Monday, 7 December 2009

Doublevision

Wahay! I am off to see an orthoptist tomorrow to talk doublevision.

Doublevision and eye movement problems in general have been my one constant since I had my last major relapse in 2008. My MS history is littered with symptoms and side effects that have come and gone or have fluctuated with other external factors such as stress, medication, temperature, exercise or pure bad luck. Doublevision has remained constant since the spring of 2008.

Just like the MS in general, it is a companion but not a friend. It is the doublevision that reminds me I have MS when the other symptoms are lying low for a bit. I also think I have the doublevision to thank for the diagnosis - if I didn't have it in the first place, I may not have made the fateful GP appointment. I would have probably lived with the tingling fingers, the fatigue, the occasional vertigo, even the pain for a bit longer before seeking medical advice.

Doublevision affects me only when I look left. From a single image looking straight ahead, two side-by-side images appear the instant I start looking left and the displacement increases the further I go. When I first discovered I had it, I tested it every breakfast-time by gradually looking left at two chimneys on the next street. These chimneys would eventually match up becoming one chimney with two TV aerials. It never got any worse, it never got any better. One and a half years on, it is still the same.

People ask me how I manage to drive with it. The answer is, I close one eye when looking left. Simple as that.

I find that I am constantly screwing up one eye in everyday situations, though, or I would have difficulty recognising people in the distance, crossing the road, participating in meetings and so on.

When I go out for a drink (I honestly don't drink very much), I makes me feel drunk/ill way before I should do.

It doesn't normally bother me. It's constancy means I have learned to live with it. But it does tire me out and this has an impact on my mood and fatigue levels.

There are two possible solutions. One is to wear an eye patch. The other one is to wear glasses with prism lenses. I have no idea what these spectacles look like, so I have the fear of becoming the kid with the sticking plaster holding together a pair of national health specs. But then again I don't fancy becoming Long John Silver either, therefore I have the orthoptist appointment tomorrow. It has been a long time coming and should hopefully have a positive impact on my quality of life.
A further appointment with an opthalmologist is scheduled for later this month.

4 comments:

  1. how did it go? I was the kid with the thick NHS glasses as a child, and I hated it but survived. Even so, I couldn't wait to be rid of the bloody things and I've got my fingers crossed that the prisms either don't look too bad or that you can get a really funky patch!

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  2. Cheers! Nothing they can do apparently. Because primary position (straight ahead) I see a single image, they can't correct it. Also, eyesight is pretty good (can read most of last line on eye chart) and apparently prisms will blur.

    Oh well, should be thankful for what I have, I guess.

    Thanks for asking

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  3. (reads latest post)

    that's a bag of shit. I know we should be thankful for what we have and be grateful for what we can still do.... but that's a bag of shit, and you wouldn't be human if you didn't feel just a bit crushed and hopeless about that... before you pick yourself back up, dust yourself down and get on with making the best of it.

    Still shit though.

    I had a small "my life has been irreversibly changed" moment yesterday when ringing up airlines and informing them that I'd be coming through carrying needles and syringes and stuff. Sigh.

    Keep on keeping on. What choice do we have?

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