Other than wearing glasses and having dry and itchy eyes sometimes, I don’t have other problems with my eyes. Yet, out of curiosity, I ask the optometrist to check my eyes after she examines my son’s eyes.
The optometrist does a general test. She asks me to return in the morning with my son to check the back of our eyes. The next morning, after examining my son’s eyes, she examines mine. Then she says, “You need to see a specialist immediately.”
She makes an appointment for me. I feel scared.
One week later, the eye specialist examines my eyes. Two days later, I return for my results. The specialist seems concerned.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“You have glaucoma.”
"It's a buildup of fluid in your eyes and you could go blind. We need to take care of you and monitor you every month.” She prescribes Xalatan eye drops and recommends I learn vision impairment skills for precaution.
I have pigmentary glaucoma. My left eye pressure is 27 and my right eye pressure is 20. When I was young, I remember that some people in my family became blind, but they were in their 70’s or older. I thought they were blind because they were old. I’m 39. I don’t want to be blind like the people in my family. I hope the eye drops work.
Every day I look at things twice to see if I can really see. I worry my husband will leave me. I worry about my children. I want to make them happy, not depend on them. I want to see them do many things. Graduate from high school. Get married. But, I must face the future and hope I will always have eyesight to guide my life and my children.
This is Alesha's story. I interviewed her. Alesha is not her real name. (I gave it to her because it means protected by God). She wants to keep her name private because her children does not know of her condition.
Glaucoma info: http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/glaucoma.html