Just Heather
Stick a Needle in My Eye

On Monday, I visited a retinal specialist to see what could be done about my eye problem. I knew I had macular degeneration, caused by retinal bleeding. What I didn’t know was what they were going to do about it.

Turns out? They wanted to stick a needle in my eye. In. My. Eye. A needle—did I mention that? Maybe praying I wouldn’t need surgery wasn’t such a good idea.

(Dear God, Very funny. Love, Me.)

Surgery is an option, but he wanted to try medication first. It’s actually a cancer medication called Avastin but has been used successfully for years in this off-label use. The problem? They have to inject it directly into my eyeball every 6 weeks until the blood vessels shrink and the swelling goes down.

After that, “maybe” I’ll get my vision back. They “hope” to see improvement over the next year. But, hey—I’m young! And, he’s “always surprised” by how well we “young people” do. While none of that is at all encouraging, it did help to know my right eye is fine(ish).

The retinal bleed is caused by ocular histoplasmosis. And, before you ask, no. I didn’t grow up on a chicken farm! This is an adult complication from a fungal infection in childhood, typically associated with chicken coupes.

I had never even seen a chicken coupe until a school field trip just a few months ago. Apparently? After my eye issues started. My doctor believes this has been going on for months, but I didn’t notice because I am right eye dominant.

My right eye also has a few “histo spots” but shows no signs of complications since they aren’t near my central vision. While my chances of regaining the vision in my left eye are up in the air, my fears of going completely blind have been alleviated.

My fear of needles? Out in full force.

And, they expect me to come back to their torture chamber in 6 weeks. To once again ply me full of a dozen eye drops, pry open my eye and stick a needle in it! You might think with all the numbing agents, I wouldn’t really feel it. Oh, how I wish!

It didn’t hurt all that much, at the time, but the sensation of having something inside your eyeball is a bit creepy. It also hurt a lot after the meds wore off. I’m doing much better today, but I’m still sensitive to light and the computer screen hurts my eyes.

My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades…

5 Responses to “Stick a Needle in My Eye”

  1. Oh Heather! It just kinda sounds like hell on earth. I mean it could be much worse, but what you’ve got is no picnic. Praying that the course of treatment does the trick. Wow!

  2. Heather, you’ve got such a great attitude and outlook that you’re already winning. Often when we’re faced with challenges we let them stop us in mid gait. The human body is an amazing machine that does things no one really knows why. You’re in control, to some degree.

    So now that you have the ‘stick a needle in my eye’ part of the little rhyme, you going for the ‘pants on fire’ one too? 😉


  3. I’m still praying for you. I hope it goes well, and will definitely see you at Blog Indiana. I’m looking forward to it.