Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Recently I've been fretting about a self diagnosed brain tumor that has been affecting my vision. It is located somewhere in the back of my head near the optic radiations. It first affected my left eye, then vanished before reappearing (or should I say disappearing because of my lack of vision?) in my right eye. Transient vision changes that occur in one eye then reappear in another eye are not normally related to a tumor. You know, unless the tumor is shrinking in one direction as it grows in another.

So basically, I have a self diagnosed traveling brain tumor that is making its way from the left side of my head to the right.

Or so I thought.

When I was finally able to get myself an eye appointment, the optometrist asked questions like "why can't you see?" (to which I wanted to respond "aren't you supposed to answer that?") and made comments such as, "well, you could read that a minute ago" when I couldn't read even the big E on the top of the eye chart.

After two appointments in as many weeks, my old prescription was changed, then later rewritten to resemble the original prescription. The original prescription which caused me to come in for the first place because I couldn't see.

So at this point, I had changed my working diagnosis from a traveling brain tumor to a conversion disorder. Clearly, there was nothing wrong with my eyes or the optometrist would not have asked me why I couldn't see. Without any anatomical basis to my blurry vision, the only remaining answer is a conversion disorder.

I made an appointment a month away with an ophthalmologist, ie a real MD. I spent the next month hoping it was legal for me to be on the road and ignoring people at work because I couldn't see them down the hallway. All the while, I was trying to come to terms with the fact that I obviously had a conversion disorder.

When it was finally time for my appointment, the technician made me feel like a fraud when she questioned what I could and couldn't see. She wasn't able to correct my vision with lenses. Then the real MD came in and asked "has anyone ever mentioned an astigmatism?"

He then showed me a picture of the peaks and valleys of the surface of my right eye. The cornea is supposed to be round like a basketball. An astigmatism means the cornea cones out like a football. This can be corrected with glasses and soft contacts. However, my eye only cones out at the bottom and is rounded at the top. This is called an irregular astigmatism. It can only be corrected with hard contacts. I was told the cause could be due to a) illfitting contacts, b) a corneal deformity, or c) a and b.

I'm shooting for a) as this would explain why my vision was first blurry in my left eye and now my right.

Today I had my fitting for my contacts. They hurt. I squinted, cried, blinked and got asked what the heck was wrong with me by nurses and even a patient. However, I was able to wear them for 4 hours as I was asked.

I am shooting for 6 hours tomorrow. I doubt I will be able to drive in these things for a while as it is hard to look for side to side. Thus, unfortunately, I will still be driving with my useless glasses. Wish me luck!

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