Not a migraine
Sarcoidosis and suffering Bilateral Uveitis, don’t let the consultant’s kid you on that your just suffering heavy migraines, conjunctivitis, head cold, etc. I will give you some very detailed advice on what you should be looking for – sorry about the punt! Bilateral Uveitis is very dangerous if not caught early, and still damaging if caught early.
On the way back from the recording of the BBC’s Genius episode and the subsequent visit to the Bradford Royal Infirmary it was obvious something was seriously wrong with my eyes, mainly my left eye. Firstly the nurse assessed me, then the doctor and then I was sent up to the eye day clinic – it was Saturday.
The consultant had a quick look into my eyes and then and mentioned he could not find anything, he put some drops in to dilate my pupils. 20 minutes to allow the drops to work – these drops make your eyes very sensitive to light and blurred – DO NOT DRIVE!!!
Ok I get called over; he has a very good look at the rear of both eyes and simply suggested I have now started with migraines, my answer to him was that it is not a migraine, I have never had a migraine and can only presume they are like terrible headaches but with sickness? I asked him if he can prescribe any drops for my eyes but he simply said I should get some over the counter comfort drops! So comfort drops it was on the way home. I’m glad I had my sunglasses, the light felt like it was piercing the rear of my head.
Do not drive
The next day I was back on the wards at work, not well at all. That was the start of my sick leave, amongst everything that seemed to be going wrong with my eyes kept feeling like they were swimming with grit, they felt like sandpaper would smooth them off – being an x plumber I had plenty of sandpaper – glass or grit paper some countries might call it.
While going through all the visits to the doctors and the hospital Accident & Emergency I kept asking about my eyes but obviously the consultants were more interested in the two shadows in my chest, and that kind of stopped me thinking about my eyes until one morning everywhere was very much blurred or maybe I should say no sharpness to my vision, I drove to the doctors, no appointment as by now they were seeing as and when I needed it.
The doctor checked my eyes “your pupils have fixed Stuart ‘Oh, what does that mean?’ your pupils have fixed, they’re not functioning.” So I was sent to the eye emergency department at the Bradford Royal Infirmary. My car was left parked up as I should NOT have drove to the doctors, scary stuff and a danger to other road users and pedestrians. My old next door neighbour brought my car back, and a few months later I scrapped it off…
Whether your eyes are ok or you already suffer problems, do try at all times to keep those damaging sun rays out of them. Its no good trying to squint and frown to try and protect your eyes, do get into a good habit of putting sunglasses on while the sun is out make it a good habit – abit like putting your seatbelt on as soon as you get into a car.
Get a hat on
Something that a very many folks do forget is that wearing a hat can also protect your eyes, most of us can think that wearing a hat is simply to try and avoid getting heatstroke, even with sunglasses worn a hat can help protect your eyes from the suns damaging ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.
Problems with your eyes early symptoms;
- Blinking lots
Those are the very early stages that I suffered before I thought about going to see the doctors, those stages were present before travelling to London for the filming, the symptoms that happened during the filming and upon our return to Bradford;
- Slightly bloodshot
Attending the eye emergency clinic and having local anaesthetic drops administered I just needed to keep my sunglasses on all the time, and yes I also agree I did look somewhat very cool! The symptoms that morning were;
- Very dry
- Very painful
- Very gritty
- Very blurred
- Very sensitive
Look into my eyes
The consultant had a very good look throughout both eyes, and then got another consultant to come and have a look “Bilateral Uveitis you’ve got, much more with the left than the right, ‘what does that mean?’ if its not brought under control then blindness can often follow, ‘Oh’”
Hmmm, was all I could say to myself, Pred Forte steroid drops were prescribed and to be administered every hour for two weeks, every two hours for two weeks and then four times a day for two weeks, even during the night when possible, Optive comfort drops were also given.
Those six weeks were incredibly scary, I was waiting for the CT scan on my chest and at the same time my vision was completely blurred, I now totally admire blind folks and how they manage through life, I struggled to do anything as I could not see any clarity anywhere. Six weeks went by and it was time for the eye clinic again – if required I could have gone to see them during the six weeks – local anaesthetic was administered and my eyes were searched, plenty of damaged blood cells and damage to the pigment. The drops had to be carried on but only twice per day as the steroid had weakened my eyes, but this was required to ease the Bilateral Uveitis, thing is, my pupils had also started to be odd.
I asked the consultant about Uveitis, I had it in both eyes; my pupils had stopped functioning and had started deteriorating, by now Sarcoidosis was soon to be confirmed through the other various departments, the eye consultant had no doubt it was all linked.
As of 9th March 2011 (happy birthday!) I use steroid and comfort drops as I feel required, my eyesight is damaged with the likelihood my old fantastic eyesight I was used to has gone, I have no sharpness to it, its quite amusing really as when I play my six string guitar I now see 12 strings and when I play the 12 string I now see 24 strings!!!
My message to all of you is DO keep a very close check on your eyes, what ever the littlest of problem they might give you, look after them. I do hope this bilateral uveitis article has given you a great insite into what the lead up to a serious eye condition can feel and look like, books can give all the medical facts about uveitis but for many people it comes to late as they ignored the early warning signs. Many eye problems can occur, anything ever seems wrong then take yourself off to the hospital.
My song titled ‘Sarcoid’ for all those involved with this condition.