Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Eye of the Storm

After our ER visit, we were scheduled for a follow up visit with an opthamologist to be certain that the shingles infection did not move into his eye.  Unfortunately, at our appointment on Tuesday, the doctors did see signs of infection inside Tyler's eye.  What I thought would be a quick 1 hour visit turned into a 6 hour appointment with both the corneal specialist and a retinal specialist.

They took pictures of his eye to identify the location of the infection and monitor the progress over time.  The retinal specialist told u that we would get to know each other REALLY well, as we will be seeing him quite a bit for the next 3-4 months.  Right now, the infection is just around the outer edges of his eye.  If the infection progresses into the center of the eye, that is very dangerous.  We also have to watch out for retinal detachment right now, so they are monitoring his eye pressure along with the inflammation.

The worst part of the appointment was the antiviral shot that Tyler had to get.  They winched his eye open and shot medicine into the back of the eye to attack the infection.  They also extracted some fluid from the eye to make sure the infection they see was actually shingles.  Tyler says this was the most painful thing he has ever experienced, which made my heart hurt, as I have seen how much pain he has endured in the past 3 years.

The eye doctor upped Tyler's dosage of Valacyclovir from 3 pills a day to 6 pills today, so I got to spend most of a day on the phone with the doctor's office, the pharmacy, and the insurance company trying to make that happen.  We are exceedingly frustrated that it is so difficult to get medicine that is medically necessary.  Tyler is at risk of going blind if we can't get this infection under control, but the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the dosage the doctor has prescribed because the medicine is expensive.  Grrr...  I HATE dealing with insurance issues!

We had a follow up appointment with the eye doctor at the end of the week.  Upon inspection they thought the infection had stayed the same, but the pictures showed a small increase in infected areas.  If he had stayed the same or improved, they would have sent us home.  Since it got worse, Tyler had to endure another shot in the eye.  The doctor considered admitting him to the hospital, to treat the eye with IV medicines, but decided that he would see if the shot was sufficient for now.  We have another appointment on Tuesday to see if any progress has been made.

Tyler has been invited to go golfing on Friday, so I am REALLY hoping that his eye improves enough that 1) we don't have to see the doctor that day and 2) his light sensitivity has improved enough to allow him to go outside again.  Despite the beautiful weather here, we have been living in a cave trying to keep the light to a minimum in the house.

Please wish us luck for all of our events on Tuesday!

1 comment:

  1. Tyler has absolutely not caught a break! So sorry to hear the latest update, but I'm glad to hear his docs are on top of it. Fingers crossed he improves enough to golf on Friday!

    Thinking of you two!