Corneal Transplant for Keratoconus

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Finally for the first time in over 2 years I am pain free from scleritis (eye pain).  That is amazing and down to the Cyclophosphamide I started taking about 4 weeks ago.  The first week I felt terrible, really nauseas then I came good and felt great for a couple of weeks.  I was thinking this is brilliant, then in week 4 I am getting light headed, dizziness and fatigue.  It’s worth it not to have that awful horrendous eye pain!

Assuming my bloods are ok when I go back to the rheumatologist in 3 weeks I can move on and start thinking about my corneal transplants and where I need to be to be able to have my surgery.  I have severe corneal neovascularisation, the vessels I have are big and deep and there are plenty of them.  They are not ghost vessels either, they are still active and blood filled.  I can’t have my surgery whilst they are active as the graft would reject.  In my doctors words “it would be a disaster”.  One positive thing, in my eye check-up last week my doctor felt like there were less vessels in the right eye and maybe the Cyclophosphamide has got rid of some already.  I hope so that would be amazing.

I had two wishes, 1 was to get rid of the pain – check! and 2 was to be able to see properly.  So I am halfway there!  Point 2 is going to be harder to achieve, every time I see my eye doctor I’m like can I get my graft yet and always the answer is no.  Hopefully one day soon I will get a yes.  I am so desperate to improve my vision, I really struggle in particular at work reading my computer screen.  Some days are really awful and I can hardly see a thing.

I know having a graft doesn’t automatically guarantee good vision but it’s surely got to be better than looking through a forest of blood vessels, even if I have to wear a lens on it I will be ecstatic.

Keeping my fingers crossed that next time I get a check up even more vessels have melted away.

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Cyclophosphamide Chemo for Scleritis – Eye inflammation & Pain

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Over two years on and my scleritis is still flaring continuously and at times is extremely painful.  I have failed prednisone, rituximab, metrotrexate and azathioprine treatments.

My doctors have brought out the really big guns this time, I have just been started on 100mg Cyclophosphamide daily.  Already I am feeling nauseous so I know this isn’t going to be good.

Before taking the med I was reading up on it because I like to be informed about what i’m taking and the side effects are horrific.  If the only thing that happens to me is I get nauseous and lose my hair I will be doing ok!  Yes you can even lose your hair at low doses.  One of the common side effects that is concerning me a bit is that you can get really bad cystitis and blood in the urine.  Because the drug is so toxic it can’t sit in your bladder you have to keep drinking and peeing to keep it clear.  It can’t be taking at night because it cant sit in your bladder for that long.

Well this is day 1 of the treatment, I have to go for fortnightly blood tests and see my rhumatologist again in 6 weeks.  Lets hope this works!

By the way another side effect is appetite loss, I really hope I get that one because I have medication induced weight gain and I am desperate to get some off.  I will be really happy if I get that one!

Will keep you updated, have a good weekend.

 

An Eye Update – scleritis and Keratoconus

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It’s been a while since my last post on here as I now have separate blogs for my hobbies.  Thought I would do an eye update as they are still pretty crappy.

Saw my eye doctor and rheumatologist yesterday, had an orbital floor steroid injection in the right eye.  Have a swollen and black eye appearing this morning but the scleritis pain is easing already so that’s really good.

The Rhumy noted that I have failed Rituximab. Azathioprine, prednisone and methotrexate (I’m still on the MTX but the sides are awful, I take it on Friday then the weekend is a write off).  The next step is a cyclophosphamide infusion.  This is worrying me a little because it much more hard core than anything else I have tried and you can lose your hair even at low doses so I don’t really know how I feel about that.  I know that we have to try everything we can because nothing has worked so far and I am in chronic pain, some days the pain is so great I just lay there moaning to myself.  Still it’s a big step taking such a strong chemo drug.

My vision is really variable as I have more than one problem – keratoconus, scleritis and severe corneal neovascularisation.  Some days I can hardly see at all and other days my vision is pretty clear.  At the moment I have not much vision at all in the left eye as the inflammation has made the cornea hazy.  At my eye check yesterday I was just counting fingers, couldn’t read the letters even through the pin hole.  This will clear pretty soon with the eye drops but it makes for such a hard life when you have to get up for work every morning.

I can’t even enjoy my colouring much at the moment the one thing that is keeping me sane right now is reading on my kindle, I adore reading and escaping into a good book.  I can’t read normal books but on my kindle I can have a lovely big text and manage to read, even though I only get one sentence on a page and it gives my thumb a workout changing the page every 2 seconds lol

Sorry for any typos, can’t see too well at the moment!

If you are interested in my hobbies of adult colouring and reading you can catch me over here:

www.colouringforwellbeing.wordpress.com

www.bonniesbooktalk.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading and catch up soon!

 

The Aftermath of a Migraine – Stage 4 – Postdrome

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So I’m over stage 3 of the migraine, the horrible miserable pain and now I’m on day 2 of the hangover.  I seriously feel like I have been for a wild night on the booze and then run over by a bus!  The worst thing is I am trying not to take any more pain killers as I don’t want to get into a cycle of rebound headaches.

The pain isn’t really bad but it’s just there all the time and very annoying.  When I cough or move my head too quickly it feels like my brain is banging around onto my skull.  A couple of paracetamol would really help but I’m scared to take any more pain killers as I have been stuck in the rebound headache cycle before and it’s not pleasant.  I’m just trying to ride it out.

I’m hoping that by tomorrow I will be feeling a lot better, this little quote says it all, you really do have to recover from a migraine and it can take days – oh joy!

Here is a bit of info on the Postdrome stage for those who don’t know anything about it.

