When I woke up not being able to see clearly every day, I didn’t really notice that something was wrong with my vision.
I have worn contacts for 12 years, so I was no stranger to ‘fuzzy’ or dry contacts. When I went to the eye doctor thinking I just needed a new contact prescription because the top area of my left eye’s vision was dark, I had no idea a scary and unfamiliar adventure was about to begin.
At the time, the doctor I was seeing first diagnosed me with a low-level eye infection. After a week of eye drops that raised my eye pressure to alarming levels with no vision correction, I was rushed to a consult with Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons. During my consult, I was introduced to Dr. Katie Greiner and played what I like to call ‘Vision Sherlock Holmes’ for six whole hours – talk about closing a place! Dr. Greiner said my eyes were as healthy as can be, but something between my eyes and brain was not so healthy. This discovery was made by doing a thorough dilated eye exam, peripheral vision testing, and reviewing an extensive history of my vision. Due to Dr. Greiner’s concerns, my family met me at the Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons’ office and took me to the emergency room, right away.
Two MRIs later, I was diagnosed with a large pituitary adenoma that needed to be removed. I was shocked.
My family and I had so many questions! Is it cancer? Do I get to keep my long hair for my wedding day if surgery is through my head? Will I go blind? Will the pituitary adenoma come back? My family and I were somewhat relieved to find out that surgery was conducted through my nose and, thankfully, the tumor was not cancerous. After a two-month recovery and a few more trips to the MRI machine, my vision was completely back to normal!
Now it is almost a year and a half after my initial surgery and, unfortunately, my brain tumor is back. I knew that another surgery was inevitable, but as of now, my vision is still normal and I am closely monitored by Dr. Katie Greiner and my neurologist.
I have shared this story to raise awareness about the importance of dilated eye exams, getting another opinion when things aren’t getting better, and about pituitary adenomas. Please learn from my story. It may have a lighthearted tone, but pituitary adenomas are not a fun time and can cause serious damage if left undiagnosed – I could have gone blind. So get your eyes checked!