Category Archives: Eyes

Medications Versus Natural Herbs/Supplements

There’s always been a great debate (at least in my world) of whether or not we should be headache-1540220_1280taking medications OR whether we should be using natural herbs/supplements to heal and/or cure diseases.

For ages, people have used what God has given us here on this earth and that is the herbal plants of the land to provide healing – herbal plants such as mint leaves, chamomile, ginger, garlic, just to name a few, as well as lemons, vinegar and whole host of other natural remedies (which are still being used today) to prevent and cure a lot of ailments.

My latest run-in with the debate of whether to use medications or supplements has really got me perturbed, to say the least. As my 95-year-old mother still warns me “don’t get on the medication merry-go-round, because you will never get off”!

So I was diagnosed 5 years ago with glaucoma, right, so of course, I was concerned in trying to save my vision by using these outrageously expensive eyedrops.  Ok, no problem. A few months ago I was diagnosed as having ‘anxiety’ (which I agree, I’ve been anxious, uptight) well, I guess just life in general (plus genetically got it from dad who too was anxious, probably on hindsight was PTSD for him), so I’m prescribed medicine for the anxiety also. After 4.5 years of having the same ophthalmologist, for a myriad of reasons (of which I won’t delve into) I decided it was time to change eye docs, so just 2-1/2 to 3 weeks ago was my first visit to the new ophthalmologist. This eye doc also specializes in glaucoma, so I went through the barrage of tests again – the process you go through in establishing a new physician. Found out the pressure in my eyes had skyrocketed!  Mind you now, I did stop taking the eye drops because it was leaving a huge crusty paste in my eyes upon awakening each morning. (had the former eye doc informed me to use artificial tears every couple of hours throughout the day to prevent the crusty paste, I wouldn’t have stopped the eye drops!) So, upon leaving this new eye doc’s office with such devastating news that my vision is worse, was told to ‘stop driving period but it’s okay to still work’.  Ummm, okay really?? I must stop driving, but it’s okay for me to still worsen my eyes by continuing to be on the computer for another 20 or 30 years?I Really doc???.  Needless to say, I decided to go home and do what I do best – research!

small-nettle-766130_1280I discovered, in reading more than 3 reliable sources that the medication I was taking for my anxiety should NOT be taken if you have glaucoma! Specifically, it should not be taken if you have angle-closure glaucoma (which is the type I have), as it will cause the angles of your eyes to become even more narrow.  As a result of my findings I decided to call the eye doctor back to question this.  They, of course, said ‘we’ll call you back on that.’ I guess they had to research it too!  Anyway,  hours later, I get the call back. They had the audacity, the unmitigated gall to say “it was okay for me to still take the anxiety medication.”!!!

At this point, I’d much rather use medicinal  marijuana than to go back taking a medication that will eventually CLOSE my angles and cause more damage to my eyes!  It’s just the bottom line – medicinal marijuana (the actual cannabis plant or cannabis oil) will help glaucoma in preventing further damage. For some people, medicinal marijuana also dramatically improves a lot of other disorders including multiple sclerosis and children with severe epilepsy. Just recently, I transcribed a chart where the physician dictated that “this child made remarkable improvement” in slowing down the amount of seizures he/she was having by using the medicinal marijuana. A lot of children have anywhere from 2 to 30 seizures per day – which is so dangerous and life-threatening every time they have a seizure.

Listen folks, I’m not here to promote marijuana, nor any specific supplement or to say that all medications are bad and should never be taken. I’m just here to help someone to actually empower your health – read, do your research, get knowledge about everything regarding your health.

Maybe I’ll finally learn and listen to my 95-year-old mother.  I mean, she is 95 years old….still here….still has all her wits about her…. and her longevity certainly didn’t come from taking a slew of medications either!!

Welcome 2016!

sylvester-723054_1280Happy 2016 everyone! Let’s get this new year off to a health-conscious start by taking control of YOUR lifestyle, YOUR eating habits, YOUR stress level.

How about I spent my New Year’s Eve (through 5 a.m.) being seen in the emergency room?! Nope – not a great start, but that just made me want to be ever the more attentive to, conscious of and ambitious about my own health.  Many of you who do know me and follow me on my personal Facebook page, I stated for the new year that I will doing me and me alone for 2016 – I truly mean that!  Not being selfish or self-centered, but these unnecessary types of ER visits I spent in 2015 were due to my own negligence – always concerned about others and their needs and not taking care of myself.

