I Could Not Make This S**t Up!


It’s been 71 days since I had my eyes checked (for the second time) following my Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) diagnosis, in November, 2017.

The first exam took place on January 25th, and at that time I was given a ‘thumbs up,’  but the ophthalmologist said she wanted to see me in six months, versus the usual one year.

“No problemo,” I said, “see you then…”

At my second appointment, in August, I was told that there had been no significant changes and both my long and short vision prescription needs, had remained the same.

The ophthalmologist did however, casually mention, that I “might be” showing the very “beginning signs” of cataracts, but nothing to worry about, we’d keep an eye on it and I should come back in a year.

Prednisone/Prednisolone (both powerful corticosteroids) are the only treatment for GCA; and unfortunately, one of the many horrible and more hideous side effects of them, is that one can (prematurely) development cataracts.  So although this wasn’t great news, it was only a possibility and it was something I had been forewarned about and had researched throughly.

I would cross that bridge when (if ) I got to it.

So…  why/how did I end up at eye doctor’s today for a third appointment, in less than a year?  Great question… I’m glad you asked!”  

About 6 months ago, I contributed to a Kickstarter campaign. If the project was successful, I would receive two pair of cool, funky, high quality frames (with my specific prescriptions in them) made in France, for a £129 investment!  (Of course, if the project didn’t go well,  I could lose my £129, but that was a risk I was willing to take.)  These young, cool, ambitious entrepreneurs had some totally cool and unique eyewear designs and I wanted in, on the Ground Floor.

It took forever, but the glasses finally arrived last week!  I was thrilled. They were/are as cool and unique as I had hoped; and a very high quality, I might add!  However, much to my dismay, when I tried them on, everything was blurry and not quite right.

“Damn… can nothing ever go smoothly for me?”  classic WTF moment.

Okay, no worries.  Spending £129 on two pair of high quality, stylish frames is still a good deal! Right?

So I took the new glasses to my opticians, last week, and asked that they remove these obviously “inferior French lenses,” and replace them with some good old MADE IN BRITAIN, lenses.  “Why yes,” of course they could!  Especially being English, and having no particular fondness for anything French, it would be their “pleasure!”

I went in this past Tuesday to pick up my new cool, trendy glasses and again much to my dismay; when I tried on the long distance glasses and looked out the window, I could not read the shop sign across the road; it was blurry and out of focus!


The reading glasses seemed fine, for the second I had them on, but in all honestly, I was so upset about the distance prescription, I wasn’t really paying much attention.

The guy behind the counter insisted the prescription was correct and perhaps I just needed time to adjust to the newly made lenses and new frames.  (Hmmm? Sounds like a crock of shit to me… but okay!)  I reluctantly agreed to give them a go, but I would be back if things did not improve.

Wednesday night, I pulled out my old long distance glasses, while watching the telly; I usually wear them at the cinema, or theatre, but I forget to wear them when I’m just watching telly.


WTF?  Drink some wine and go to bed… all will be well in the morning.

Yesterday, while working on a different rant, I noticed that I was having to pull my  laptop closer and closer to my face, in order to see what I was typing.


I immediately called and made an emergency appointment, for today, with the ophthalmologist.

Well… you can imagine my fucking surprise (71 days after my last eye exam) when I was told that:

A.)  It is not a brain tumour, and

B.) the Prednisolone is definitely taking a toll on my eyes and the cataracts are  developing much more quickly than anticipated.

So quickly, in fact, they have effected my vision and changed both my long and short vision prescription needs in just 71 fucking days!!!


The problem can be corrected by changing both of my prescriptions, but there is no guarantee that in another 2, 3, 4 months my vision won’t be worse again and require another prescription change!

The degree of my cataract development does not yet meet the minimum requirement to be corrected on the NHS, but I can splash out £2,000 and have the surgery done privately, sooner rather than later, if I so choose!

*sigh*  “Give me a fucking break!” 

For now… I opted to change my lenses and was pleasantly surprised when my opticians, (Bromptons) offered to do that free of charge, since I had just paid them on Tuesday, for two new sets of lenses!

Wow!  “Thank you Bromptoms.” 

So next Tuesday, I will pick up my new glasses, with my new prescription lenses; and I will hopefully be able to see…  far and close, until the cataracts get worse…

Seriously, I could not make this s**t up!!!!!

{NOTE: GCA, untreated, can and will cause permanent blindness; so it’s extremely important to have your eyes checked regularly and report any changes, immediately.)



  1. Same here. I’ve also had concretions, clogged oil ducts, corneal edema and severe dry eyes.
    Eye doc said it’s due to autoimmune diseases across the board, not pred. I disagree although he’s pretty smart.
    I’m now close to cataract surgery. Before pred and pmr 2 years ago I wore the mildest of reading glasses. I feel your pain. Truly.


  2. I feel your pain, especially as I have to put the steroid drops in my eye everyday which makes the cataract worse but I can’t stop the drops as I have to be “iritis” free for 3 months before cataract surgery and that requires the drops! Light at the end of the tunnel, see doc on Tues, surgery scheduled for the 14th and even with insurance I still have to pay over $3000 because cataract is so dense it requires a special laser not covered by insurance. So steroids made it worse, longer and dense but I have to pay more because they were necessary for the iritis treatment! Good luck, this all sucks! Side note, in the ER waiting on an MRI on Barry’s head from fall in Italy. Has been having some vision and balance issues so doc wants lots of tests. Will keep you informed when we get some answers💋


  3. Mamici-
    I just can’t believe it. Each week is a new issue! I am so sorry you are going through this cataract issue but relieved you are on top of it and will have new glasses early next week.

    Hang in there and hope you are feeling better!

    Ps waiting for MRI results/ hoping they didn’t find anything that doesn’t belong😲. Just was adjusted up to 80 mg of prednisone after relapse on first taper to 50 from 60 and I am now on Actemra- one shot so far have not noticed any change other than headache is led today it I think that is from the Valium for claustrophobia for MRI….otherwise at 80 mg of prednisone my legs and arms are like jelly.

    Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary Kay! I hope MRI results are
      lacklustre! Yup, When I went from 60 to 40, and thought I would die. Had to go up to 80 and start all over again, such a pain in the ass!!!!! Damn, I am so sorry to hear about your flare… let me know about MRI results! Good luck!!!! xxx


  4. The only time I ever paid privately for medical treatment was 6 years ago when I had my lenses replaced at the Optegra eye hospital in north London (they have hospitals all over the country). I had quite a bad cataract in my left eye and a smaller one in the right eye. They gave me ‘bespoke’ lenses and for the first time in my life aged 61 I had 20/20 vision. It cost nearly £3,500 per eye but it was well worth it. I had my eyes checked by an optometrist last Tuesday and she said I still don’t need glasses. Eventually I might need a pair of non-prescription reading glasses. As for the cost, I needed a new prescription every year with top quality bifocals costing at least £400, so I worked out that if I lived for 17 years, I would break even – so 11 years to go. Really though that doesn’t matter. I just think it was one of the best decisions of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you marijo1951, Good to know… I will have it done, eventually… it was just the news that after 71 days my eyesight had changed so drastically, that rocked me!!!! Cheers!


  5. Dear Melissa. So sorry to hear this latest trauma and you were doing so well. You have a gift for writing about horrendous experiences in a very amusing way. WTF indeed. Sending you a great big hug. xx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s