Multiple Sclerosis Meets Blepharitis
MS’er’s know the drill- the illness is real even if we don’t look sick or the symptoms are hard to describe. “I don’t know- it’s weird. I just can’t think. It’s like my brain just can’t focus on anything.”
Response from many non-MS’ers, “that’s cause you’re a space shot” or “well stop it, just focus” and finally, “I don’t think you even know what you’re talking about.”
“Exactly!” I would answer.
As if it weren’t enough for MS to have symptoms that you can’t describe, that affect you all over your body but aren’t visible, that make you look and act drunk even when you’re not, it has be so cruel as to name one of its more painful symptoms a hug.
None of it makes any sense. I have heard people say that you don’t get MS in a vacuum- you often have other illnesses as well as the MS. I didn’t think that was true until I received a second diagnosis. Are you ready for this one? You won’t believe it.
My latest diagnosis if Blufferitis. No really, I’m not kidding. Try explaining THAT to someone.
I had to see the eye doctor and she told me that I have blufferitis. It is real. It’s an eye condition that is uncurable, just like MS. You can treat it’s symptoms but you can’t cure it. I will have this forever!
Ok, while the condition is really called blufferitis, and is pronounced blufferitis, it is actually spelled blepharitis. Fortunately, it is not serious. It means that I have disgusting tiny ducts in my eyes that produce oil that irritates my eyelids and eye lashes. It is highly unlikely that I will die from it.
As I have greatly limited, if not altogether stopped, wearing eye makeup because of it, it certainly won’t help my dating life. No heavily mascara’ed lashes to bat at a potential suitor for me. Since I tend to go into my zombie-like state at 6PM anyway, and I don’t think I want to date someone who wants to date a zombie, it is probably for the best.
I have to buy baby shampoo to use to clean my eyelashes daily. (You can’t make this stuff up.) So, I get the pleasure of looking at baby shampoo and smelling baby shampoo when there is no baby even though I would love a baby as babies are cool. I get to wash my eyelids and eyelashes daily with the shampoo just like my grandmother used to. She never told me she had blufferitits. If she had, we would have thought she was bluffing. It was easier to think she was weird.
How come this is starting to sound familiar? But I am lucky, this is not the end of the world. While it is disconcerting to have a new doctor who when she examines me reports to her assistant that she is finding oily tears, there are certainly much worse things in life.
“Oily tears? How can I have oily tears? I’m not even crying? That is disgusting. You want to see oily tears? Wait until one of my unexplainable MS mood swings collide with my monthly PMS! Then you’ll really see some oily tears. I will cry you an Exxon oil spill then!”
After I received my latest diagnosis, I developed an allergy to something that is exacerbating my blufferitis, causing the optometrist to send me to over five different pharmacies looking for a treatment that doesn’t exist before she calls in a prescription product to use around the eyes. Seems the over the counter she recommended has aloe which I am also allergic too. She didn’t know that as I never thought to tell her.
She’s an EYE doctor for crying out loud! How was I supposed to know I should tell her about an aloe allergy? She wanted to avoid the prescription as it contains steroids. She told me that steroids are dangerous and people should avoid using them as much as possible.
“Puhhhllleezzze,” I think. “You are worried about a steroid cream I lightly put on my eyelids every once in a while? Let me tell you about the megawatts of steroids I had shot in my arm for a whole week. Now those were some bad ass steroids and look at me, I’m fine.”
Then there was the fun game the doctor and I played that I like to call “what list is this”, (see prior blog about me and my list issues.) We tried to guess what could be causing the eye allergy in addition to my oily tears.
“Do you have new laundry detergent?”
“Do you have new bath soap?”
“Do you have a new facial cleanser?”
“Do you have new hand lotion?”
“Do you have new shampoo?”
“Yes-the shampoo you told me to get to wash my eyelashes with!!!”
It’s all good. Medical weirdness has become my new name, I have MS afterall. What, you don’t believe me? How about blufferitis- do you believe that?