Sunday, November 22, 2015

In a blink of an eye

Back in 2010 I did the most stupid thing, I briefly got an eye lash separator aka “ weapon of cornea destruction “ as I now call it (and I think my Mum does too) into my right eye which caused a corneal abrasion.   I already had a cataract forming in the same eye that my ophthalmologist had discovered just a few weeks prior (that really shocked me abit … but remember I am getting to be an old cat here). 

Fast forward almost 5 years later.  I’ve been noticing lately that I always seem to have sand in my eyes, and I put it down to air quality, heat.  I use eye drops once in awhile, and even use Muro 128 that is meant for this type of eye problem when I “remember” to you both the eye drops and gel.  See note below what I had been using had been recalled – yikes!   

Come Halloween night, I had a pretty teary and red eyeball that seemed to just come out of the blue. It made for that extra scary affect as I swung open the door and demanded to know what they wanted (some kids coming up the doorstep said my house creeped them out … jezz Louise … this is Halloween!!! Boo to you little cute Princesses, etc. etc.).

The next day, I was in agony. Eyes welling up with tears and I was even feeling depressed or down like I have been lately.  My eye was just leaking on its own accord and PAINFUL!!  Light made me feel like I was a vampire, wanting to seek shelter in the ground.  Sadly, I can’t do that, and even worse, working my shift with a lit up terminal was agony. 

Because of my fear of going into a walk-in clinic like I had back in 2010,  I called up the optometrist I was going to see for my yearly diabetic exam in December ( free for us in this province when it’s diabetes related – otherwise like in this case – I paid for each visit of $35).    I've been wearing glasses since Grade 5 and I’ve never been to an optometrist  for diabetic eye check ups except for vision testing ( you pay for this in most provinces of Canada).  I’m hoping that if my optometrist can’t help me with a problem that is diabetes related, that he will refer me to an ophthalmologist, and at that point, I no longer pay out of pocket.  If anyone from Ontario is reading this, correct me if I’m wrong.

Unlike Quebec though, where trying to see someone right away is impossible which is what occurred to me in 2010 … this optometrist office said get here stat.  Luckily, it’s within a 5 minute walk since I wasn’t fit to drive a car with this wacko eyeball affecting the other one, so off I trotted.

Long story short?  I had a pretty serious corneal abrasion that meant wearing a temporary clear contact lens for at least 24-48 hours (it was a bitch to put in by the optician since according to him I’m 1 in 100 that has very small eyes for my age and he had to use a child’s contact in the end).  Also, an antibiotic drop was given for 4 days to be on safe side along with keeping the eyeball bathed in gel drops for AM/PM use and other drops that will keep my eyeball encased in fluid (hang on a moment – off to put in some drops).  

The one thing he mentioned is what I have is very common in children and women due to our rubbing our eyes (which I don’t – so I’m wondering if part of the problem was from using the Muro 128 gel that had been recalled).  Also, this problem of dry eyes is seen in women in their menopause period of life, and can go on for … well like forever is the way I am understand him.  Time to buy stock in Alcon or Bausch & Lomb!

With a few follow ups over the first 2 weeks after the initial visit I’m now diligently putting those drops in my eyes and due to the seriousness of the abrasion, I’m on a tetracycline antibiotic for the next 3-6 months in order to save the cornea from further damage (hey wonder if my teeth will discolour like one of my friends did as a teenager when she had to go on them for skin issues).  Anyway, vanity aside of my pearly whites because I don’t use my teeth to see J .  The best thing about this optometrist is he's is up front and honest saying that it was serious and stated that if anything unusual occurs in the eye in the meantime, get myself either to his office STAT when it’s open or go to ER.  He gets right to the point with no sugar coating.

Now, if I lived back in Quebec … the land of waiting waiting waiting … I might not be writing this out today because my eyesight would be badly compromised at this point.  So far, this move to Ontario has been a good one, despite my home sickness for Montreal and friends.  Medically speaking, even with what occurred at Cornwall Community Hospital in September, along with recent endo appointment, all is good in my little world of medical practise.

So, shout out to Dr. Steve Bacher of Cornwall (gotta love his recent post on his wall about the 20-20-20 rule)!!  My eyesight has been saved … and even better … it’s not due to diabetes!!  Whoo! Whoo! 

Note:  I only discovered when writing up this blog today that the Muro 128 eye gel drops I am using have the serial number that had been recalled back in June 18, 2014!  I have been using these gel drops since July of this year, which is sort of when I started to notice problems with something in my eye.  Why the pharmacy (Costco in Laval)  that distributed these drops didn’t inform patients of this problem is abit frightening because I would have continued using them! 


  1. Same thing happened to me in 2013 or so. I'm legally blind so get really close to things to see them, and while flipping a piece of paper over to look at the other side, the corner hit me right in the eye. It hurt a LOT initially, but over the next couple of days I felt like it was getting better on its own. But then it began feeling worse and worse, and by the time a week had passed it was super red, painful, watering constantly, and I could barely keep my eye open when there was any light around. I called my optometrist who got me in that afternoon and when he looked he was extremely concerned and said I had a very severe corneal abrasion (he said it was literally like a paper cut to my eye). Like you, I was prescribed antibiotic eye drops several times a day for two weeks, gel eye drops 4x a day, and he mentioned the contact but didn't prescribe it because I couldn't see to put it in and he said it sometimes makes the healing process take longer. It was a Friday, and he told me that if I woke up on Saturday and my eye felt worse I should go to emergency. That night I couldn't sleep at all because my eye hurt so much and had tears streaming out constantly. Fortunately, after that it improved, and when I saw him on Monday it was looking better. I saw him every few days for about two weeks while my cornea slowly healed - although it healed well, and he said I was a fast healer, which is good since diabetes supposedly makes healing harder. Biggest lesson I learned is that a scratch on the cornea has to be treated immediately, not put off until the pain is unbearable. Did yours just happen spontaneously? My optometrist did tell me to use the gel eye drops if my eye ever felt scratchy after waking up, but most of the time when my eyes feel scratchy I just attribute it to allergies. Kind of scary to think that sort of thing could just happen out of nowhere!

    1. Jen - in the end what was finally diagnosed since later blogs I've written - I had problems again ... I have always had rosacea - but now it has actually gone to my eyes ... called ocular rosacea. I am on a 3 month prescription drug that is not too cheap that is for rosacea ... and is supposed to help stop this problem from occurring in the future. Also, I am now finally seeing an Ophthalmologist, instead of an Optician (who was very good - don't get me wrong - but I have to pay to see him each time - with an Ophthalmologists - it's covered by the province). It was my endo who referred me to the Ophthalmologists, since she felt with diabetes, and this problem with my eyes, it was best to see one.

  2. Wow...i wounder if i have the same issues with my eyes. I used prescription eye drops and still some days they feel like sand paper up crust up. I really have lost my fight with all started all with me not being able to see and my suger in the 6 hundreds. .....i was thinking i would get better care in Canada

    1. Bunny - I have ocular rosacea - according the the Optometrist I saw for another bout of this problem back in January 2016 ... see my reply to Jenn above ... and yes ... high blood sugars will cause eye problems. You should really see an Ophthalmologist if you don't already have one ... for diabetics it's a must ... since our eye sight can be greatly affected by our health. And yes, trying to get better blood sugar numbers and lower A1c (e.g. under 7% or lower) is a good goal to try to head to. Keep me posted okay?

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