Kalen S.

My right eye is the problem eye. It is also, and has always been, my near-sighted eye. The problem started last May (2006). At that time over a period of a few hours my eye began feeling uncomfortable, seemed “blurry”. By nightfall I was seeing lights starting on the right side (sort of “filament” or “lightning” like), flashing from right to left. The next day my eye was blurry. The next evening there were again flashing lights but greatly decreased. By the third night the flashing lights were minimal, and it has not since reoccurred.

I have been examined by three physicians and all report my retina is fine. Apparently, I have FLOATERS!! Although all three physicians note that I have a lot of “debris” in my eye, they have been negative about the surgery that would be required to eliminate it. The last physician, a retina-vitreous specialist, although kind, so emphasized the negative possibilities of the surgery that I became frightened of the procedure. He also stated that he would feel like he was practicing “bad medicine” if he performed the surgery prior to my having lived with the problem for over a year. He expressed acknowledgement that it would be difficult to live for the rest of my life with this type of eye problem. with my eye.

I am, and have been since last May, experiencing the following:

1. Within one minute of getting up in the morning I see a large “worm-like” (black semi-circle) object floating around my eye, somewhat towards the left side (usually) of the center of my right eye. There is a smaller black dot that seems to follow the larger “worm” around. There are also varying numbers of larger blurry areas that float around – and some shadowy areas that move around. These objects can move back and forth over the entire rangege of vision – though “worm-like and dot” seem to hang a little left of center much of the time. This disrupts my vision from morning until I go to sleep in the evening.

2. If I move my head or eye, sometimes the objects will move towards center left. But also, more dark areas can appear. Sometimes, but very rarely, all the objects will stay on the left side of vision. This is unpredictable.

3. Bright light (outside) makes the condition much worse – or harder to tolerate – more difficult to focus. But in my office (under fluorescent light) it is still very difficult for me to focus and work. It is extremely difficult to read anywhere and at any time. My profession requires reading and profound focus and concentration. And I have always read extensively for personal gratification. Also, I enjoy outdoor activities – a bright sunny day does not hold the joy that it once did.

4. I have had headaches at least once a week that started since this occurred last May; prior to that I had maybe two headaches during the last 20 years. Quite a change! The headaches are not severe and can be treated with Aleve, which bothers my stomach.

5. I became frightened after consulting with the first physician because of the apparent (as reported to me) lack of treatment options. At that time, I was told that the condition would probably “resolve” in 1-3 months. (I could barely read!) Several types of corrective lenses (to drive, to read, to work) were prescribed. These lenses help me cope some with the condition. But almost every day-to-day task was and is disrupted by the activity in my eye. Over time I have become irritable and stressed. My sleep has become disrupted. I am both fatigued s and agitated. I vacillate between hopelessness and being frightened. I don’t know what to do to help myself and no one seems to offer a treatment option without emphasizing the negative aspect. I am doing activities to help me cope (exercise, etc.) but it feels like I’m barely staying ahead of the game.

6. My boyfriend has noted that I have become more irritable and easily frustrated. He also notes that I have not been able to complete tasks as effectively as I have in the past. Also, he notes that activities, such as reading, that I so enjoy are very diminished and this affects my mood. He feels that I seem somewhat depressed.

I so appreciate any help you can give me on this matter. I have become very discouraged. Thank you again for any help, time, and attention. Unless I hear otherwise, I will follow up with a phone call in a few days.

Kalen S.
PhD Psychologist
May 15, 2007
Preoperative statement

I want to give you an update on how I am feeling – physically and emotionally. I had not realized the negative gradual erosion of my temperament and state of mind or the negative impact my eye dysfunction had on my quality of life. Even my physical energy was significantly reduced.

It’s almost 2 months after my eye surgery. My vision is clear. I feel lighter, brighter, and more energetic – like I’ve lost 30 pounds. My humor is back, and I feel a resilience that I had gradually lost over the last year. Work and play are both more gratifying. The positive change is profound and is noted by colleagues and friends.

I have not had one headache since the surgery. My life has not been without challenges in the last two months – and I am much more able to handle them with appropriate response and temperament. I feel like myself again!

Kalen S.
June 15, 2007
Postoperative statement

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