My blood eyedrops finally arrived! Well, blood serum eyedrops to be exact. The proper name is autologous eyedrops, but I’m still getting used to them. There’s some pretty cool science involved but I can’t explain the specifics.
Basically, I met a new ophthalmologist recently and had an emotional breakdown following 10+ years of stress, pain and hard work dealing with my rare congenital condition and treating my severe Dry Eye Syndrome. All my life I have suffered with pain from a double row of eyelashes that grow on the inside of my eyelids, top and bottom. Throughout childhood I endured lots of surgical procedures to remove these eyedrops, along with regular visits to a private consultant using a healthcare scheme from my dad’s employer. When I got to age 16 the company turned me out into the NHS because my condition became classed as “Chronic.” It cannot be cured.
I was quite blasé about my condition through my twenties, using the eyedrops and ointments that were prescribed, visiting the NHS doctors at North Staffordshire hospital and later Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. I met a few consultants who worked on my case, but they eventually passed me back to their teams and throughout my thirties I rarely saw the same doctor twice and my condition continued to deteriorate. When I tried to explain my pain, I was dismissed and told that my eyes were fine, the treatment was working and there was nothing wrong with me.
Then I met my new doctor and transferred to the care of Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust. I have only seen him once officially, but he popped into an appointment I attended for emergency treatment earlier this year. He very quickly decided that we needed to treat the severe Dry Eye Syndrome because he didn’t like the look of the dry patches on both of my eyes. He ordered a referral to NHS Blood and Transplant for me to donate blood so that a specialist team could create bespoke eyedrops using my blood serum.
While the eyedrops took longer to arrive than anticipated and I suffered more stress chasing them up, I can confirm it was worth the wait. My eyes feel a lot better than they were and I am convinced that over time I will feel better still. I am now waiting for a referral to a pain management clinic for further advice and possible treatment, but I feel relieved for finding a doctor that genuinely wants to help. Having someone that believes in your pain really does lift a weight of stress.
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