Haunted by Chronic Pain

It is turning out to be a pretty crazy month this October. There are lots of powerful energies whizzing around, and although I am not an astrologer, I understand that it is somewhat connected to the stars and planetary alignments at the moment. The 2012 shift is well and truly showing its power. People around me are dealing with recurring health problems, emotional and relationship issues, and lots of upheaval and change.

Traditionally this is the time of year when we collect in the harvest and prepare to wind down for the winter rest. As we approach Samhain, or Halloween as it is more commonly recognized, we begin to remember those who have passed, and we slow down our bodies and enter a kind of hibernation. Well, this is how it used to be in the time before society became a non-stop institution.


I have recently had a relapse of a chronic pain condition that has blighted me for all my life. It is a congenital eye defect called Lymphodoema Distichiasis (ingrowing eyelashes). Basically I have two rows of eyelashes in both eyes, and one grows on the inside of my eyelids. I am left with a constant sensation of grit in my eyes, I have scars as a result of years of surgery and various treatments, and I also have associated Dry Eye Syndrome and Blepharitis. My eyes simply do not produce enough tears to keep them clean and hydrated. It leaves me feeling very grumpy and frustrated when I apply eyedrops and almost immediately they dry up and I am back at square one.

Anyway, I had been managing this condition quite well, and had not had any serious diffulties for about six months. I use eyedrops several times a day and every night I apply a thick, gloopy ointment which soothes my eyes and stops them from becoming inflamed and more painful. When my eyelashes grow back in, I pluck them out with tweezers. And I am a regular outpatient with the Royal Manchester Eye Hospital.

About two weeks ago I was in agony. My eyes were full of lashes that I couldn’t pull out because they were too fine, or too small, or I simply couldn’t grip them with the tweezers. I was not producing enough tears and my eyedrops weren’t sufficient. The pain was excruciating. Not only was I experiencing stabbing pains in both eyes, but they were gritty, dry, and the skin around them became red raw as it was inflamed.


Where did this come from? I have been running through a tumult of emotions while I deal with this situation. I have been on the phone to the hospital trying to arrange an appointment with an appropriate doctor (so far unsuccessful). I have tried going to bed early, not spending so much time on the computer, not driving, not reading. In fact, I had to reduce all of the things that I enjoy doing. I went mad! I feel angry and frustrated, and so confused about how I can actually stop this situation from recurring.

The doctors have done all they can. I have had surgery over many years, through my childhood and beyond. I use prescription medicines. I rarely wear make-up and I avoid situations that I know from experience make my eyes worse. I wear sunglasses every day, even when the sun isn’t out, because I am so light sensitive.

All that is left, is for me to figure out why I chose this particular experience in this lifetime. There is some divine reason for my rare eye condition. I have yet to truly understand the lesson and the journey, but I intend to find out and put an end to it once and for all. This is 2012. This is the year to Sort It Out!

Mummy Mondays SpookyMrsGreen

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About SpookyMrsGreen

SpookyMrsGreen: Mindful parenting and modern pagan lifestyle. See my blog for exclusive special offers, discount codes, health advice, eco-friendly tips, book reviews and more! Search #TheRedcliffeNovels and meet the vampires and werewolves of Cornwall, England.
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11 Responses to Haunted by Chronic Pain

  1. scskillman says:

    Catherine, I am so sorry to hear about this painful eye condition. I too suffered from an unpleasant eye condition in the last two years, which was dealt with by surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. You may feel you have explored all the options but have you considered getting a referral to Moorfields, as they have a reputation as the best eye hospital in the UK? Will pray for you too, for your healing.

    • Hi Sheila, thanks and no, I haven’t had Moorfields suggested to me yet. I will ask my doctor when I do finally get my appointment in Manchester. I find that they get very, um, possessive when I suggest trying somewhere or something different. They say they are determined to sort me out, but so far have been unsuccessful…

  2. oscarsparrow says:

    My sympathy will not help I know but you do have it most sincerely. Always enjoy your unique blogs.

    • Thank you Oscar, it actually does help. I have spent all my life pretending that I can cope with this, and have only really shared the pain and frustration with my close family and friends. I tell myself that at least I can still function and have a ‘normal’ life, but in truth I cannot. I have decided to step out of the shadows so to speak, and try to find someone or something else that could help improve it. And thank you for reading my blogs!

  3. I’m very sorry to hear about your eye problems Catherine. I have never suffered from anything of the like myself, but my sister has had numerous problems with her eyes and I have seen how draining it can be.

    Hopefully you will pick up soon.

    Thinking of you.

    • Thanks Alex. It comes and goes, which is part of the problem I think. By the time I get my hospital appointment, the doctors don’t see me at my worst, so they dismiss me as just another regular patient. The very few occasions that I went to A&E were unsuccessful because I was only sent home with referrals back to whichever hospital was treating me at the time. No-one seems to know what to do with me! But hey, at least I get plenty of time for writing inspiration when I’m sat in waiting rooms or lying in bed with eyes full of ointment! Thank goodness for an active imagination and a vocal Muse…

  4. e1aine says:

    I have heard of this (or similar) condition but never realised just how bad it could be. Pain in the eyes must be one of the worst..
    I’m thinking of you my friend, I hope they can do something to help soon.

    • Thank you Elaine, I am surprised you know of it, most doctors I have seen had never witnessed it before! We recently had to get my daughter checked out because I carry a recessive gene, and I had to explain what the paediatrician should look for. Fortunately she seems healthy and unaffected.

  5. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge – Living with Chronic Pain | Spookymrsgreen's Blog

  6. Bill says:

    That sounds like a permanent version of Arc eye which you can get when welding and I have had a couple of times. The feeling sand under the lids is worst part but unlike you it also makes your eyes water and you can hardly open your eyes. Lucky it only around a day unlike your affliction which is permanent from the sound of things. I can only wish you well and hope things get better for you

    • Thank you, Bill, I hadn’t heard of Arc eye. Well, this is normal for me so I just get on with it most days. It does help to talk about it, though, not quite so lonely ☺

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