Accepting the Changes
That moment was so strange. I never expected to be at ease with a symptom; especially when it came to my eyesight. Our eyes are so necessary. Changes to our vision can have sweeping consequences. But it was just so interesting to me to actually visualize a relapse. It was right there in front of me. There was no avoiding or ignoring it.
I am not saying that I was at all happy about the issue, but I did find solace in the knowledge that I had a healthy optic nerve. If your optic nerve is still thick and healthy then you are on a more solid footing, and that was a delicious thing to know. The disease had not gotten very far at all into its work on my eyes. It felt like I was running a race and I had gotten close enough to see the person in front of me on the track. I was almost close enough to touch this disease. I had snuck up on it.
The stamp in my eye remained for a few months. I felt it was most annoying at night when I was trying to sleep. I would close my eyes to sleep, but that flash would still be there, burning in my vision. I lost many hours of sleep this way.
Eventually the symptom went away. My neurologist didn’t want to prescribe more steroids because I had just finished a round of them a few weeks prior. He had considered this to be part of my last MS flare-up, the tail end of the symptom progression for that time round. I had to rely on patience and trust in my doctor. I had to let go of control, something that does not come easily for me.
I do have lasting affects that have never healed from that relapse. The decreased pupillary response that I mentioned stemmed from this relapse and I also have a headlight that appears over the bridge of my nose when ever I look at an extreme angle to the left or to the right.
These symptoms can be stressful if I let them, and the first year or two I would obsess over them. I would check my eyes often for progression or healing. Neither has happened in over seven years, so I will be grateful for the stability.
It Is Important to Know Your Body
You are a custodian and you need to care for yourself. However, obsessing over it will only cause stress. Vision is just another way that MS tries to stop us up but the truth is, we are a resourceful bunch. We are capable of finding creative ways of getting though and moving beyond coping and into thriving.
You have a high chance of running into vision troubles sometime during your journey with this disease and that is OK. You will be OK. If you wake up with a blindness or something else, just breathe, relax and take your day one step at a time. You will get through this. No one knows what the other side of it will look like, but it will be OK and you will find a way to thrive.
Build yourself a support system. Find ways of creating fail-safe situations for yourself. There is no way to be 100% prepared, but a plan will definitely make a huge difference. Multiple sclerosis is a sneaky disease, but you are smart enough to work around it and laugh in its face.