Postdrome

The postdrome stage of a migraine attack is the fourth and final stage. Most people would think that the fourth stage would be a huge sigh of relief and in some cases it could be but the final stage still brings about several different symptoms that can be painful and hard to cope with. Coming down from the third stage of a migraine is exhausting, the pain and misery that was had during the third migraine stage can leave a person feeling weak. The postdrome migraine stage is the fourth and final stage of a migraine.

The postdrome migraine stage has several linger side effects and symptoms such as the extreme fatigue, muscle soreness, head pain and bouts of cognitive confusion. The postdrome migraine stage consists of mild head pain that lingers for a spell. The side effects and symptoms of the postdrome stage often linger for two or three days after the third migraine stage has disappeared.

 

Migraine Does My Head In!

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Argghhh I had the worst migraine over the weekend, horrible pain for 3 days straight.  Straight away I knew it was a migraine so I tool a Naramig ….. my heart sank because it didn’t work.

Generally if it doesn’t work they say don’t bother taking another as that one probably won’t work either so I tried everything I had in my meds box.  Panadeine Forte, Mersyndol, Endone, Disprin nothing worked and it was really starting to get to me.  On the 3rd day I remembered my doctor gave me a sample pack of Imigran and within a couple of hours I was totally pain free … absolute bliss!  It was like my head was quiet it was an awesome feeling.

I woke up this morning feeling exhausted and with a small lingering headache in the area where I get my migraine.  I hope it’s just going to wear off as the day goes on and not come back.  Don’t think I could stand another migraine so soon.

Naramig has worked for me in the past so I was surprised that the Imigran worked and the Naramig didn’t.  I guess that’s the kind of beast migraine is, it can be different every time. Mental note, get a script for Imigran!

I’m hoping this week will be a better one and pain free!

 

 

James Carol – Open Your Eyes, Ebook

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I have just finished reading Open Your Eyes, courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I loved this novella, it was really good.  I’m a big fan of James Carol and the Jefferson Winter series and this didn’t disappoint.  The story and characters was interesting and the plot kept me engaged right the way through to the end of the book.  I enjoyed it so much I really wanted the story to continue.

I seriously cannot wait for the next Jefferson Winter book to be released!

I believe the Kindle edition of this book is being released on the 6th October, I really highly recommend it, it was great, a really good read.

A New Boss – Very Nervous Today!

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I’m feeling very nervous about being at work this morning.  Last Friday my boss of 10 years left and I now have a new boss.  I don’t do change very easily, maybe because of my mental illness.  I am so full of anxiety this morning I could throw up.

I have met my new boss as we have had a handover period, he seems very nice but I know things are going to be very different.  Getting to know a new personality and having to work closely together, learning new tasks and different processes etc.

I know I can do the job so I have no idea why I feel so bad.  You know when you are so comfortable in your job it’s like a pair of comfy slippers; you know how to do things without even having to really think about it.  Don’t get me wrong I’m up for the challenge I am just feeling very very nervous!

Just writing this down is quite cathartic, it’s making me think about how I am feeling and is making me take a step back from my anxiety and do some breathing exercises so it was worth writing this. I have helped myself!

The boss is due in shortly, so let’s just see how we go, I am sure that we can make it work, I’m telling myself that change can sometimes be good!

The Fens Series by Joy Ellis

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joy ellis.jpgI have been reading a really great series of books by Joy Ellis.  I have only recently found her books by browsing through Amazon and I am so glad that I did, they are a great read.

I have been lucky enough to read her last two on Net Galley in exchange for a review; actually I am reading her current one Killer on The Fens right now and I’m really enjoying it.  This book is currently 95 Cents on the Kindle store so it is well worth spending a Dollar to give this author a go.

The series is getting better as the books go on the characters are developing and forging relationships and as you get to know them the more you like them.  The storylines are interesting and keep me engaged right through to the end of the book.

If you enjoy a mystery thriller I can recommend this author, all 4 have been a great read.

The Battle Continues!

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Last week my doctor changed me over from daily Azathioprine to weekly Methotrexate.  I couldn’t stand the side effects any longer and it wasn’t really doing much to help my eyes.

I am on week 2 of the Methotrexate, I spend 3 days crook as a dog (the day I take it and 2 days after), horrible but I guess it’s better than the 7 days I felt ill on the Aza.  It’s unfortunate I take it on Fridays because I spend all weekend feeling awful then I’m back to normal again for work on Monday …. Hmmmm that was a bit of bad planning!

I’m starting to wonder if my eyes will ever improve, it always seems to be one step forward and then two back.  It will be 2 years in November that I have been battling the scleritis, can’t believe how quickly time flies.  But it’s not good when you think about it, nearly 2 years and they are no closer to finding out the root cause and really my eyes haven’t improved that much either. I have days where they are so painful I can hardly stand it.

My doctor always calls me a medical mystery and his VIP patient as I’m there every fortnight for my treatment.  I guess when you have something relatively rare happening in your body that they can’t solve you do become a bit of a medical mystery.  I have seen a rheumatologist, and probably about 6 different eye specialists and I’m still suffering with vision loss and chronic daily pain.  The next step is the immunologist; my eye doctor has written a referral so I will see what they have to say when I get my appointment through.

I guess I just need to keep going, keep my mental health well and hope that one day I get some definite answers and a solution to the problem.  I think the key for me is staying well mentally, if i’m good in that department I can cope fairly well with the pain and the daily struggle to see. I’m really working hard not to fall down that slippery slope to depression, so far so good!

 

My New Colouring Blog!

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I am finding that I am spending more and more time blogging about colouring so I thought I should start a blog just for colouring and art supplies etc.

If you are interested you can find it here:

http://www.colouringforwellbeing.wordpress.com

Would love it if you would come over and see what i’m doing!

Thanks!