I’m updating the eye stuff first.
At my check up with the ophthalmologist last week I found that the pressure had dropped. (Good news!) I also was told that he had arranged an appointment for me the following Monday with a glaucoma specialist in San Francisco. (More good news!) This was very welcome to hear as I had just that morning had a discouraging call with the office of the glaucoma specialist in the North Bay area; they had offered me an appointment around Christmas. (!!) I said “No thanks,” and figured that I could find someone else well before then.
Yesterday I had my appointment with the glaucoma specialist and he confirmed that I have iridocorneal endothelial (I.C.E) syndrome of the Cogan-Reese variety. It’s apparently pretty rare; he said in his 17 years of practice he’s only seen six cases.
The cause of I.C.E. syndrome is unknown and there is no cure. Apparently the goal is to just manage the symptoms: corneal changes that can affect visual acuity, and increased pressure that can damage the optic nerve. Apparently I’ve caught this early enough that there is minimal damage to the optic nerve now (yay!) and I haven’t lost any visual acuity. I do have some distortion in my right eye vision and haloing of lights in the dark that is caused by the corneal edema, though.
I have to continue on my variety of eye drops for the time being. He wanted me to give the one that I thought caused extreme light sensitivity another try as he thought that was happening because the pressure was high at that time. So, I put a drop in my eye yesterday afternoon to test it. So far I’ve had some light sensitivity, but it hasn’t been excruciating like it was the last time I tried the stuff. My eye didn’t look really red last night or this morning, but at nearly 24 hours after I put in the drops it’s looking pretty red right now.
Medical management (such as drops) usually don’t work to keep eye pressure down, so we’ve talked about surgery to put in an artificial drain happening in January, most likely. I see this doc again in December for follow-up. I’ll be curious to see if the pressure stays down enough that I can wait that long. When I saw the specialist yesterday the pressure had gone back up from 18 on Friday to 25. (20 or under is our target; I had started out with a pressure of 38.)
The good news is that this disease seems to affect only one eye, and my left eye seems pretty healthy with normal drainage angles. I’m glad to finally have a confirmed diagnosis and know my next steps. Lots of people have worse things to deal with, and I have good medical coverage.
I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge today with no problems. This is a huge accomplishment for me!!
As I’ve previously written, I had a phobia about high bridges and twisty mountain roads before I moved here. I knew that I’d have to learn ways to deal with this phobia now that I’m living in an area with plenty of both, and so I started exposing myself to them in small doses.
Today I had the opportunity to drive over this iconic bridge because I was bringing my neighbor and friend to a hospital in San Francisco where she’s having surgery. I get to drive back late this afternoon/evening by myself, but I’m sure I’ll do fine.
I’m settling in to my new location, but still grappling with loneliness at times. I can find things to do after work on weekdays — hiking, trivia, mediation, knitting, etc. — but there aren’t very many social gatherings on weekend evenings. It would be nice to see a movie with someone and then talk about it afterwards. Napa is clearly a “family town” and I don’t have a family to hang out with.
I guess this is where dating and/or having a steady partner would come in to fill the gap. I threw myself into those waters recently, but I’m thinking that experiment is going awry. It’s been a fun run, but last weekend was a let down where I kept getting promises that he’d meet up with me, and then last-minute cancellations. Honestly, from what I’ve seen of his personality, I think he just doesn’t like to say No to people or to invite confrontations. It’s too bad he didn’t realize what an easy-going person I can be; just give me a straight answer and tell me if you need a weekend to do other things with other people. But he didn’t do that, and I don’t like being left on the hook.
When he sent his last text to me Sunday night I never responded and that’s were things rest now. If he did reach out to me I’m not sure I should give him another chance or just cut my losses now. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.