February 18, 2013

Seeing red

So last week, on Valentine's Day, I was at the kitchen sink washing dishes. SB was at the table happily coloring. Suddenly, my vision went all - for lack of a better word - wonky.

Everything was blurry, and I couldn't focus. I blinked a few times and tried to find a specific spot to focus on. Still could not. I also noticed floaters. Blinked a few more times. No improvement.

After several seconds, my eyesight returned to normal. But my eyes felt funny. Heavy, full. I was acutely aware of my eyeballs, if that makes any sense. I walked into the powder room to remove my contacts and looked in the mirror:

"Oh my goodness!" I exclaimed. (There was a 4yo in the house, after all.)

"What?" asked SB.

There wasn't exactly any way to hide it from her, so I calmly said, "I'm going to show you, sweetie, but I don't want you to be afraid. OK?"

"Mommy," she said in a very matter of fact manner as she looked at what I had seen, "there is blood in your eye."


My first thought was to call my eye doctor. That seemed logical; my eye was full of blood. After asking a few questions, they instructed me to go the ER. A spontaneous subconjunctival hemorrhage with loss of vision, they said, can be a sign of a serious health problem.

Well, @%#*!

By this time, I was feeling REALLY light headed. I believe I briefly blacked out. Which sent my anxiety into overdrive.

I looked across the street and saw my neighbor was home. I called and asked her to come over right away. When I opened the door for her, I saw my next door neighbor in his driveway. I called for him to come as well.

I asked her to stay with SB, him to drive me to the ER (less than three miles away), then called hubby to bring him up to speed and have him come home.

Either it was slow at the ER, or they were really concerned about me. I was taken immediately to a room. Within minutes blood had been drawn, an EKG performed and I was being wheeled to the CT scan room.

Then I waited for about an hour for anyone to come back. The doctor came in to tell me I had not had a stroke. Which was of course good news. But did come as any surprise, since I don't have the risk factors for stroke.

Next they conducted some tests on my eyes, and told me they were concerned about retinal detachment. The ER doctor called my eye doctor, to make sure he would be able to see me first thing in the morning. He assured her he would, and I was sent home.

The following morning my eye doctor looked at my eyes from literally every angle possible. He tested the pressure and also my field of vision. He then proclaimed my eyes 100 percent healthy.

He said his gut feeling was that I had experienced some type of "vascular event." I explained I am under the care of a cardiologist and would follow up with him. 

I also asked if what happened could in any way be related to my Meniere's disease. My right inner ear is where the problem is - too much pressure and too much fluid. The hemorrhage occurred in my right eye. He said it absolutely could be related. So I will bring this episode up next month at my appointment at the hearing and balance center.

Best part of the whole experience (and by "best" I mean OMFG!)? In the ER, they didn't ask me when my last period was. They asked if I still have them. Ouch.

I think I need a drink. Or ten.

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