Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Lighter Shade Of Pale...

I had my neuro appointment on Thursday as well as an MRI (no, that picture is NOT of my brain/optic nerves). I was told my optic nerves are "paling", and not in a Sarah-from-Alaska sort of way. There were questions about my vision and whether or not I've ever had optic neuritis (O.N.)...unless I can count this episode early last year when I was mysteriously diagnosed with "migraines"...which I've never experienced again...I don't *think* I've ever had O.N. My vision HAS changed over the past year, leaving colors somewhat muted and gray-ish. And, of course as is typical for most MSer's, whenever I get overheated, my vision blurs significantly...returning to baseline vision once I cool down. Insignificant in the big picture in my opinion.

For two days now, I've had that song, "A Lighter Shade Of Pale", earworming around in my head as sung by Annie Lennox. My brain has a funny way of managing the idea of potential blindness...thank goodness my sense of humor has not *paled*...



(mic) Ummm (tap tap tap) Ok, this thing's on.

Ms.Cheese, Upon reading your description of the "migraine" and your favorite NP, I believe that you indeed experienced an episode of Optic Neuritis.

A muting of colors - classic ON aftereffects. The overheated blurry vision - only happens to folks whose optic nerves have been effected by the misguided T-cells.

I've had optic neuritis at least once in each eye. There's a painting I have which has some pink mixed in with the white clouds. That's my barometer as to how my color vision is doing. If I lose the pink in one eye or the other, I know that ON is revisiting.

And paling optic nerve - need you say more?

Jen said...

I have not yet experienced the joys of optic neuritis.

Miss Chris said...

I can't imagine your sense of humor ever paling. And thank God for that!

Bubbie said...

There are worse tunes to worm around your ears. I like that one. But the prospect of potential blindness is not something I like to think about. I see a neuro-opthomologist every 6 months. I just saw her again last week. She keeps a close watch on my optic nerves. I flunk the color tests, and I can live with that, as long as I can see. She gives me a steroid eye drop to use whenever I feel pain or visual disturbances. At least I feel there is someone proactive about my sight.

Becky said...

I think you will have many readers with that song in their minds now.....

Anonymous said...

Nothing against your neuro, Linda but it is probably best to see a neuro-opthamologist. Medicine is so specialized these days and for that I am thankful because one doc does not see all.

I like Lisa's barometer (geez, she has one for everything...fundraisers, vision, etc.) Anything in Seattle changing colors this time of year to use as a color barometer for your ON? TV's don't count.

have myelin said...

I'm as white as Snow White and my optic nerve in my right eye is "pale" too.

I guess it matches the rest of moi.

I've had the pleasure of having ON several times. Nothing like seeing yellow turn to beige...kind of like an interesting biological painting of the world at work.

I'd just rather not be the artist.

Merelyme said...

Your optic nerves are paling? Did they give you go on than this? Is this the same as being told that there is an enhancement on a lesion? I was told that when I was having some optical neuritis. Very interesting.

Was just reading about optical neuritis and they say it is very rare for us MSers to go blind or anything. The MS just toys with us. the late rossana dana used to say: "If it is not one thing its another."

Let's all the next body part to be affected by MS.

Good to see you...hope your eye troubles go away soon.

Michelle said...

Here's sending out hope that sight does not leave, though dim it may become for you or us, because we so enjoy reading your posts and the great pics you always find to accompany them. I love that version of "Lighter Shade of Pale" by Annie Lennox. What a voice.

I've created a new Haiga Gallery in my brain. Hope you'll stop by when you get a chance.

Stay inspired!
Expand your mind ~ visit Brain Angles

Spaz Attack said...

Well, not to melt your cheese but I do have a friend whose completly lost vision in one eye and the other is questionable, and yes, it's due to MS. Isn't there some new neuro=optho machine to test optic nerve inthe Seattle arena? You always balk at listening to your neuro, and then get scared so follow her advice anywhere. IF there is anything can be done to ward off potential blindness JUST do it, OK you little stubborn arse??? Plus, you can enjoy the shocked expression on your neuro's face when you actually follow her advice, ya little numbskull (LOL)

Jaime said...

I have had ON once and that was enough for me. Not only is it just an incovient thing to have, but the steroids as well all know are just not fun.

So, I too had an appointment with my neuro on Thursday....must have just missed you! lol

Anyway, just wanted to stop in and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Lanette said...

I've had ON as my initial MS Diagnosis and I had double vision, blurry, colorless for sometime until after I was done with my IVSM. I was an Ophthalmic Technician about 13 years ago and I know what a normal optic nerve looks like vs. a pale one. Your nerve literally looses some of the color from all the blood vessels that give it that pink color (when looking through a slit lamp). May I recommend the following book -

It is expensive, but, when I lived in Philadelphia, Dr. Steven Galetta was my Neuro-Ophthamologist and he was amazing. I purchased this book because he was the author and I had so much faith in his knowledge and intelligence on the subject. I haven't had another flare of ON since 2003 and hopefully I won't again. I wish you the best.

Jenn Van Massenhoven said...


I've been having the eye pain for over two years. They've been cheerily diagnosed as "Optical migraines" but since they've been getting worse (And are easily triggered by things like, say, that damn white chair sitting in the sun on the deck... Why do we own WHITE chairs that reflect the sun like that??) I've been pushing for more help.

At my annual optometrist check up, she decided to send me to an ophthalmologist. He said my eyes look good "but your optic nerves are paling; it's something seen in MS a lot."


So he ordered my GP to order an MRI. Got one in three weeks, which is a miracle, and then had a massive, dry heaving panic attack in the radiology waiting room and now I have to reschedule.

I'm kind of nervous. It looks like the O.N. you're talking about (multiple yous) is a temporary thing. I did get a break in the migraines for a couple of weeks this spring but I've been having them almost daily for most of the last 2 years.

This sucks. I'm glad to see (ha!) I'm not alone though.