lymed out

my quest to getting these suckas out!

Another long winded post. This time about eyes.


Sooooo, I’ve been getting these weird things happening with the bottom of my left eye. Like these white balls of flashes come in and out. Like you’ve accidentally ran into a glass door head first type of flash. Or have a toddler smash you in the eyball and then you see stars. They are intermittent, lasts a split second and come and go and not every day. It’s not painful or uncomfortable, just weird and perplexing.

At the start of my treatment (6 months ago) up until today I’ve been put on Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine). A disclaimer in my LLMD’s instructions were to see an Ophthalmologist because Plaquenil can cause yellowing of the eyes. I never had this issue (and don’t think so now) so I have never made an appointment.

BUT, because of the bizarre white flashes, I’ve decided to make an appointment. Not only that, but I am in dire need of new glasses because Clearly Contacts always has good deals. First thing I googled was an Ophthalmologist nearby. I quickly learned that I cannot waltz in somewhere but needed a referral. UGHHHH. More red tape, more explanations on Lyme.

I knew this was important and I am sometimes a procrastinator, so one morning, I saw a walkin clinic with only 2 people in it and well, walked right in. I waited only 30 minutes. While inside the room, I made sure no camera’s were hidden and I took this shot.

How absolutely ridiculous is this sign. Now I know this isn’t applicable to just walk-in’s. Many doctor’s offices have this policy. Including Doctor Gollum. I know this because when I was explaining my second symptom, his ass was already out the door. So, can you imagine if a Lyme person with 72 symptoms were to try to figure out what in the living hell was wrong with them? They would be there for years. If not decades.

So I started to get a little angry and then I saw the names of the 3 walk-in doctors affiliated with this clinic. I texted their names to myself so I can look them up at www.ratemds.com when I got home. If you do not use ratemds.com, you are doing a disservice to yourself.

So, in walks the doctor. No smile, seemed a little disgruntled (and it was only 9:30 am). “What can I help you with”, in a flat monotone voice.

At first, I thought about just stating the facts, that I see white flashes and if I could get a referral to see an Ophthalmologist. But then I thought Crap, what if he thinks that white flashes are caused by stress and decides to give me Zoloft or something. Hell No. I’m not going down that road for the 57th time. So I told him that I was on Plaquenil for Lyme and seeing a specialist in New York who advised me to get my eyes checked due to possible yellowing. His demeanor didn’t change at all. He asked me what my Lyme symptoms were. He asked me if I wanted to see an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist. Having done my homework, I knew there was a difference. Here are the big three “O’s”.


Ophthalmologist

Is an eye M.D., a medical doctor who is specialized in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to complex and delicate eye surgery. They may also be involved in eye research. Ophthalmologists have additional specialized training in diagnosing and treating more complex medical eye conditions. So it is not unusual for optometrists and ophthalmologists to work closely-together on hard-to-diagnose conditions or ongoing disease treatment and management. As M.D.s, ophthalmologists are allowed to prescribe a broader-range of prescription drugs than optometrists.

Optometrist

  • to examine and diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal diseases
  • to diagnose related systemic (bodywide) conditions such as hypertension and diabetes that may affect the eyes
  • to examine, diagnose and treat visual conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia
  • to prescribe glasses, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation and medications as well as perform minor surgical procedures such as the removal of foreign bodies

Opticians

Are masters of lenses. In most settings an optician is given a written eyeglass or contact lens prescription by an MD (Ophthalmologist) or and OD (Optometrist). Whether it be reading glasses or prescription eyewear, an optician is trained to help. Opticians are not medically trained, rather they are technically trained. When you go to your local eyeglass boutique, more often than not, you will be working with an optician to find and fit your eyeglasses to your prescription. Opticians can not write your prescription.


I lucked out and he referred me to an Ophthalmologist AND he also gave me a Doctor’s note to see an Optometrist. The doctor’s note meant that I would be covered for a free exam ($115) with the Optometrist because OHIP stopped coverage of regular eye exams to people age 20-64.

The next day, the referral Ophthalmologist called me to book an appointment. And this is the first thing I did.

There were 19 reviews of which 99% of them had either a sad blue face or a sickly green face. UM YA. No thank you! I quickly called to cancel this appointment and made an appointment with an Optometrist. I know that they can also refer you to an Ophthalmologist.

