Permanent Optic Nerve Damage
When I first started having vision problems, I was 27-years-old, two years into my diagnosis of MS. I started closing my right eye when I was driving because my vision was annoying and weird... strange shapes swirling around and missing pieces of the puzzle. It made me dizzy to look through my right eye.
My neurologist sent me in for five day IV's of Solumedrol Steroids every other month but it wouldn't stop the thinning of the Optic Nerve.
I really freaked out when the same thing started to happen in my left eye a year later.
My vision continued to decline in both eyes over two more years until I could no longer drive, recognize faces, watch TV, read sheet music, and the list goes on... and on... and on.
I am now 34 years-old and have been living with visual impairment for so long that it is MY LIFE. I talk about it all the time because it gets in the way of everything I do and I know it can't be fixed.
I've found the best way I can deal with it is by poking fun and making light at my frustration. My friends know if they are waving at me and I don't respond to yell out, "Hey, blind girl, over here", or something to that effect. I live with a good attitude about it because I know this impairment has brought me strength, knowing I can still live my life and forge onward.
I'm glad I don't meet others with MS often who have permanent Optic Nerve damage, though I know other visual problems are quite common. I do know that I could've been more proactive and urged my neurologist to switch my disease modifying therapy to something else when all of the damage was occurring. I stayed on the same medication for two years as I continued to get worse. I didn't know any better!
Since I can't go back and change the past, I can instead use my story to help others be persistent with their doctors and not allow Optic nerve damage take over their lives!
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?