Thursday, August 10, 2006

Second Eye Blind, and Yet Another Prescription Mess

For the past few weeks, I have been experiencing what I refer to as a "Super Attack." All my symptoms seem amplified 100 times or more. It's annoying, but it usually tapers off in a few weeks and I've learned to just rest and ride it out.

On the 28th of July, I began trying to call in my prescription for Oxycodone with the prescription coordinator. I say "trying," because her voice mail was completely full until the 1st. On Thursday evening, I get a voice mail from someone named "Carl," telling me that I can't have my prescription, as the Well-Accessoried Doctor is no longer with the clinic. I must see a new doctor before I can have my pills.

Uh oh, someone didn't read the chart! I DID see a new doctor, on the 17th!

So I call them back last Friday, and finally was able to speak to this Carl. After explaining that I had already seen the doctor, he told me he'd put the prescription request back in to the new doctor and call me when it was done.

On Sunday night, I noticed I was having blurry vision. I've read about this in MS books, but never actually experienced it myself. My eyes would "cloud up," as if I were looking through fog....and then as quickly as it came, it would disappear. After consulting a few of my books, I decided to just rest some more and hope for th best.

On Monday afternoon, I woke up from a nap...and could barely see anything. I put on my change. My first thought was that it reminded me of summers when I was a kid, when my sister and I went to our neighborhood swimming pool nearly every day (it was 50 cents admission, and for another $1.50 you could get a hot dog, soda and a bag of chips or box of Cracker Jack). One summer, for a few short weeks, the pool guy kept putting in too much chlorine. When you'd swim underwater, it was so murky, and it kind of burned your eyes to look through it. That was the same sensations, the same kind of murky vision and eyeball pain I was going through on Monday, some twenty years later. Isn't it odd what will be our first reaction to stress sometimes?

My next thought was, "Holy crap, I can't see." The pleasant reminder of my childhood swimming hole was replaced by sheer terror. Intellectually, I understood that optic neuritis can happen to anyone with MS, at any time. Emotionally, all I could feel was frightened at my loss of vision.

After some experimentation, I realized that the bulk of my eye problems was centered in my right eye (my right side is my "problem" side). It was, however, throwing off my vision entirely. It was almost like trying to see through a dense fog. I kept compulsively rubbing my eyes and blinking.

So I called the doctor, and first spoke to a nurse, "Bob," who then relayed my message to an attending and got back to me. The advice: rest, and come into the office on Wed. morning. I also found out that the new doctor wasn't in the office AT ALL this week! What about my prescription?!?!?

I spent most of Tuesday, bored as bored could be. I couldn't concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. I couldn't read, use the computer or watch TV. It was like listening to Donald Rumsfeld sing: pure torture.

So finally, I get into the doctor's office yesterday morning, and see an attending, "Dr. Wink" (thus named because he looks eerily like a game show host). He basically told me I needed a referral to a new neurologist, and they couldn't do anything for me. He also suggested I see an eye doctor, and was very perturbed about the fact that I haven't seen one in two years, despite the fact that my insurance only pays for eye exams every other year and that I did give birth in 2003! He also didn't seem to notice the fact that I've spent the last year or so working on dental issues and then recovering from the intense attacks of trigeminal neuralgia that even a dental cleaning will cause. But, I wasn't in the mood to argue....especially as Dr. Wink gave me my prescription! Hallelujah.

My vision has mostly cleared up now. Every now and again, the blurriness comes back, but it only lasts a few minutes. The pain is mostly gone.

But it's a fine mess I've gotten myself into this time, Laurel....

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At 11:32 AM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

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