In March 2015, I finally went to the doctor about my non-stop watery eye. It took several appointments and three specialists but eventually I had the surgery I needed to remove the mass behind my eyeball, fix my deviated septum, and reduce my turbinates to hopefully prevent a recurrence. I knew there was a 20% chance that sucker would come back, but I hoped it wouldn’t.
Unfortunately, it did.
About 3 months ago, I stopped being able to wear my 2-week contacts for more than a few days. The right one seemed to get damaged because my vision would be fine in glasses, but blurry after a few days of wearing contacts. I eventually switched to wearing glasses exclusively (I hate my glasses and especially hate the pain it causes where they sit on my ears) except for runs, softball, yoga, and dates. My eye doctor always told me I shouldn’t be wearing contacts while staring at a screen at work all day anyway, so now I don’t really wear my glasses around the office – which means I often can’t tell who is walking toward me until we get up close. I can’t even tell if my boss is in her office when I walk by.
I finally went to see my surgeon at Mass Eye & Ear on the 4th day of my new health insurance – two weeks ago now. He numbed the inside of my nose and then went up with a camera to check it out. He said I had some mild scarring and didn’t like what he saw. He said he “might need to operate THIS WEEK” and sent me downstairs for an emergency CT scan. Fortunately, the CT revealed that the sucker is back, but it is tiny. It isn’t pressing on my optic nerve so I don’t need emergency surgery, but it’s only going to get bigger – so it needs to come out. He wanted me to get thyroid labs and an eye exam, but said I could wait until the end of September for the surgery.
I got my thyroid labs done later that day (it’s SO convenient that my medical group has a location next door to my new office) and everything came back normal, except my TSH is a tad low. Low TSH means hyperthyroid (seems counterintuitive, I know), but I have always felt best when my TSH is on the low end of normal. I’ve literally never been on a consistent dose of Synthroid for more than 6 months since I started taking it in 2011, and we upped my dose to 7.5 pills per week (1.5 on Sundays) when I was in the doctor’s office after the marathon and they ran every test under the sun. Since then, I’ve felt pretty good and have actually felt downright awesome since leaving my previous job. I have good energy, I’m sleeping better at night, I’m working out 5-6 days a week with no problems, and I don’t have any of the classic hyperthyroid symptoms – aside from sweating my cajones off every time I so much as MOVE outside or in the un-air conditioned rooms of my apartment, but that’s always been the case. So my endocrinologist decided we should lower my dose by that Sunday half-pill, which is far more convenient anyway.
Two days after seeing my surgeon, I went to the ophthalmologist who originally treated me last year. He remembered my case but last he knew, I was being treated by the ENT in his practice (the one who told me my surgery was way too complex for her and she referred me to my now-surgeon at Mass Eye & Ear, who also happens to be her husband!). I gave him a quick roundup of last year’s surgery and my current symptoms, and he took a look and ran various tests. It all checked out – my vision is fine, my optic nerve is not compromised, and it’s OK to proceed with surgery as planned. A week later, I had a visual field exam to test my peripheral vision – probably the 10th of my life. Most people my age have never done one. You sit in front of a half-sphere machine with one eye covered at a time, and press a button every time you see a tiny dot flash somewhere in the machine. It’s to check peripheral vision, and I failed miserably when my eyes were bugging out of my skull in 2012 because of the Graves’ ophthalmopathy. I think I also did a little bit lousy last year in my right eye, naturally. This test came back “reassuringly normal” according to the ophthalmologist, so surgery is a go.
The surgeon’s assistant initially offered me October 18 as a surgery date. He had said I needed to get this done by the beginning of October, and also that’s a long time for me to be in relative discomfort and unable to wear my contacts. Logistically, it’s a perfect date. I have a 10K on September 10 – one I’ve committed to with Lori and Jess (who I trained for/ran the marathon with) and one I’m really looking forward to. So I asked for something during the week of September 11. That week would be ideal, because it gives me 3 weeks to recover before the BAA Half Marathon on October 8. Granted I wasn’t feeling 100% 3 weeks post-op last year, but my surgeon assured me this would be a much more straight-forward procedure. Just removing the mucocele and the turbinate, nothing with my septum – which was the most invasive/difficult procedure.
My surgery is now confirmed for Wednesday, September 13. I’m hoping that I can just use 1 or 2 sick days for it, work from home that Friday, and be back to work on Monday. Fingers crossed!