As far as the eyes can see…

this isn’t an elective surgery. word.

Yesterday’s post covered my symptoms and feelings about being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease. But I held myself back from really expressing the agony of having your beautiful almond-shaped eyes that once received compliments from random strangers become teary and protruding.

Initially, it reminded me of the physical appearance of Dajjal, the false prophet who will emerge in the future. One of his eyes is described as bulging out. At one point, I thought, what if I give birth to him?

Before you dismiss me as a paranoid crazy and/or literalist, know that my overactive, dark imagination does provide solace in some situations.

For example, what’s wrong with hoping that against all odds, such as not having a good paying job and my insurance company’s exclusion rider on my thyroid, that I’ll have the chance to look like myself again, regain my self-confidence and make up for losing my early 20s?

One of my friends recently emailed me saying:

“If you’re worried about “losing your 20s” for issues of beauty, I have to tell you that it’s not something people notice, and you are beautiful! I know it’s all what you feel inside, but if it’s an expensive procedure, I wouldn’t want anyone I care about to do it because they think it’s unattractive.”

So is this surgery for my vanity or is a necessity? According to my doctors, it’s both. It’s for my comfort and to fix a medical condition.

I don’t think anyone would like to tape their eyes at night and constantly wipe away tears in the middle of the day. And carry around crumbled tissues that have eyeliner and mascara stains on them.

Also, no one wants to become scarred with psychological issues.

I’m not exaggerating any of this.

People don’t seem to understand that my eyes are directly linked to my health, mind and soul. I cannot put a dollar and aesthetic value on them.

If that sounds too intense for you, think about how much you value your eyes. How they allow you to see and appreciate everything this life has to offer.

Also, think about the emphasis we place on eyes, such as the most common, it’s a window to your soul or that person’s eyes said something different than their words and gestures. Every society has a love affair with eyes. We notice the color, the way they change in the sunlight, the shape, the eye makeup, etc.

But even more importantly, we visit optometrists and ophthalmologists frequently to actively monitor changes in our eyes. We want them to be healthy, because we process information through them. Eyes are like mirrors. They reflect what’s inside of you and they translate the world through your vision, literally and figuratively.

So, if I’m viewing my world through protruding eyes that lack fluid movement and put me in discomfort, it will limit my experiences and my potential as an individual struggling to find herself.

Maybe, as my friend pointed out, people don’t notice the bulging eyes or if they do, they think you were born with it.

To begin with I have a high prescription because of my near-sightedness, so my glasses give an optical illusion of my eyes seeming slightly smaller than they actually are.

Recently, the near-sightedness and the exophalmos, or the bulging, caused retinal detachments in both eyes. But that’s a story for another post.

Let me explain that arriving at this point, to do the surgery wasn’t easy for me. I was so afraid of the risks, what if I develop double vision afterward? what if both eyes don’t turn out symmetrical? And more frighteningly, what if it affects my vision?

I’m infinitely grateful that I haven’t developed double vision or had corneal involvement or God forbid, have my optic nerve compromised. All of these scenarios would have made the orbital decompression surgery urgent. Instead, I can take my time blogging about the effects of this disease on my personal life.

At one point, I decided on just doing an eyelid retraction surgery. Forget about breaking bones.

But then, I moved to DC and decided I didn’t want to live in fear, a motto that a dear friend taught me to embrace.

So, now I’m putting this out into the universe.

I really want my old eyes back, they way God gave them to me. I want my confidence restored. I want to fall asleep on the coach or in the middle of the day, without worrying about an elaborate ritual of putting lacri-lube in my eyes and trying to make my medical tape less sticky. I don’t want anymore eyelashes pulled out or raw eyelids in the morning.

I want peace with my eyes and body. And Godwilling, it will happen.

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2 responses to “As far as the eyes can see…

  1. Pingback: Thyroid Eye Disease – 2nd flare up « Graves Disease Diary

  2. How long have you had the eye disease. I have had a mild verson for 4 months now and I need to know how long it’s going to last and how other people’s disease progresses!

    Here’s my blog on it.
    http://greatgraves.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/thyroid-eye-disease/

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