It all started last Tuesday when I woke up with a headache. I thought I was grinding my teeth and/or gums again, but neither of my teeth nor my gums were sore. As the day progressed, my right eye continued to be watery (as it had been for a couple of months now), but it also became very sore.  I was able to get in to the ophthalmologist’s office on Wednesday morning and he diagnosed me with blepharitis. Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid. There’s lots of crusting of the eyelids/lashes, so my physician just prescribed an eye ointment as well as vigorously washing the eye with warm water and baby shampoo. Well, the headaches continued as well as becoming increasingly more painful, so much so that I compared it to a pain being worse than labor pains and/or having a toothache.  I have a very high tolerance for pain, but there are certain physical pains that are just unbearable and that was one!! Trying to diminish the pain in my mind and trying to enjoy the last of 2015, my intentions were to attend night service at my church – obviously that didn’t happen. I came to the realization that I might as well make use of my insurance for 2015 on this last day and just go on to the emergency room to see what is really going on. I was concerned because with my history of having glaucoma, I was worried I was having what’s called a ‘glaucoma attack’ which can happen sometimes when a person has the closed-angle closure glaucoma (which is what I have). A glaucoma attack is when the pressure in your eyes suddenly rise (similar to having high blood pressure) and  the normal drainage of your iris becomes completely blocked. The symptoms of this attack are sudden blurred vision, headache, along with possible nausea and vomiting. This is considered a medical emergency.

The ER visit was sort of kinda helpful – same diagnosis as what my eye doctor gave me of blepharitis, but the ER did a very thorough job of making sure there was no infection behind the eyeballs, lens, etc. by doing a CT scan and taking laboratory tests as well.  The only thing done differently in the emergency room than my eye doctor was that I was given a prescription of antibiotics. Why my ophthalmologist did not prescribe any antibiotics is beyond my understanding, but that is a whole different conversation that I may blog about later…..  🙂

When I talk to you guys, I am always including myself in maintaining better health. As it is good for me to be passionate about helping other people to learn to empower their own health, this year and going forward, I will take charge of my own health better than I have so that I can be an example to others in maintaining healthy living!

2016 is my year!  I will educate you as best I can with the knowledge I’ve obtained over the 20+ years in transcribing, knowledge in medical terminology, medical records, etc. which I love so dearly, as well as my own personal experiences and help to decipher medical terms, advocating health empowerment and sharing all that I know to help you and your community live healthy and happy!

 

An Eye-opening Experience

dreamstimecomp_12139239(EYES)My experience with my eyes having any ‘signs’ of needing to get medical treatment started in 2012.  I spend 90% of my day on the computer – and have done so since the late 1970s.  Wow – that’s sounds pretty rough – but it’s true.  I began having ‘watery’ eyes, actually around 2009-2010.  Not having health insurance at the time, I ignored the watery eyes because I thought well, I’m not having pain, just watery eyes, maybe I’m getting ‘weak’ eyes.  I am in my mid 50s. It was not until December 2012 (I knew my insurance would kick in January 2013) that I finally sought treatment.  Plus, I couldn’t take the watery eye any longer as they were getting worse.  I’m actually a tough person – tough in the sense that I’ve been through A LOT health-wise, but nothing could have prepared me for THIS particular diagnosis.  While doing the eye exam, doc kept saying to me, “your pressure in your eyes are so bad, it’s a wonder you ain’t gone blind.”  That is when he diagnosed me with glaucoma.  He also informed me that long-term use of prednisone (steroids) he feels is what caused the glaucoma many, many years ago.  Devastated I was!!  No pain,  no nothing but my right eye watering some. There are 2 types of glaucoma.  There’s an “open-angle” glaucoma and a more severe kind called narrow-angled (also known as “closed-angle”) glaucoma.  The closed angle glaucoma is what I have.   Glaucoma is considered the “silent thief of your eyesight.” Only having 15% of my optic nerve left is NOT good, but thank God I did go when I did.  After several consistent visits, laser eye surgery to both eyes (iridotomy) I CAN save what  optic nerve I can and keep my glaucoma under control. I’m not saying to go to the doctor/emergency room every single time we have a little ache.  What I AM saying is do not procrastinate like I did. Don’t wait weeks, months, years to get checked.  Call your community medical provider, ask questions, don’t just assume you can’t afford it.  You may find a really caring medical provider who will work with you.  Empower your health!

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