It all starts the same way. We’re happy to finally know that a baby is on the way. Ah, Babies. They’re soft, cute, warm, beautiful. There are no more wonderful little beings on the planet than babies.
Getting a baby is a different story. I’m not going there today.
Where I will be going is to my temporary blindness. OK, blind is a gross over-statement. Vision problems. About 4 months after my first was born, I woke up, found my glasses and still couldn’t see. Weird lots? No doubt. With the glasses, I covered each eye in turn to find out which eye was the problem; the right. So I took off the glasses and checked out if my right eye was suddenly worse or better. Either way would mean that with the glasses I had, I wouldn’t be able to see properly. Turned out that my right eye was suddenly better. It didn’t help me but I could see better out of my right eye than I had in years. (Insert small happy dance.)
I got an emergency appointment with my long-time optometrist and saw him a few hours later. (Quite the drive over – no fooling.)
And that’s when I got the news: breastfeeding can alter vision. In a million years I never would have guessed this one. Apparently, the tears can change consistency which would change the moisture level and clarity of the surface of the cornea. Huh.
I had laser eye surgery in the time between having my 2 kids. The procedure is a whole thing that has to be planned out – so many menstrual cycles have to occur, vision has to be stable for ‘x’ amount of time. It’s a bit of a series of hoops to be ready to have it done. But, I did qualify for the surgery and I’ve enjoyed perfect (well practically perfect) vision for a few years now. So imagine my surprise when the day after my second’s 1st birthday, I woke up and couldn’t see out of my right eye.
I got another emergency appointment. Sadly this time not with my eye doctor – he had the nerve to retire without informing me. Sheesh, who does he think he is retiring like that?
Turned out the practice had another fellow able to see me so I got someone to drive me this time and figured it would be the same thing as last time: “Vision should return to what it was in a day or 2” It did last time. I woke up that next day with my right eye as bad as it had always been and used my glasses as before.
This time though, the new doctor told me that something was wrong. Apparently, I had corneal damage. What? It didn’t hurt. I just couldn’t see very well out of my right eye. I had gotten so used to having perfect vision it was a real bummer to have a haze over my eye. Like there was oil or cream in it. It didn’t seem that bad and I wasn’t even going to see the optometrist until the next day. (You know, in case it just corrected itself.) Turned out it was a good thing I went – corneal damage, it would seem, is nothing to brush off. Especially after having had the surgery.
There were some scratches on my cornea. And now I cannot remember how it happened. I had to run down the possible reasons:
I sleep with my eyes a little open because there are always kids needing something in the night.
The kids often either head butt me in the eye or poke me in the eye. It happens with shocking and I wish less frequency.
I make my own saline sometimes and perhaps the salt wasn’t completely dissolved. You’d think it would have hurt at the time though. (I crochet and often get bits of yarn on my eye and it’s best to wash off the surface of my eyes with an eye cup. – – I love my eye cups and couldn’t possibly live without them.)
So there were multiple possibilities as to why. I don’t know how, I only know that I now have to take anti-inflammatory drops 4 times a day and go back in a week to see if the damage has fixed itself. Yikes!
Bottom line: Breastfeeding is great and wonderful but can have a couple of unforseen consequences. So if it happens to you, or someone you know, you’ve got a story to share and some advice – See An Optometrist, NOW.
Brought to you by You Get Well Soon – practical packs for hospital stays or stops.