Thursday, February 5, 2009


Well, the ophthalmologist confirmed it today. I have Uveitis again. For those who don't know (or don't want to look it up)....

  • Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, which is the vascular layer of the eye sandwiched between the retina and the white of the eye (sclera).
  • Uveitis is estimated to be responsible for approximately 10% of the blindness in the United States.
  • Myriad conditions can lead to the development of uveitis, including systemic diseases as well as syndromes confined to the eye.
  • In anterior uveitis, no specific diagnosis is made in approximately one-half of cases.
More or less, my body is attacking my eye. It pulls little pieces off and tries to destroy them (thinking they are foreign matter). I have a lot of 'floaters' because of this and it is not the most comfortable experience.

The good news is that I caught it early, so I only have to be on the steroid eye drop and not the dilating one (which I hate) so that is a good thing. The bad news is that after lots of blood tests, CT scans, and X-Rays over the past few months they can not find any underlying cause. This first showed up when I was 20 years old and I have had it at least once a year since then (sometimes two to three times-each episode lasting 6-12 weeks). It is painful and my eyes become very light sensitive as well as extremely red. My pupils won't dilate like they should and often are two different sizes. The Uveitis can cause your pupil to adhere to the eye thus the need for the dilating drop. This is the first time that I have not had to use the dilating drop, so I guess I am getting better at self diagnosing! Yea....I think. I did find out today that my eye has permanent damage from this, but luckily that damage doesn't affect my vision.

In the quest to find some cause of the Uveitis, a CT showed several spots on my lungs (I mentioned these in a previous post---click here). So, I guess the testing paid off. I wouldn't have found out about these spots if it weren't for the Uveitis. I did recently meet with a pulmonologist, but of course he had no more information about these spots than anyone else did. The spots are tiny. One is 4mm and the other, 5mm. Both are in the same lobe, but because of their size would be impossible to biopsy. He gave me two options...crack my chest open, remove part of my lung, and attempt to find the masses OR wait 6 months and have another CT to see if there was any change. I, of course, chose the latter. I just hate waiting.

On a lighter note...I leave you with these photos. I was laying with Adalynn on the couch (our normal afternoon napping/Oprah watching location) and told her to close her eyes and go to sleep. This is what I got! Priceless!


  1. Wow, Shannon, that's a lot for you to take in I'm sure, the eye and the lung! Know that we're here if you need anything, (that is, anything that can be accomplished from the other side of the country!) My Grandpa is having surgery soon to remove a lobe of his lung because of a mass. That's why he was in the hospital recently, they tried to biopsy it and collapsed his lung, so they're just going to remove it. Hopefully this will not be the case with you . . .

    Thinking of you! Oh, and those shots of Adalynn are great, what a ham! I love it!

  2. There's that little Adalynn smile that I saw so much of today!! She is such a cutie .. thanks for coming to lunch!

    I was wondering how your appt went, thanks for the update.

  3. You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks as you treat this condition. Hopefully they can find out the underlying reason so they can prevent it in the future. Love the pictures, too cute.

  4. Could you have a more dramatic winter??? Sheesh. I'm so sorry. I really hope they find the cause - it must be so frustrating that it keeps returning. Lucky for your vision, though! I will be thinking of you.

    LOVE that last picture of Adalynn!! And the ones of her fingers up almost looks like she's flipping you the bird!! Oops! Like, "This is what I think of your nap idea!" (heehee)

  5. Shannon,
    We'll be praying that all goes well and that you are healed completely.

    Thanks for asking about the domestic adoption thing. The answer to how long it takes is-it depends on so many factors that nobody can say. With Ben, we had him in our arms only two and a half weeks after sending out our family profile. But, on the other hand, since birthmoms choose the parents, we know people who have waited for literally years. We're trusting God to lead us where He wants us to go. And we haven't totally dismissed the thought of another international adoption at some point...

  6. Hey, I guess I don't have your e-mail address! When you comment on my page, it just says, "No-reply comment." Can you e-mail me your e-mail? It's heather@heather-chad.net. : ) And hey, I just noticed your little sidebar photos!!! Those are super cute!