Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eye eye... Another hospital visit

Get yourself a cup of tea or something stronger, it's a long one.....
When we watch television, which is nothing like the amount we watched in the UK, it's a little diddy one. So when I couldn't see the planner very easily I thought that was why.  I was starting to think however that maybe I would soon need glasses for everyday things and not just reading.  Blast, I'm falling to pieces!

A few days after, we had some friends over, and Alan called out to us all “Look at that eagle”  They were all ooh and ahhing at the eagle soaring high above us, and I couldn’t see it.  Immediately I was aware that something was not quite right and I saw silvery lights. Something weird was going on in my right eye.  Luckily one of our Spanish friends here, David, is an optician, so I went and had a chat to him.  He tested my eyes however he knew within seconds something wasn’t right, especially as my pupil had changed shape, and he said I had to go to the doctor, soon.

The plan was to make an appointment to the doctor and hope it was nothing too serious. Meanwhile  I was having the bad nose bleeds and the fainting episode.  I told you all about that palarva and the hospital visit in the previous blog post.

I couldn't see the doctor immediately after this, as we had holiday guests plus one of the alpaca boys had suffered a bite on his ear by Santa... our naughty boy.  Alan was doing his best to corner poor Eduardo, get hold of him, plus bathe his ear and put cream on it, whilst I was in bed before I could help him.  A few days later I saw my doctor, luckily David came along with us so there would be nothing lost in translation, this was all pretty important stuff!  Regarding the anaemeia, I’ve got what is like little bottles of blood to have every day for 3 months, he looked at my eye and said there was a serious problem going on and it needed looking at by an opthamologist.  I had to go to the receptionist and she would organise an appointment there and then for me.  However if it was any longer than a couple of weeks wait we had to inform him, and he would give us a letter to take to the Spanish equivilant of accident and emergency. In fact it was only a months wait, but he wanted me seen as soon as possible.

We were show into a different waiting room this time, and it seemed to be full of people with bloody noses or banged heads.  We waited our turn and a one point a scary looking lady doctor came out and walked past us, in high heeled shoes a mop of blonde curly hair. She had an air about her and we hoped we wouldn't be seeing her.  Sods law of course we did, and she couldn't have been nicer.  As usual we stumbled through and we even brought our Spanish - English dictionary with us. Half way through the consulation as she was asking us questions, a voice from behind a door was translating and shouted the question in English. After a few minutes a friendly head popped around the door and apologised for her interruptions.  Of course we were extremely happy for her help. The lady doctor was unhappy that it hadn't been looked at when I had my 'collapse'  as she called it and I was sent straight to the eye department to be seen. 

This was on a Thursday and I was seen by a doctor but not a consultant.  First I had to read the letters projected onto the wall, then he looked into my eyes with a slit lamp.

From Wikipedia - The slit lamp is an instrument consisting of a high-intensity light source that can be focused to shine a thin sheet of light into the eye. It is used in conjunction with a biomicroscope. The lamp facilitates an examination of the anterior segment, or frontal structures and posterior segment, of the human eye, which includes the eyelid, sclera, conjunctiva, iris, natural crystalline lens, and cornea. The binocular slit-lamp examination provides a stereoscopic magnified view of the eye structures in detail, enabling anatomical diagnoses to be made for a variety of eye conditions. A second, hand-held lens is used to examine the retina.

After this examination he told me I had a condition called uveitus, and inflamation of the eyeball.  That made sense as my eye hurt, rather like a toothache in it.  I had been watching television covering my right eye as it had been painful and also everthing seems so bright.

He gave me two types of drops, one was a steroid drop and the other to keep the pupil dilated, and gave me an appointment to return on the following Tuesday. This we did, this time we saw a younger and extremely good looking doctor.  He also did the same tests performed  previously, plus he also examined my retina by an instument that throws strong lights into the eye.  This was a bit uncomfortable!  He then suggested we come back the following morning and see the consultant, which of course we jumped at the chance. 

The same young doctor was there, that was good as he could explain his thoughts to the lady consultant, who was a very sweet lady. Once again all those tests were performed and also I had Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).  The OCT gives a cross-section view of the retina. Swelling of the retina, collection of fluid beneath the retina, and blood vessels can be seen well with the test. 

I was told to continue with the drops and she wanted to see me again a week later. All the previous tests were perfomed again plus another.  The next test was FFA which stands for fundus fluorescein angiography. This is a special test to check out the structure and health of the blood vessels within the retina by injecting a special dye into a vein in the arm. Both of my eyes were dilated with eye drops, and I had to sit in front of the Fundus Camera and a series of photographs of the retina were taken whilst a nurse injected the dye into my arm.  It was quite uncomfotable and handsome doctor had to hold my right eye open throughout the procedure. That particular test can have some pretty strange side effects, maybe it was a good job the consultant gave Alan the paperwork to read and translate what he could. The most exciting side effect was that my urine was a fantastic neon colour for about 24 hours. Skin, and the whites of your eyes may also turn yellow. Also the repeated camera flash during the procedure can in a few people cause nausea or vomiting. I remembered whilst having the test feeling a dryness and strange feeling in my mouth, but nothing else apart from the exciting trips to the loo! 

After the results which can be can be seen immediately, I was told I have acute uveitis (inflammation of the eyeball, front and back) pressure in the eyeball and an inflamed retina.  With that they said they wanted to give me an injection under the eye.  I was petrified!  My big fear is that I may at some point have to have an injection in my eye! To be honest this was only in my skin and it wasn’t too bad. Although she apologised as she was withdrawing the needle, because she knew immediately she had bruised me.  

A month later I was back again.  All the tests were done once again apart from the FFA (injection in the arm)  Yes even the injection under the eye.  As yet nothing has changed, but she said it's early days.  She now want me to see a doctor about my sarcoidosis, as uveitis is a sympton, and she is sure that's what has caused it. Whilst in the queue making the next appointment, would you believe a lady fainted on Alan. It's the best place for it to happen!  The nurses all rushed around, one lifted the ladies legs, another took her blood pressure and one seemed to give her an injection in her stomach.  Most of the other ladies in the queue stood around fanning her with their fans... never a dull moment! 

P.S. I'm really not highly intelligent, and I have looked up what these tests are called!

After the injection.  Can you spot the strange shape of the pupil?

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