if my eye will even function? Yes I'm jumping ahead of myself but this is where my mind is going and I don't think you can blame me.

So what's next? Well I'm going to the doctor on Monday to have thyroid blood work done and so she can read the note on the CT from my eye doctor. Then I'm not sure what happens. I just know that wearing contacts is not an option for me right now because I can't see. This is driving me insane as I have never liked to wear glasses and find them very restrictive. AT LEAST the last time I had my lenses updated I opted for the anti-glare, otherwise I'd be in hell right now and have a massive headache. My old glasses never had anti-glare and therefore I could NOT wear them at all.

I'm really scared. I'm trying to remain calm and trying to rationalize with myself that this is still mild, caught early, and we don't know what will happen. This thing tends to just flame up out of no where and can go away just the same. Who knows, maybe by Monday it will go down and I'll be in my contacts again. I guess we will see.

Thanks for the support everyone. I will definitely keep you updated as I know more.

Ending on a positive note, my mom had me take my resting heart rate (increased heart rate is one symptom.. remember?) My resting heart rate after talking about this and being a little nervous was 68 bpm. AWESOME! When I started this journey 30 pounds larger and very unhealthy, my resting heart rate was in the 80s. Props to my heart for getting stronger!

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I found your blog through sparkpeople. I'm so sorry to hear that you're having such a rough time. Everything will work out...remember your blog on the power of positive :)