Friday, 17 August 2012

When I thought things were improving...

This week I have had two appointments with different opthamologists. The first one was seriously delayed and by the time I got home, had taken nearly 3 hours, of only which 10 minutes I was with the doctor. Fab. Although it wasn't the doctor I saw last time, she said from my notes and after a good examination of my eye, she said it looked better, but to carry on with the steroid eye drops and come back in a couple of weeks. Bound to if I have to wait 3 hours each time.

After this consultation, it was decided that my next appointment with an opthamologist would be private, merely for the continuity, that you see the same specialist each time, which with eyes is important. We managed to get an appointment a couple of days later with a new opthamologist, although he was also running late, it wasn't as late...

Before I saw the consultant, I had to see optomotrist (optician), he checked my vision and the pressure in my eyes. He noticed that the sight in my right eye was far better than in my left eye, and that when my right eye was covered, the vision in my left eye was quite blurry. He took some very specialised photographs using a really cool machine and he passed on all his findings and the photographs to the consultant for analysis.

I was shortly called into the consultant who was very friendly and calm. He'd read my long, complicated back-log of medical history and immediately started to examine my eyes thoroughly using all sorts of machines and lights. He said he had good news, that in regards to the shingles, my eyes were completely clear. He then said the dreaded word. But. At which point I knew something bad was going to follow...

In my left eye (the one not affected by the shingles) I had something called Keratoconus. This basically means that my cornea has changed shape, therefore affecting the vision and explaining the blurred vision in my left eye. Here is a website to explain it more clearly... We asked if it was anything to do with the cancer and shingles and he said that this was completely unrelated. I could have been born with it or it could have developed later on.

He didn't want to do anything yet until I had finished all the steroid eye drops that I am currently taking. I am due to see him again in a couple of weeks where I'm sure he will discuss further what's going to happen.

In the mean-time, today I'm going to the optician for a further eye test for further eye analysis, I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Postherpetic neuralgia

I went back to the dermatologist last week and her diagnosis was confirmed. The first thing she said to me upon entering the consultation room was "have you got good news for me?" the answer was unfortunately, no. My skin was still really itchy and sore despite the steroids. This then confirmed her original thought, that I had nerve damage, due to the shingles. This is called Postherpetic Neuralgia.

We asked about the injection that she mentioned last time, but she said she'd had no luck getting hold of it as it is normally used as a last resort. Instead she gave me an extra dose of steroids and increased the amount of nerve pain killers that I was already taking. She also suggested a cream that I could use. She did warn me, that it may make my face feel like it was on fire. It did. The instructions were really strict on the cream, that you had to apply it really sparingly and make sure to wash your hands after application. That night I couldn't sleep as it felt like someone had set my face alight. I was sat on the floor in my bedroom with the electric fan blowing on my face and then a freezing cold flannel. I assume I eventually got to sleep and decided that I couldn't handle the cream and preferred the itching...

When I asked how long she expected the symptoms to last for, she said, because I'm young 3-6 months. That wasn't the answer I was expecting or wanted, but there's nothing I can do! I will therefore continue to scratch and hope for the best!