So off I go to see the Optometrist. And the next 1.5 hours went something like this.

And that didn’t even cover the glasses prescription part where you read all those letters off the wall. Except now there are no letters on the wall, it’s letters on a giant MAC monitor. I still have to go back next week for this! I explained about the Lyme and then the Plaquenil. She mentioned that many patients are put on Plaquenil for lupus and RA and that sometimes Plaquenil can cause loss of vision over a prolonged time. The Optometrist had just graduated and looked rather young, but I knew she was very thorough and she knew her stuff. After being put through torturous devices and having different coloured liquid dropped into my eyes, she was happy to report that my eyes are absolutely fine. The nerves are fine, the test for macular degeneration was fine, and every other test that I can’t pronounce turned out good. She was however still concerned at my issue at hand and wanted to refer me to an Ophthalmologist. I clearly stated to please NOT refer me to the one with sad blue faces. So look out for Part 2 of the eye saga.

I left the office with a temporary case of far sightedness and an extreme sensitivity to bright light (because of those drops). The receptionist handed me over these paper sunglasses and I’m like “Nah, I’ll be ok.” She’s like “Um, no. You won’t”. So I take them, walk outside was like “Ya, she was right.” They looked so absolutely comical that I was trying to hide myself even behind tinted car windows.

In other news, remember I mentioned of the white tongue coating. Well that Oral Nystatin Suspension works like a charm. I noticed improvements on the first day. I swish this around my mouth 4 times a day. It tastes like banana. The pharmacist said I could swallow it, but I was like “Nah”.

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2 thoughts on “Another long winded post. This time about eyes.

  1. Lymed Out, I’ve had about 13 of these by now and if we take away 4 Optometrist visits (mine is great), that leaves 9 TOP Ophthamologists in the greater Boston area from Tufts to Lahey to Mass Eye and Ear (3 times – arrogant prick that he was) and finally my sister told me to see her husband’s specialist (he has a history of iritis due to ankylosing spondylitis) and he was incredible and assured me that Plaquenil had not caused any issues or inflammation in/behind my eyes. He also said that doctors prescribing Plaquenil always recommend an eye check every 6 months and that the dose we are usually given is not enough to do damage, but better safe than sorry. Thank you, Dr. Handsome (my sister did not tell me this 🙂 ). Then just 6 months ago, my lyme-neurologist told me to see a doctor at the New England Eye Institute in Boston. My daughter took me as she does to so many appointments on her Wednesdays off from work. She fills out all the paperwork and we both gab like best friends so our two hour wait (we were 10 minutes late due to spring road construction no matter which way we went) went by giggling. Finally I am taking from room to room for all sorts of high tech eye tests, photos of my retinas, etc. and then to the doctor. He is around 70 and mid-Eastern and BRILLIANT – he BELIEVES in Lyme and connects them with MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Diabetes as we all have the same issues and eye problems. Well I had an added surprise for him as my eyes will not track up and do not focus together AND I’m losing peripheral vision. He was so fascinated with my story that he had everyone coming in to see me including a doctor that works with patients with tracking, peripheral and reading issues. He usually sees just kids, but definitely wanted to see me – which I have been doing monthly. I don’t care if the homework is the same that kids get; it really makes my eyes angry, so I think it’s working. Anyway, back to main doctor – he said I had old scarring on the back of my eyes during his exam – huh, those TOP specialists didn’t see that – and that looking at my photos both retinas are thinning on the outer edges L>R, BUT hopefully it has stopped due to the start of antibiotics. My daughter was on the edge of her seat taking it all in (her vision is -.625, legally blind) and she always struggled with reading. So I see him next week for my 6 month follow up and am looking forward to seeing this brilliant man. I wish you lived closer.
    Maybe you should come right out and ask the office if they deal with Lyme patients and if none of them say yes, ask who is the best looking! Just kidding, go with the best rated one and cross your fingers. Geez, I could have made my own blog. Thought you might find my own experiences interesting and I want to hear when you do get seen. If you want to email me at kfarrell03@earthlink.net, I will give you my doctor’s name and maybe you can look for articles he’s had published. Best wishes always, Kath

  2. Kath, yes you should write about this! lol will definately keep you updated. love your stories…!

Foggy brain or not, I would love to hear from you!

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