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Retina detachment surgery, vitrectomy, scleral buckle nightmare

I had retina detachment surgery- vitrectomy and scleral buckle SEVEN YEARS AGO in my left eye. I can't look at people, I had to quit work, I have to cry every few hours because it is all so unbearable: the distortion caused, the cognitive problems created, the panicked feeling within 24/7 makes me want to kill myself every day. It is that bad. My life is ruined. I am so ashamed and depressed. I can't help with anything. I used to be very strong and could help. Now, I have to stand in a corner because I can't bare to look at anything or people. I can hardly make myself get out of the house. it is all panic. Getting to the car, acting as if I am okay and not going crazy because I can't deal with this earth anymore, walking across a parking lot, going into a store are all nightmares, with everything looming and making me want to kill myself. All I can do is say repeatedly- okay, okay, okay, just do this, just do this, just do this, okay, okay, okay, omg, omg, omg, this is terrible, I have to get out of here. There is no joy in anything. It is all despair because of this eye. I stay home mostly and am so despairing and desperate all the time. My life is getting from second to second and NOT killing myself. Looking at this as I type makes me go crazy and want to get up and scream. I see people on TV who were burned severely, with their eyelids and skin pulled tightly downward, and that is what I feel my eye and left side of face look like, but I look in the mirror and don't look that way at all. The stress 24/7 for 7 years has been unbearable. Formerly an expert reader, speller, and thinker, I now am confused, can't spell well, I add "e" to words, and mix up letters in the same manner that dyslexics do, can't even remember words & trying to do so creates terrible panic and anxiety; I can't remember what I was doing two seconds ago, and whether I do or not, I feel panicked in the process of getting through every second and finding my way around. My phone might be right next to me, but I don't see it, and panic, and throw everything out of my pocketbook and run around the house in a panic. I find it, and two seconds later, I am doing the same thing again. This happens with everything. I don't remember. I used to have an excellent sense of direction. Now I don't and I am confused and feel so panicked all the time. The eye hurts, but that is the least of my worries. It is a nightmare to remain alive. I am trapped. I can't feel or think about anything else because my eye and mind are warped. My head feels separate from my body when I get up and feels like it is bobbling somewhere and my body is below somewhere. I constantly feel like my body wants to move in a sort of jerking fashion all the time, but I control it. Riding on a train gives some relief, and if I could do that forever, I would. The only reason I stay alive is because I have a daughter, and I would not cause her the trauma and shock of a parent committing suicide. I can't sit and talk to a doctor- I would want to scream and run away. I am doomed. I could take more medicines, perhaps, or smoke marijuana.  I heard of a woman with severe macular degeneration who cut her hair, dyed it, changed her name, changed her religion, and moved away because of the awfulness of her predicament. I constantly want to run away, but I can't get away from myself. I wrote to Dr. Hagan several years ago. He was kind- suggested I see a psychiatrist, presumably to help control the terribleness of it all. My neurologist (for migraines) has been sympathetic. Called it an on-going trauma. Upon her suggestion to see if it could help my eye somehow, I ordered the device seen at www.cefaly.ca that is for migraines. It hasn't but it was an intelligent suggestion. I continue to despair. My existence is one of anhedonia, and just trying to survive. For 7 years, I am living a nightmare every second- YES, IT IS BEYOND HORRIFIC- and unless I decide to end it, it will continue like this, and I will have to cry every few hours because of the deep despair and stress of what my eye sees and translates to my brain and entire body. I see an ophthalmologist once a year, different from the one who performed the retina surgery. The eye has decent vision; it is the warping and distortion and waviness and gyroscope feeling - not like vertigo and not nausea- it makes me want to grab my stomach because I feel panicked all the time- plus it is difficult to move it., and the eyelid doesn't want to stay up. It always feels puffy and as if a glass globe is sitting in my head. (Do NOT suggest I get surgery on the eyelid. There is no way I am going to let a doctor touch my eye unless it is an emergency.)  I wouldn't care about the movement part - if only I could live without wanting to kill myself. More medicine? Move to a state that has legalized marijuana?  More medicines? Which ones?
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Avatar universal
Wow.  So you feel like this and you can actually see partially out of the affected eye?  Do you have enough depth perception to allow you to drive in good conditions?  I too had a vitrectomy, no buckle, with gas bubble.  It has only been about 4 weeks and I still have a portion of the gas bubble present.  However, I can see over the bubble now and am relieved that I can see at all.  The vision is very poor but should improve over time.  Things are murky and wavy and my previous glasses prescription is no longer close to providing decent correction.  It's pretty much a 100% guarantee I will have accelerated cataract growth in the eye and will need lens replacement in the near future.  But I am thankful to see at all.  I was, and still am prepared to survive and live a meaningful life even if my vision in the eye is a total loss.  I've begun investigating about how to live with eyesight in only one eye, how to adapt, how to drive, etc.  I have started to practice driving with my limited depth perception.  If things don't improve significantly, it will be difficult but I am determined to adapt to the best of my ability.  Is it bad?  Sure but there are so many things much worse.  Best of luck to you.  I hope things work out better down the road and you find some joy and meaning going forward.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Sounds like you are going through a lot.  I think you really need to talk to someone who can help you deal with this emotionally.  I really don't have any advice to give you other than not to be afraid to get help.  It can take a lot of courage to ask, but you can do it.  Hope that helps, and God bless.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
What is your visual acuity in the buckled eye?
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
bare should be bear. It makes me sick. It makes me panic. To go back and see the mistake. Life is awful every second. That I am here, writing this, is awful. Has anyone seen the website of people who had LASIK and want to commit suicide?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I didn't read this initially since the subjects of your post aren't things I've had reason to research, but I do have a suggestion which might sound   inconvenient, but it may be better than the situation you describe.

