Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Genesis of my Eye Problems

I stared in the mirror over our bathroom sink and looked at my light brown eyes. My eyes, so young, so curious about the world around me, so naive, were sick. The part of my eye that was usually white as freshly fallen snow was now a dark pink. Pink had always been my favorite color. But this pink was hideous and the color of pain. Small tears appeared in the corner of my sick eyes. I closed my eyes, so that the tears could irrigate and rinse my eyes of the sickness and pain. But when I opened them, the white of my eyes was still not there and the pain had not decreased.

Earlier that morning, I was diagnosed with Uveitis. The doctor explained that Uveitis caused the cells in the eye to become inflamed. He said that steroids were the answer to reduce the current inflammation and to prevent inflammation in the future. All of this scientific talk was a little overwhelming. My eight-year-old mind tried to process all of the medical jargon that the doctor was thrusting at my mother and me. What the doctor didn’t know was that everything he was saying really didn’t matter. All I wanted to know was whether or not I was going to be all right.

The doctors sent me home with steroid medication in the form of pills and eye drops. He also gave me a prescription for pain medication. The pain was so bad. I didn’t know whether or not I could endure such torture. But I did, at least until the medicine started working.

After a couple of days of swallowing pills and dropping medicine in my eyes, the pain and the pinkness of my eye actually disappeared, just as the doctor said it would. “Back to normal.” I thought. What I didn’t realize was what I knew to be normal was a thing of the past. Uveitis was now my reality. Every few weeks, my eyes would become inflamed. I would have to repeat the steroid therapy all over again. The doctor had even started giving me steroid injections in my eyes.

As the days, weeks, months, and years rolled by my eye condition did not change. The inflammation would come and go and the pain continued to vacillate. But the one thing that changed was my attitude. I learned that my attitude, my outlook on the situation, was vital if I wanted to learn how to cope with the inflammation that rolled in and out like the tide on the beach. Uveitis was the disease that affected my eyes, but it didn’t have to affect my happiness. I made sure that I did not allow the Uveitis to stop me from enjoying my life as a growing girl. I knew in my heart, that no matter what, I was going to be alright.


Bygbaby said...

For some reason, I felt like i was in the room with you when the dr started breaking things down. Situations like that are scary.

I admire & envy your ability to persevere especially after eye injections (wow)!

Keep on keeping on sister.


Asabagna said...

Beautifully written.

African American Political Pundit said...

Angie, you are truly a powerful woman. Thank you for sharing you.