My Eyesight: What a Wonderful World

This year has been an especially a tough one in our area of the country for those of us who suffer from allergies associated with pollen . So, when I went bed the night of July 31st, I paid no attention to my itchy eyes. After all, the irritation and redness were typical reactions from exposure to the plant particles floating about in the air. No big deal. Or so I thought.

The next morning, to my horror, l awakened to discover that I’d lost most of my vision. Everything was a wall of “dark blur.” I couldn’t recognize things once familiar to me, including my wife Denene, and even my own reflection in a mirror. To make matter worse, my eyes were fire engine red, quite painful, and swollen. Bright light was like a thousand shards of broken glass jammed into my eyes.

I hoped that whatever caused the trouble would go away as quickly as it came, but things only grew worse, So Denene took me to see our physician. One look, though, and he sent me to an ophthalmologist’s office where a handful of doctors, assisted by physician’s associates/assistants, began the process of applying various eyedrops, each with a function of its own—numbing, staining, dilating, constricting, etc. They poked, prodding and shined bright lights of various colors and intensities into my eyes, all while talking among themselves as if I weren’t sitting two feet away. In the meantime, irritation- and pain-induced tears rolled down my cheeks, which were absorbed by the mask I wore, a requirement, of course.

The experience of having so many medical folks doing this and that to you while you can’t see them or the instruments they held in their hands was extremely unsettling. Meanwhile, they discovered a scattering of small ulcers across the surface of my eyes, including across the pupils.

At the end of the appointment, still puzzled about the cause of my troubles, the lead physician rolled the dice and decided on a medication to try for one week. Well, it didn’t work and the condition grew much worse. I. Couldn’t. See.

A specialist was summoned who identified the problem right away, a virus, he surmised, that had likely been dormant in my system since childhood. He prescribed numerous medications in the forms of eyedrops and oral meds. This came after the specialist informed the doctor who’d been treating me that the medications he’d prescribed were not the correct drugs and that they’d actually caused more harm than good. He was genuinely concerned that the virus had spread to the optic nerve which would/could cause permanent blindness. Fortunately, it was limited to the surface of the eye … this time. I later learned the specialist was actually the boss of the entire place, which explained the instant change in demeanor whenever he entered the exam room. I’m thankful the specialist/boss took charge of my case. Had he not I may not be in the position to pen this article.

After a week or so of taking the proper oral meds and plethora of different eyedrops and uncomfortable in-office procedures to  remove “things” from the surface of my eyes, my vision slowly improved and the pain, swelling, and irritation began to subside. Bright lights of any type were still a huge cause of discomfort; therefore, I kept my eyes closed or covered. And my vision was still blurry. To give you an idea of how poorly I could see at this stage, try closing your eyes to the point where you can barely see through your eyelashes. That was a big improvement from day one. Needless to say, using a computer or even watching television was still out of the question.

A week or so later, though, I was able to type and post a message about my eyesight on Facebook by enlarging the page to the point where there were only 6-8 words on the screen, and they were still fuzzy. But seeing 3″ tall extremely fuzzy letters, well, that was a welcome advancement. Still could’t recognize my own reflection in a mirror, but it was progress.

As days passed and with the help of the new medications things turned around and my vision slowly returned to where it is today. Still not normal, but okay.

The doctor theorized that a medication I take may have triggered the virus flareup. Unfortunately, the medication is one that’s part of my required daily medications. Therefore, I’m now taking two new medications that will hopefully prevent the return of the virus. I am to take these medications for life, two eyedrops each day along with a tablet the size of a 1964 Volkswagen hubcap. It’s a small price to pay if it prevents blindness.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I’ve not been intentionally rude by not replying to messages. Hopefully, things will continue to improve as days pass and I’ll soon return to blogging regularly, hosting WPA Online classes (exciting new classes are in the works and will be available very soon), and handling other important business.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to express their concern and to wish me well. I couldn’t read your messages until recently, but when I did, well, very much appreciated.

“What A Wonderful World”

Louis Armstrong
I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
The colors of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying
“I love you”
I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll never know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Oh yeah

21 replies
  1. Merit Clark
    Merit Clark says:

    Lee, this sounds utterly terrifying. I’m so sorry for an additional trial on top of everything you’ve gone through the last few years. Thankfully it sounds like you finally got the answers and help you need. Sending prayers for a full recovery and for healing. Hang in there.

  2. Marilyn Levinson
    Marilyn Levinson says:

    What a frightening ordeal you went through, Lee. So glad your eyesight is practically back to normal. Since childhood my vision has never been great, but I appreciate that I see well enough to do everything I need and want to do.

  3. Jenni
    Jenni says:

    Thank God they caught it! I had a similar experience with shingles. Caught it right before it got to the edge of my eyesight. Scary, but yours sounds so much worse. Can’t stand people messing with my eyes!

  4. Pen Wize
    Pen Wize says:

    I’ve been wondering how you were doing. Sounds like a terrifying and awful experience. I’m happy to hear things are improving. Thank god for the specialist/boss man. May your eyes continue to improve.

  5. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    What a nightmare. I can’t even imagine the pain. Let alone the emotional anxiety and concern. what a horrible situation. I’m very glad it’s not permanent. I can tell a man wrote this because most females would describe that pain to the tee 🙂 I kept waiting to read that it was vaccination or Covid related.

  6. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Lee, so glad you finally got the help you needed and your vision is coming back. It’s rough getting old, but hand in there. Sending good thoughts and prayer for a complete and speedy recovery.

  7. Kaye George
    Kaye George says:

    As a person with precarious eyesight, I read this avidly and hope all will be well. (One detached retina and a recent “something” that took out the middle vision in one eye.) We NEED our eyes!!! Good to “see” you back!

  8. Evelyn
    Evelyn says:

    I am happy to hear that somehow the boss aka specialist was alerted to your condition and your eyesight is back. Must have been incredibly disconcerting to be in that position. Life and age, never know what they are teaming up to send you next but you cannot have one without the other as my dr told me when I complained about the vagaries of aging. Best of luck to you and yours!

  9. Jeff Mariotte
    Jeff Mariotte says:

    Lee, I’m really glad that you’re seeing improvement (see what I did there?)! Loss of vision is a great fear of mine; my mother was essentially blind for a few years before she passed, due to macular degeneration.

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