The following is an excerpt of an email sent to me from a patient.
The eye pain is by far the worst aspect of my health issues… And also the one thing that all doctors have ignored or dismissed. The pain is constant and rarely mild. It’s most often a deep, extreme ache in both eyes but can also be a burning sensation or a feeling that I have fiberglass in my eyes. It causes me anxiety attacks, stress, depression. It’s so bad that I can’t work. I cannot look at computer monitors or TV screens. I cannot care for my children. The pain is so distracting that I cannot enjoy activities that I used to like drawing, painting, reading, or anything really. Life now is a battle to find a reason to want to live, or any hope that my pain with one day be taken seriously, and addressed in some way that makes it tolerable enough to find a way to enjoy life again. I keep my eyes closed a good portion of the day and apply ice packs all day long to numb the pain. No OTC medications have helped. I tried acupuncture. I have tried many prescription medications in hopes of decreasing the pain. I’ve found that only an unreasonably high dose of a combination of several opiate/opioid pain killers make it subside enough that I can do something outside the home (like attend a friend’s wedding) without being completely miserable. I cannot obtain such medications on an even regular basis legally or otherwise. But knowing that should give one an idea of how bad I am hurting. I have given up several times and completely shut down, and stopped seeking medical help, stayed indoors and limited my contact with the outside world as much as I could. I cannot cry because doing so amplifies the pain. I’ve given up on and off for as long as 5 months straight. I tried another ophthalmologist last week. I got nowhere. I am so discouraged and confused. He suggested that I had eye strain and needed new glasses. To me that is equivalent to putting a tiny band aid on a leg with multiple fractures. I need help. I need to know how to find a doctor who will take me seriously and do something to help. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want to start contemplating suicide again. I am not yet 40 years old and otherwise healthy. I want to live and be able to enjoy life on some level once again. Please, if you can advise me in any way that might help me I would be very grateful. Thank you.
Note: Dr. Rosenthal’s responding email failed because the account no longer existed.