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  • jade4427
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      I stumbled onto this website because I’m trying to learn everything I can about Graves Disease. My mother was diagnosed with graves approx. 3 years ago. She has has a host of problems ever since. She has has several eye surgeries. She was told that if she didn’t have the eye surgeries she would eventually go blind. Well after 3 surgeries she is worse than before. I’m looking for insight into this disease becasue I’m beginning to learn that I have under estimated all the emotional upheaval that goes along with this disease. She suffers from depression,anxiety and nervousness. This once very active outgoing happy person has turned into a very depressed recluse. She has become someone that I hardly recognize. I would love to find a support group for her so that she wouldn’t feel so alone. She can’t see well enough to access the web, but maybe I can be the eyes for both of us. Any advice on how best to support my Mom would be greatly appreciated.

        Post count: 1324

        First off, advice could be different if your mother is suffering from the thyroid problems as well as from the eye disease. You spoke exclusively about the eye disease, but when you mentioned depression, anxiety and nervousness, those sound like issues most often associated with thyroid imbalance. So one suggestion is to get those thyroid levels checked if they are not being monitored.

        The eye disease can be devastating. If she is "only" (and I dont’ say that to minimize the problem) suffering from that, the depression might be addressed by seeing a psychiatrist for an evaluation. There are medications some people take (even when their eyes are not involved) to bring back quality of life.

        She needs to know that the eye disease usually burns itself out in 18 months to 3 years, so she might very well be at the end of the horrific part sometime soon. One of the moderators here has had over 16 eye surgeries, so there is familiarity with how awful a siege someone can go through. But there comes a point in time when the bad changes cease, and the problem can be fixed. The folks I know from this board who have had multiple surgeries for the eye disease all look terrific to me. I know they look different than their image of themselves, but the surgeries can work to minimize the distortions caused by the eye muscle enlargment.

        As for something more immediate: if she would tolerate it, take her some comedies to watch on her TV. There was a time when I was feeling very depressed by the disease – its length, the eye complications, etc. — and I put comedy movies on to watch. Everything that made me laugh, made me feel better. I must have watched one moviea dozen times or more. It always made me laugh, and the laughter always made me feel better (both physically and emotionally). It does not trivialize the ordeal to seek out laughter: it is a life saver in my opinion.

        Bobbi –Online Facilitator

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