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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Life lately- the eyes have it

Click on the image above for the larger version if you would like to print it out.

Last month, my glasses fell apart. A loose screw, easily replaced. But I knew that I need new glasses, and since my last exam had been a couple years ago, I needed an eye exam as well. It went normally enough, until they spotted something a little odd about my optic nerves.
It's most likely something easily fixed and not too dangerous, but because it can be a symptom of much more serious problems, I've been seeing a neurologist to rule out the major possibilities.
They started by booking me with an ophthalmology neurologist to get a closer look. He booked me for a CT scan as soon as possible. As soon as possible turned out to be within a couple of days, then another day to get the results analysed. That was to rule out brain tumors. It was a scary few days. My husband was super stressed, and my daughter was jumping every time the phone rang. Fortunately, the ct scan came back clean.

Today I had something called a Visually Evoked Response Test, or VER, also known as Visually Evoked Potential or VEP. That tests for specific damage to the optic nerve or for possible multiple sclerosis by measuring the path it takes for something you see to hit the back of your brain where it's interpreted (this is not exact, I have no technical training or medical training, it's how it was explained to me).  This test meant going to the hospital while very alert and awake. You have to go with clean hair and scalp with no product or conditioner that might interfere. The technician used a tape measure and placed 3 small marks on my scalp, one at the hair line, one on top of my head, and one on the back of my head. Then he attached small electrodes to my head. He had me cover one eye, then the other for the test. I sat in a comfy chair, and stared at a rectangle in the center of a screen while a checkerboard around it switched colors back and forth. I was told the test would take about an hour, but it actually only took about 20 minutes. Apparently the hour is because there are people who have real problems just focusing on that little square. He removed the electrodes and wiped off most of the conductive gel/cream. Still waiting for the results from that.

Truth is though, I'm not too worried. It's not that I'm discounting the possibility of MS, but those couple of days of waiting to see if I had brain tumors were so scary.

Next phase is another vision test, this one pretty straight forward and one I've done before. The field of vision test. They are also talking about a spinal tap soon.

Puts our money problems in perspective. The fact we are tight and needing to catch up on bills that accumulated while my husband was out of work is a really minor thing. We can deal with that. My family is just very grateful that I have good medical coverage. So many people don't, and if things were just a little different, we wouldn't. We are also grateful I don't have brain tumors.

I did order new glasses. I'll probably be writing about them later, they should arrive today or tomorrow.

The eye art included in this update is done by me in the last few days. It's just for fun, but if you really like it, I'll be happy to put it on a printable box.

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