I feel humbled and grateful for every single person who has and will read my story. I am completely blown away by the response of going live with my blog last week, and I’m compelled to write more and inform you all of everything I feel and think. Haha. Get ready. This blogging thing could be really addictive.
Thank you for reading and for inspiring me to keep writing. I truly believe that as we share our vulnerable sides of life, many people can be changed and impacted for the better.
Since all of the turmoil of last year, and changing everything I do to focus on healing… I refer to that old life as just that. It was my old life. This is my new life. My family’s new life too. It’s all changed, but change is good if we have enough time to reflect back on it and see the journey we’ve come through.
Four days ago, the day after my blog went live, I had a year check-up with the ophthalmologist who had a pivotal role in all that happened last year with my health, and with jump-starting the healing process.
He had diagnosed me at that time, with Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia (INO) in my left eye, and Optic Neuritis in my right. Yep. Two eyes, both of them affected. If you’ve never experienced INO, let me tell you, you definitely don’t want to. It’s crazy, scary, and insane. If you think about it, your world is just your perception, and perception comes from how you see. Literally. Your eyes are the way you see your life. Your eyes are your memories. Your eyes are SO unbelievably important to life. So much so, that when you start to notice any change in them, your world is completely turned upside down and backwards.
Literally, at that time, it felt like I was walking sideways. With INO, the nerve fibers that coordinate eye movement in a horizontal direction are damaged. That results in the eyes not moving together. When I would look to the left, things were ok and pretty much, my perception was normal. I could even look exactly straight ahead without an issue. However, with any glance or look to the right, the world bounced.
For days once this started, I had no idea what was happening or how to pinpoint it. I tried recording myself while moving my eyes back and forth, but I couldn’t tell what was wrong. Once I saw the eye doc and he recorded it and showed it back to me – with my heart pounding and me completely wanting to run out of the room – I could see the issue. My left eye would not carry over to the right, but it would stay in the center while my right eye moved over, bouncing to try to get the left eye to catch up. This graphic kinda helps explain what I’m talking about.
Optic Neuritis is an inflammation that damages the optic nerve – which is the key component to transferring visual info from your eye to your brain. It can often cause pain in the back of the eye, color distortion and visual loss. Most notably, I had a brightness in my right eye that would come and go without a rhyme or reason. This persisted for months and months after the flare, and eventually became the only thing that would remind me on a frequent basis about all of it. This was most notably seen from the MRI, but the doc could see some inflammation through a scope he used to exam my eyes.
Four days ago, I set foot into his office again, for this check-up. The smell of the office made me want to run out of there faster than my feet could take me. It brought back every bit of anxiety and fear that I had experienced a year ago. The smell, the look of the people working there, the hallway where I broke down, hyperventilating. It was all too close to my vivid memories.
When I set foot into the patient room with all the special doctor tools to look and examine, I started second-guessing eating breakfast before this appointment… I was about to be sick. I busted out my most favorite essential oil in all the land, Valor, to help me put my warrior face on and be confident, even though I was scared to death. I sent a text to my husband, telling him how freaking scared I was and he said “You got this, a warriors fear nothing” back to me. It was then that I changed my mindset and was able to control my fear… and the Valor had a chance to kick in too.
After him asking me all the standard questions, “How do you feel? Are you seeing a neurologist?” To which I answered, no, but told him that my whole life has changed since the last time I was here. He looked at me, puzzled, and asked what I was doing. I told him I changed everything I eat, everything I do, and everything I think in order to heal my body. That I owe it to my kids and my husband and my family to fight and never stop. Those meds that the neurologist wants to prescribe do nothing except “modify the disease” and slow down the progression… but if you actually get to the root cause of disease and stop it, you can create healing. He gave me another look, and this time it was of approval and interest. And he said “good for you”.
He gave me an eye exam. Had me read letters back to him, one eye at a time, getting smaller and smaller each slide. I was able to read them. All of them. My eyesight is 20/20.
He looked at the lens of my eyes and checked the pressure. He said they looked completely normal and the pressure was within normal range.
He had me move my eyes and follow his finger – the test that I failed just one year ago. Up and down, side to side. All the way to the left. All the way to the right. Mobility was perfect. He said I had gotten back all mobility – which I already knew… but it’s nice to have it validated.
The last thing he examined were the nerves at the back of my eyes. Using a special tool, of which I have no idea what it is called – it shines a bright line into my eye and he directed me where to glance – and my heart was pounding heavily.
Then the words “the nerves look good. No notable inflammation that I can see. They look normal.” came out of his mouth.
After a year of trying, striving, working, praying, dedicating and putting together all that had broken, I cried happy tears. I could hardly contain myself. He walked out of the room and tears just started streaming out. Normal is all I wanted and it’s what we’ve got. Tears of joy kept streaming out that day, all day. When I called my husband, my parents, and my sister, each time I got to tell them and I could hear the amazement and joy in their voices, and each time I cried more from happiness.
Tears from happiness and joy don’t come often, but man do they feel good.
The fight still continues. My body is still healing every single second. But this all shows that every bit of that healing is working. If I can do it, anyone can do it. There is hope for healing an “incurable” disease. I am not saying that I am healed after one year, but I am saying that living a healthy life and striving to heal works. It is all worth it.