. I found this site initially since I had a problem cataract much younger than most,  diagnosed at 49  and finally had surgery at 52. I postponed surgery for quite a while (hoping for a better replacement lens to be available)  since my right eye had good vision so my brain seemed to rely on my right eye and ignore the problem left for quite a while.

I notice that it appears you have vision issues only: "in  my left eye" which are causing major troubles since you can't tune them out. In my case I was surprised to discover that eventually I wasn't tuning out my left eye  well anymore and it started causing me major trouble.

I made arrangements for cataract surgery (since fortunately in my case there was a fix), but in the meantime I needed to find some way to try to cope. I'd read that in some cases where people have low vision in one eye that causes trouble with functioning, they recommend patching that eye so the brain isn't distracted by the poor vision in one eye. My major problem was trying to read, so  while waiting on surgery, when by myself I began wearing an eye patch to block out the bad eye. It helped, though you need to find one that is comfortable and blocks out all the light. I did struggle a bit to adapt to it (if I'd worn it full time perhaps I'd have adapted faster), but then I had surgery to fix the eye so I didn't need to give it enough time to fully adapt.

Normally my inclination would be to try to figure out what to suggest to fix your eye, but I'm not familiar enough with your issues and  it sounds like you've been going to different doctors for years and don't have any options. Perhaps there is a new option that will arise , I would suggest not giving up hope that some new treatment will be developed.

However in the meantime if one eye is giving you that much problem, you might consider whether just patching it and using the other eye would be better, even if ideally obviously you'd prefer two good eyes. If you weren't comfortable wearing a patch in public, perhaps it would at least give you a bit of a break other times. There are also other options for blocking out sight in that eye, with eye glasses they can fog that lens (I didn't try that since my situation was temporary). I don't know if there are contact lenses that block light in an eye and make the situation less visible to others.

There are many people that adapt well to only using one eye (usually since they've lost it so they have to)  if you search around the net, e.g.:
http://www.losteye.com/

I  saw your post since you referred to it in another thread where I had posted so I decided to look. I found it from your profile, in the future if you mention a thread in a post,  you can refer to a page by pasting in its web address.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you for thinking of me even if I can't benefit from the information. As you suggested, someone else might. Your suggestion was thought of long ago. When one is suffering for so long and is so desperate, believe me, that person is willing to and does consider anything and everything, but nothing should be done that will hurt the eye even more.To patch the left eye is to force it to atrophy which will cause it to become weaker than it already is; it will force it to go blind, causing different problems, a different nightmare. This is an untenable suggestion/situation. The times I have put my hand over my eye, or something over it, it does not alleviate the problem of what my brain interprets. It offers no relief to cover the eye. There is a physicality that exists, of dull pain, the feeling as if I have just been punched in the eye all the time and it is is swollen- but it is not- and the left eye, eye socket, and cheek feeling as if nerve endings were/are hurt. The eyelid is sluggish, and moving the eye hurts and is difficult, but none of this is visible to the casual observer. Cataract surgery and recovery, if performed properly, is nothing like detached retina surgery. Cataract surgery is typically needed after retina surgery, and even a secondary procedure after that. I had both after my retina surgery. The cataract procedures were/are an entirely different issue, and literally superficial relative to surgery on the retina deep within the eye, although disaster can occur and the retina can be hurt if the surgeon isn't careful. Have you ever read the many shocking comments from sites that covers LASIK surgery? While so many benefit from that, there are too many who are living a nightmare after LASIK and many who commit suicide. I understand too well how they feel. I am glad for you that you were able to regain the life you had.
Helpful - 0
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