Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

Living Life in the Country As A Writer, Photographer

Dearest Readers:

To those who contacted me via e-mail, inquiring about the saga with my eyes and contacts, I’d like to thank you for your concern. I am happy to report when I went to the ophthalmologist in late May, I saw a different doctor. Seems my doctor moved to another practice, so I saw her partner. He checked my eyes thoroughly, looking back into the file to see and read notes. Then, he asked me, “Which eye was it that had a damaged cornea?”

Negative, frightening thoughts entered my mind, for a moment. He shook his head, looking again.

“What’s the matter? I thought my eye was getting better.”

“It is!” He exclaimed. “I don’t see any damage. You have two healthy eyes.”

I sighed! “Can I wear my contact again?”

“Let’s try one.”

Finally! My right eye was healed. No scarring. No damage. The cornea was healthy!

If you have followed my blog about my eyes, you will recall I have fought with an eye virus, an eye infection, a scarred and burned cornea, and an almost complete loss of eye sight since February 2013. For over four months, I could not wear contacts at all. In my right eye, all I could see was a blanket of gray, or a gigantic blur. Watching TV, if I covered my left eye to see out of the right, I could not make out images on the TV — not even the 52-inch in the den. At the doctor’s office, I could not read the eye chart — not even the top chart! Fortunately, my left eye was great, with good vision, but driving — well, let’s just say, I did not drive, except to get to the doctor’s office. All of my weekly errands were rescheduled for weekends, when my husband was home. I hated it. For almost four months I found myself practically homebound. Unable to drive comfortably. I did drive to Weight Watchers, that is — when I went. I did not walk, for fear I would not be able to see the sidewalk well and might fall. My independence was suddenly questionable. I confess, I am not a dependent person, so I remained at home, resting my eye. Hoping and praying that with each new day, I would see improvement. I did not.

The eye doctor had me on several medications. One of the medications resulted in burning my cornea, so she tossed that medication in the trash. During the four months of wishing and hoping and praying that my eye would heal, it did not. The doctor suggested a new course — over the counter Refresh Eye Drops and the prescription drug, Restasis. “Use them twice daily…and no contacts until I say so!”

That was the last time I saw my strict eye doctor in April. When I returned in May, I saw her partner, I believe he is the founder of the practice. When he shared with me that he could not find any damage to my eye, I was ecstatic! Hopefully, I could wear contacts again.

Today, I am pleased to report, I am able to wear a contact in my right eye. i have the thirty-day, soft type, and I am using them daily. I DO NOT SLEEP IN THEM! Although, reportedly, patients can sleep in them, but ‘eye conditions may occur,’ so I am being smart this time, not lazy. A new nightly ritual includes not just washing my face, brushing my teeth, moisturizing my face and body, I have a new ritual after washing my hands. I remove my contact. Place it in fresh solution, and I moisturize my eyes — first with Refresh drops. I wait about five minutes, then I open a Restasis vial and moisturize my right eye. When I awaken in the morning, the same ritual occurs, including moisturizing my eyes with Refresh and Restasis. After 30 minutes, I insert my eye contact.

I will never sleep in contacts again — even IF I am told that I might. While I do not know if sleeping in a contact causes eye problems, I am told that the eye needs to breathe and while sleeping in contacts, the eye might not receive the proper amount of oxygen. I do find it interesting that with all of the problems I had with my eye, all occurred with my right eye — the eye with the sleeping contact.

So, dear readers, to all of you I will say — you be the judge. If you wear contacts, please consider that you do not want to endure the problems I had. Nothing is more frightening than to have your eye sight slowly fading away. I had so many foolish questions dancing inside my mind:

*I am a writer – how can I write when I cannot see?” My mindset was a pity party, I suppose.

There were definitely additional questions I had, but I realized it was time to stop focusing on a pity party and pray that my eye sight would return. I am so blessed that my sight is back to normal now, and I only need to wear one contact. I still have reading glasses placed strategically around the house, and in my handbag. After all, a writer must be prepared.

The new contact is doing well. Perhaps because I am not sleeping in contacts at all, and I use the eye drops for dry eye syndrome twice daily. If you have dry eyes, you might consider printing a coupon from the Refresh website, read carefully how to use the vials and follow the directions 100%. Make certain you wash your hands before doing any eye care!

Lessons learned the hard way for me. I always wash my hands prior to any eye care, but I was negligent by sleeping in a contact. During this illness, my left eye was 100%. Right eye? Almost blind. Lessons learned. Please, follow my advice and NEVER…EVER SLEEP IN CONTACTS. It just isn’t worth an eye infection, eye virus, or conditions within the eye, especially with the cornea!

Let us all make a pledge to have Happy, Healthy Eyes!!!

5 thoughts on “My Eyes Have It — FINALLY!

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