January 11, 2014

Happy National Glaucoma Month

The Lord gives sight to the blind. . . Praise the Lord.

~ Psalm 146:8, 10b

January is National Glaucoma Month. Since October is the month to schedule your mammogram, January ought to be the month for you to go see your ophthalmologist. I see mine now every six months since I was diagnosed several years ago with pigmentary glaucoma.

This type of glaucoma is a birth defect and is caused by bumpy corneas which scratch off the pigment cells behind the irises (I was born with blue eyes). When enough cells accumulate to clog the drainage ports that regulate the pressure of fluid inside the eyeball, pressure builds up and can damage the optic nerve in the back of the eyeball which in turn can "blind" your peripheral eyesight if not caught in time. It is generally diagnosed when a person reaches middle age.

I'm told this type of glaucoma is a fairly rare disease. My eye doctor told me to think of it this way: the whole population of the United States totals 100%. Five percent of that 100% have some type of glaucoma, whether they are aware of it or not. One percent of the 5% have my type of glaucoma and it usually runs in families, however, until a couple of years ago, we didn't know of any other family members with this condition, until my sister's eye doctor said she was losing pigment in her eyes. Thankfully, she hasn't developed the glaucoma part yet.

My blue eyes are turning brown now because the nightly eye drops stains them. My medicine is derived from pig or horse urine. I know it's gross, thinking about dropping pig pee in my eye, but it's better than the sick headaches I was having right before I was diagnosed. Since I have upper respiratory allergies along with asthma, I thought they were sinus headaches until my pupils (the black part) dilated quite suddenly one afternoon and remained that way for a whole week. That's a danger signal that something is not quite right (besides me, I mean! *wink*).

If you wish to know more about glaucoma and/or contribute to funding research, click here. I do not receive any
monies when you contribute to the National Glaucoma Association.

Happy National Glaucoma Month and here's to Healthy Eyes!

Rejoice With Me!

1. Since I'm not overly fond of doctors, rejoice with me that my eyes dilated and I was diagnosed within the week. The glaucoma specialist told my mother it was a good thing it happened as it might have not been "caught" in time. The pressure in one of my eyes was 32 (normal is 16-20 points) hence the headaches.

2. I'm thankful that when my desk chair dumped me last week, I didn't get skewered by the occupational tools (3 back scratchers, 2 metal shoe horns, a sock aid, and grabber, etc.) I kept in a ceramic pot behind me. I'm thankful that when I crushed the poor pot, after biting me in the hip, I didn't need stitches. And I'm grateful that the paramedics were available to give me a boost upright.

3. I'm thankful that other than a sore back, sprained shin bone, and injured dignity, my husband had no broken bones from his tumble off the ladder at work this week.

4. I found enough secondhand black and white velour blankets to make me an upcycled black and white checked one.

5. I am so grateful that the Lord loves me anyway, despite all my defects. I'm a Princess, an adopted Daughter of the King, in his eyes!

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"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).