Covid Again – Part 5

January 3rd, 2022 –  I got hit with Omicron wave. Woke up with my finger and one blister, my covid detector! I was very mildly sick. Cough, headache, my one blister which healed in 2 days (super fast). Except for my already irritated eyes, got more irritated. My vision got worse. I planned to schedule an eye doctor again anyway, so as soon as I could I scheduled with an eye doctor and got a new PCP. Same eye doc as 4 months before, I paid for all the extra exams. My eyes look healthy, but I need stronger bifocals. Maxed out my credit card this time, insurance only pays for 1 pair a year, this was 3rd in less than a year and I need prescription sunglasses to drive. She could not get my right eye to fully focus, only so I could see with both eyes.

I asked for a referral to a neurologist, she eventually referred me to an OSU ophthalmologist. My new PCP ran blood tests and suggested I try to get into post covid care clinic. My blood tests showed slight inflammation but were mostly healthy. Vitamin D deficiency and I started those supplements. There are two post covid clinics in the state and after many phone calls, I learned that only an in-network doctor can refer someone to the clinics. So, I had to find another OSU PCP to get a referral to the clinic. I’m now on the waiting list for 4/6 weeks to wait for a call to schedule my first appointment at the clinic. Mid-March maybe.

Feb 7th – Ophthalmologist appt. – did my speech. She says she’s seen patients with Covid eye issues before and with artificial tears it clears up after a few weeks. Sends me home with dry eyes home care sheet. She checks my eyes but does not do any exam different than my last 2 visits. Says my eyes look healthy and there are no signs I’m going blind. I said if that was the case wouldn’t my eyes have gotten better, heading for 2 years now. She rescheduled me for March 7th follow-up. I explained again, if my eyes are healthy, my worry is that it’s neurological. She asks if I’ve had an MRI or Catscan. No, only a blood test. Everyone says to wait for Covid clinic. Op said wait for covid clinic

Got the artificial tears, 2 brands and a gel recommended at night on the sheet. Immediately irritated my eyes more but I stuck it out. I did all the things recommended. Day 3 or 4 I was laying in bed going to sleep and had a red flash across my right eye. I struggled to see my massage clock in my treatment room, and then with depth perception this week. Monday I noticed a sharp pain in my inner right eye. Op said to message if things got worse. I did. I was given a response that said to stick it out, keep using drops and you don’t need to be seen until the already scheduled appointment. Try preservative-free drops.

I got angry. I’m tired, and I’m tired of not being heard. Messaged back that I’m in actual pain. My right eye didn’t have the sharp pain, and I wasn’t having headaches only on the right side. That I don’t think these are dry eyes because my vision would not be getting worse from using artificial tears. And as Op pointed out at the appointment, it’s odd to affect near and far differently. I tried this treatment before but used clear eyes, which didn’t irritate them. Progressively gotten worse for 20 months now. I’m getting concerned about driving. The next day I got a referral to a Cornea specialist on March 1st. Another message that said I could stop using drops if it was making things worse.

I got the d*mn preservative-free ones. I will try for the next few days, as I have a feeling that I’ll be lectured its dry eye, and if I just use the drops my eyes will clear up. I’m not in as much pain after not using drops today. Vision no better, even with my pretty new bifocals, but much worse without them.

And now I wait, hoping my vision lasts to finish the last 4 assignments of my degree.

 Current health assessment –  I’ve kept the 20lbs off. My joints in my finger and foot are a bit achier but no more flair-ups. I have no idea if or when the booster wears off (estimated 4 months) I’ll start having flair-ups again. For now, I can move my body easier and overall am in less pain. I have had some normal muscle soreness from taekwondo and massaging. I hadn’t realized how long it’s been since I felt the normal muscle-building sore. Just eyes, vision, and headaches are my major concern.

Final thoughts – Should I have pushed and advocated for modern medical care sooner? Probably. But I also have. Since May 2020, I have told every medical professional that has seen me (minus hands incident), that my major concern is for my eyes and my vision. My eyes are red, irritated, and painful almost all the time. Sometimes worse than others. I have to wear prescription sunglasses to drive, driving at night hurts my eyes. I’m worried if it’s not related to my eyes or optic nerve (everyone says are healthy) that it may be neurological. Post covid care clinics didn’t open until July/aug 2021, I was on glasses #2 and a year in. Major medical consensus has been “we don’t know” without doing anything but normal eye exams


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