Gold is one of the things I want and need more than anything else in the world. To me gold represents a stable income, a way to pay the bills, a means of keeping myself alive. Clearly, gold is taking on a bit more of a metaphor place, more symbolic than anything else, in my mind. Or is it? I have been on the trail of laying out a functional health plan for Plaquenil (Hydroxychloriquine) toxicity. The path of this Functional Health crossed suddenly and pleasantly with another area I did not realise I could improve on. A new prospective Functional Health Plan.

Functional Health Plan Meets Regular Health Upkeep

I see my optometrist regularly for the usual eye health checks that one with poor eyesight has. Here I confirmed that I had exceeded my Plaquenil toxicity limit and wasn’t sure what to do. As per my Functional Health Plan, all relevant medical specialists need to be kept updated on this fact and aware of ensuing steps. The optometrist agreed that I need a ‘baseline test’ to measure how healthy my eyes are currently. These tests could not be undertaken by him, so I was referred to my Ophthamologist.

***Plaquenil Toxicity is a serious and irreversible condition. Loosely in laymen’s terms, the flesh of the eye, I think, becomes thin, and develops from ‘holes’ of blindness in vision to full-blown sightlessness. It occurs in the body once the individual has consumed past a specified amount of the drug. As much as the threat of being blind is horrific, if I stop this medication my body develops open wounds or lesions in such a way it almost appears to be eating itself. My Functional Eye Health Plan is such that, once the safe level has been exceeded I will stay on the treatment. But, if I feel my eyesight is being affected, I will stop immediately. At this stage it is too risky to start to play around with another medication on a future chance occurrence, my other treatments still aren’t stable enough yet. ***


Meanwhile, At the Ophthamologist

Of all my specialists, I enjoy saying that word the most. I’ve been to this guy before, at the very beginning. I couldn’t recall what was said, but I felt good things going back. All the usual eye tests were done before we sat down to chat about what was there, what had changed and what was going to happen next. The first thing the doctor did was tell me off. Can you believe it! He asked why I hadn’t done what we spoke about during my last visit. Of course, I couldn’t remember and mum, the walking diary that she is, was not present to say. Apparently, I had been referred to a specialist back in 2013. This person was going to operate on my right eyelid in some way and this would make it close. Well, when I blinked at the very least. I was so excited to hear about this opportunity and yet confused. I cannot recall this option being mentioned to me. Sure, I kind of recognised the name of the specialist who was able to do this. But I feel like I have seen most of the medical specialists in Perth at this point, so this is nothing new. Talk of a gold bar though? That was new!

Gold bars and My Eyes

The Ophthamologist elaborated a small amount more about the surgery. When I say a small amount, I mean he said, “You know, they put the gold bar in your eyelid and the weight causes it to drop.” Yep. Unfamiliar territory bud. In my mind I imagined the weight would go just above the lashes in the lid. Horribly detailed diagrams on the internet show in great detail how wrong I am. A small piece of gold is embedded into the eyelid. This does not make your lid droop at all. It is there because eyelids do not have abducting and adducting muscles, nerves or ‘pulley-style-thingys’. By implanting a gold weight in the lid, then it will cause the lid to drop completely when I blink. The lid will only drop then because the motion has been started by the rest of the facial flesh.


What is Wrong With My Eye?

Nothing is wrong, but a lot is not right. It is the lid that is being difficult. I have Bell’s Palsy. A type of paralysis of on part of the face, often thought to be caused by a very tiny stroke-like event. But no one really knows so yeah. My forehead is also a little bit paralysed, but you can’t see that unless I tell you. The tricky thing with me is that I appear to have had this event occur twice to me. Once on each side. I’m. Just. That. Lucky. Consequently, my right eye does not close all the way. I have a strong muscle to bring the lid up, but there is not strong muscles, nerve or tendon to bring it fully closed. As there is nothing to pull the lid completely closed, when it drops down, it only goes as far as gravity allows and at a pace my lazy body supports. I have lived this way for 10 years. The other eye is the more noticeable one ironically. My body has overworked itself as it has tried to recover. It pulls the left eye down too far, too fast, too often. It actually looks like the lazy eye, the one that is ‘wrong’. As the right eye is the one that isn’t closing, it is the unhealthy one that needs to be fixed. My right eyeball can never fully moisturise itself, is constantly drying out and rolls back in my head to protect it from dust and wind. The gold bar is hoped to help me from losing sight or getting damage on this dry eye.


So, Will I Get Me Some Gold?

The prospect of a closed eye is too good. At the moment, my right eye is never completely closed. Part of the eye is always exposed to the outide world. I cannot be in air conditioning or under a fan for too long. I have to use artificial moisturisers and drops to protect my cornea. When the eyelid closes it runs moisture across the eyeball. This helps the muscles of the eye move as they contract and expand, enabling us to see near and far. The longer I go with a dry eyeball, that cannot care for itself easily, the quicker my eyesight is deteriorating. Not only am I at risk of Plaquenil Toxicity, I’m at risk of Bell’s partial blindness. Yes, this operation does appeal to me. I have looked at the pictures and I shouldn’t have done that. I don’t like the icky images of a cut open eyelid. You can see them here if you want. I guess (?) they use gold because of airport machines etc. I don’t even care about a scar. It is embarrassing winking at old men in Bunnings as you are paying for mulch and sandpaper. I’ll take a scar over that any day. I said before that I am hoping for some financial improvements as I feel this may cost a bit. I will scrounge around in my think-tank to see what I can come up with. But I do really like this idea. I think I will get me some gold.

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