I’m vain. There, I said it. I show excessive concern for my appearance. And this excessive concern has gone straight to my head. In particular my eyes.
My eyes look like Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
See the bloodshot resemblance? Um, ya.
I was recently diagnosed with what the doctors believe to be Sjogren’s Syndrome. That’s just a fancy way of saying that my immune system is in overdrive again (Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disease, like Crohn’s disease which I’ve had for 26 years), and it’s attacking the glands that make natural lubricants for my eyes (and other various body parts, but we wont go there). Not enough tears = red, painful eyes. Nice, huh?
I can deal with the painful. I’ve had 14 major surgeries, intestinal blockages, hernias and abdominal pain that rivals childbirth. A little burning in the eyes doesn’t phase me. However, looking like I have perpetual pink-eye does bother me. A lot.
See, as far as looks go – I’ve always felt like if I had anything going for me, it was a pretty face. I’ve always struggled with my weight, and coupled with having an ostomy, I knew my body was never going to be swimsuit model caliber. And I was ok with that. Don’t like my thighs? No worries – I could cover them up.
But I can’t cover up my eyes. Sunglass-wearing indoors, especially in winter, makes one look a little ridiculous. Every day I’m forced to go somewhere, even if it’s just to school to drop off and pick up Jaidin, where people see my blood-red eyes. I don’t know what they’re thinking – maybe that I’ve got a bad marijuana habit, maybe that I drink to much, maybe that I should get that nasty case of pink eye looked at – who knows. And it shouldn’t bother me what anyone thinks. I mean seriously, you’d think after living 20 years with a pouch full of poo on my side, I’d kind of be over the whole self-confidence thing. And I thought I was.
Until my eyes started looking like cyclops.
I’ve tried all the traditional treatments. Eye drops, eye gel, Restasis, steroids, you name it, and I’m going through Visine like it’s nobody’s business. Nothing’s working. I’m beyond frustrated. Once again my body has failed me.
So there you have it, my confession. And as a mediocre DC Talk song once said – confession is the road to healing. So please, Lord, heal my eyes….