“I’m Seeing Things out of the Corner of my Eye. It is scaring me…….”
Part of me wants to play the role of the smarty pants teenager, but my teenage son drives me ‘nuts” when he does that. So I won’t.
Because, let’s be honest, this is a scary question……
And especially for anyone who has had their AVM anywhere close to their brain or their eye, this is a big deal.
So here’s what I know and what I don’t. (I could write a book series on that - the don’t would be way longer).
There are 13 main nerves that talk to the different parts of the brain and then tell the parts of the body to do what the brain wants. At last count, when i looked at the issues I have and a “brain map of cranial nerves” (Google it sometime), I think that I am realistically looking at partial damage in 8 out of 13. Not total but partial.
Okay, we don’t want to stay there, so moving on. Obviously, with that kind of damage, eyes are a big concern. My neuro surgeon, even while i was still in the hospital (at least that is when i think it was) told me to get my eyes checked. I assumed he meant by a specialist, but he didn’t. He just meant my normal every day type of eye doctor. I did, he was ‘amazed’ at what had happened and was very professionally excited to see what he could see. He ran the normal tests and then wanted to do a couple of additional ones. He ended the exam by asking me if it would be okay if he talked to my neuro surgeon. (Why would someone say no to that?) So Dr. M. talked to Dr. S and then told me we should keep an eye on things but everything is “about as good as can be expected.” Should I watch for anything? Nope. Just be consistent with appts and so forth.
First year post op, no real changes. I couldn’t read but that had more to do with brain fog than it did with seeing the words. Nearing the 1 year mark, I started having more times where I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Was it a car going down the street? A squirrel? I don’t know. But in addition to that, I started having my eyesight go fuzzy. It was like sometimes i couldn’t read the screen on my computer (maybe i should blame that for my typos?) Sometimes i could see near, sometimes far, sometimes in between, sometimes it was all fuzzy. What made it happen? The main thing is doing the main thing for too long. If I tried to write on my computer for too long, they got blurry. If i went and stepped away from the computer, and sometimes even stepped away from those glasses (I have I think 4 old prescriptions plus my current ones.) There are times when switching to a different script would be enough to get them back. Sometimes it takes using a different device - 10 inch ipad compared to a 17 inch laptop.
Have we been able to figure out what’s causing it? No, but we verified that it wasn’t an emergency situation, it wasn’t something that would cause me to go blind so then it’s a matter of learning to adjust, learning to be flexible, breaking up my writing time, and other things like that.
So what in the world does that have to do with seeing black spots in the corners of your eyes? Let me outline the method i would go through to make sure it’s just an SOB that bothers you and not a life altering situation:
- Call your family eye doctor and schedule an appt to get in for a check up. If they ask if you have any concerns, explain what you’re concerned about.
- Personally, i write a letter to any doc i’m going to have an appointment with and usually e-mail it to them. It gives me a chance to put all of my thoughts and symptoms and issues down on paper, well thought out and organized. It also helps the doctor (at least most of mine have told me that it helps them use our time wisely.
- If your eye doctor can’t figure out what it is, ask him to refer you to a specialist. I went from the family eye doctor to a neurological optometrist and from her to a neurological ophthalmologist.
What was the end result? Depressingly, there were very few answers. None of them could pinpoint anything that was wrong, at least not wrong enough to cause the problems that I have. So what does that mean?
- It means that the eye problem that I have is a nuisance but it does not appear to be something that is going to lead to bigger problems. So it’s not something I need to get scared about.
- Since there isn’t a solid reason, that essentially means that it’s something I need to learn to live with. I’m not going to go into the details of what I’m tinkering with to try to deal with mine because everyone is different. If you want to talk individually, message me.
So, did we solve the eye problems? No, we didn’t. It took a long time to get to this point, but I know it’s a nuisance and something to deal with, not something to be scared of.
And I hope that my rambling made sense - thoughts, comments, please let me know……