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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      Greetings All,

      I just really noticed I am about 20 messages behind answering the mail.
      I am having a hard time seeing out of my right eye right now so my time
      on the computer is in short stints. I will try and answer some of the
      questions here.

      Graves patients need to have their eyes checked for dry spots often.
      Indications that there are dry spots on you eyes are excessive tearing and
      burning. The doc will put numbing drops in your eyes and then put in a dye.
      They then look at your eye with a blue light. The dye sticks to the dry
      spots and shows up as a bright orange dot. The doc keeps track of the dry
      spots and how long they have been there. If they are on the white of the eye
      they are an inconvience. If they are on the cornea (like mine) it is more
      problematic. The cornea gets dry and prone to infection. The dry spot also
      has a tendance to pucker the cornea causing pain and vision problems.
      Treatment is packing the eye (done that last month) and using lubricant on
      the eye during the day (doing that now). They are talking about putting a
      special contact in my eye next week to keep the cornea wet and let it heal.

      Glocoma checks. You should have routine glocoma checks. An increase in
      pressure is an indication of the eye muscles swelling. Pre orbital decompression
      my pressures were 22 to 23. After decompression they dropped to 12 and 15.
      My pressures are back up to 26 and 25. This is not so bad since the eye
      sockets have been removed. The eye muscles can swell into the sinus cavity
      and my double vision probably will not get worse. I will probable have to
      start on glocoma eye drops.

      Stress. A major problem with Graves. One point I make to the new folks
      in the support group is the majority of people who get Graves do not have
      any additional problems after radiation. Only a small percentage continue
      to have problems. Stress reduction or a change in lifestyle is in order.
      Meditation, herbs, alternative processes are to be used only in conjunction
      with what your doctor prescribes. There is evidance that meditation and
      alternative methods do help to some extent. Counseling is also a major plus
      to this disease. In that I mean that counseling if done with someone who
      understands cronic illness can help you and your family understand what is
      going on inside your body and mind. Understanding it makes it easier to
      handle. See previous post on our guy in Maine who does the alternative
      approach to Graves.

      Skin problems. Never had this problem but most of the women in my group
      have and most of my information on this has came from Nancy Patterson our
      director. Cortizone cream helps and it has the added benifit of helping the
      eyes. We have some bullitens on this subject. Sorry I am not much help here.

      Sorry to hear your mom has cancer. My dad was diagnosed with terminal
      cancer last November. We went home prior to his chemo and radiation to spend
      time with him before he got sick. After three months of radiation and four
      rounds of chemo he is in remission and doing well. Keep the faith. The doc
      said dad would be dead in six months and now they are saying he has a full
      life ahead of him (he is 71). The doc said dad’s mental attitude had every
      thing to do with it. We need to have a good mental attitude as well. It
      has everything to do with how we feel. Like I said some days are bolder
      days. Yesterday was one for me. I was really bummed after the vist to the
      doc. It’s OK to grieve, cry, yell, scream at the world once in a while. Its
      good stress relief as long as your family and friends know it is not directed
      at them.

      If you are new to Graves hang in there. The disease can be a tough little
      bastard and it can take over your life if you let it. Don’t let it! Talk to
      us and let us know haw things are going. We have been there and know what you
      are going through. We can make this part of your life easier because we can
      help you understand it. Once you understand something it is not so scary.

      I am having a hard time seeing now so I will sign off. Thanks for your
      support. By the way Diane. My eye pictures are on the way from Miami. I
      will get them to you when I have copies made. I also have an article I
      wrote on Graves disease (a Patient’s eye view). I will e-mail the file to you.
      Please put it on your home page if you wish.

      Jake George
      NGDF support Group

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