June 9, 2016

I am Summer's Eyes

I am Summer's eyes and I am high maintenance princesses. I do not tear enough and my Meibomian glands are blocked. In plain terms: I'm dry and I hurt.

I hurt in the morning. I hurt at night, especially if she's worn contacts. After one memorable contact lens-wearing day I was sore to the touch the whole next day.

I hurt when she puts drops in me: rewetting drops, antihistamine drops, steroid drops, special gland clot-busting antibiotic drops (which are goo, not drops). But I also hurt when she doesn't put drops in me. I'm a conundrum mean.

I require daily heat compresses and eyelid massages, which have taken various forms this year.
First were 5 minutes of a heated eye mask, followed by massage to express the blocked glands. That continued for a month: no improvement. Summer lay on her back on the sofa, mask on her eyes, a song approximately 5 minutes long on the stereo, and waited. And adjusted the eye mask for maximum heat coverage. And waited. And readjusted. Song's ending: lift half the mask, massage. Lift the other half, massage. Summer utters a deep fatalistic sigh that this tedious exercise almost certainly won't help. But she still did it all again the next day. And the next...

The second heat-and-massage method: hot spoon on the eyelids, immediately followed by massage. The spoon was heated in water, generally hot tap water topped off with a small amount of boiling water. One eye quadrant was treated at a time. This routine fit nicely between Summer boiling the kettle and waiting for the coffee to brew (Moka pot brews faster when you start with boiling water).

Unfortunately the ophthalmologist hadn't personally tried this stellar¹ concept. One hot utensil is supposed to magically heat the eyelid for 3+ minutes(?). Summer didn't realize the gap between metal-based common sense and the doctor's expectation until the follow up 11 weeks later. Need I say the functional result was nil?

The third suggested method: heat compress, then hot spoon, then massage. Summer's feeling: "I would prefer not to." She has switched to eyelid massages during her shower, which may provide the desired heat and humidity. Or may not. She can't be arsed at this point.

The next day or two will bring the end of the clot-busting eye drops. At which time I'll lose a small piece of my throne. But fear not: the massages and drops and asinine new treatments will continue!


Summer's note: I have autoimmune disease (UCTD) and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, which are almost certainly connected. I do care about my visual health but have very limited spoons, especially for pointless-seeming and difficult self care. The next option seems to be compounded testosterone cream to smear on the eyelid margins. I am clearly the butt of a cruel cosmic joke.


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