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Kimmiepie 07-14-2008 10:13 PM

I hope this doesn't get too long, but it needs a little background.

When I was pregnant with ds2 I began having a bunch of weird neurological problems. I developed a pressure behind my left ear, eye, head and sinus area. I began having extreme dizzy spells where I had to hold on to things all the time....twitches in various muscles, tingling in the left head area, and weird eye problems...flashing lights in my peripheral vision, tons of floaters, pain and burning in the left eye and this weird white light that would "move" across my vision every once and a while.

The dr ran basic tests but would not give me an MRI until after he was born. Finally had it done (twice, once with contrast) and everything was normal. I went to an opthamologist and everything was fine there too. I had so much bloodwork and appts it was insane, and all they could say was "anxiety."

It took me until this year to realize that I had a flu shot when pregnant with ds2, and shortly thereafter the symptoms started. Well, a little less than a year after his birth the symptoms slowly went away.

Fast forward to now. I am 11 weeks pregnant. I began having that weird pressure behind the left ear, sinus, and eye thing well as some dizzy spells (different than blood pressure/pregnancy spells) and burning in the eye. The part that has me freaked out is that I have a new symptom. In that same eye (as of a few days ago) I have a black or greyish "spot" that I see very clearly when my right eye is closed and when I look straight ahead I can see it out to the left a tiny bit. It's only in my left eye. When it's there I can't see through it very well, it's kind of like a "blind spot". When I was outside, or when my eyes are closed, I noticed it's kind of a flashy circle instead.

At first I thought ocular migraine because I have had those, and I tend to get a lot of headaches on the left side when I am pregnant. But the spot has been there for 4 days now and has not gone away at all. I'm starting to freak out about really scary things like retinal detachment...or a tumor or something!

I want to see an opthamologist but I have no insurance for a few more weeks and we are broke. Part of me says to stay calm because I had weird things happen last pregnancy and maybe whatever that shot did to my nervous system is aggrivated by hormones/pregnancy. I just don't want to ignore it and it be something serious.

I looked online and found two things that seem to happen in pregnancy that it could be that are benign but I don't know. They are central serous retinopathy and optic neuropathy.

Has anyone experienced this eye problem before (just the "spot" not the other things I've had before)? What should I do?

BookGoddess 07-14-2008 11:19 PM

I had a bad reaction to the flu shot the one time I had it several years ago. I developed random muscle twitching all over my body. It's a frightening symptom to Google. I wouldn't recommend it. After seeing two neurologists and having a whole bunch of tests I know it's not anything serious or fatal. The best they could tell me was to take extra B-vitamins and magnesium. What I really think happened is this - the flu shot I got had mercury in it as a preservative and that mercury in combination with the mercury in my dental amalgams affected me.

I really don't know what to say about the eye problem you're experiencing. It sounds like you're under a lot of stress.

Is there a free clinic or a low-cost clinic you could go to? Do you need help finding such a place?

lastrid 07-15-2008 12:35 AM

You could go see an optometrist (much cheaper usually) who could refer you to an opthamologist if necessary. I wouldn't fool around with a spot like that. I used to work in the Walmart Vision Center, and the doctors there were remarkably good. Ask whomever you talk to (wherever you might go) how long the doctor spends with each patient. The longer the better. You don't want to go to someone who cranks people through every fifteen minutes. A half hour or more is much more appropriate.

Kimmiepie 07-15-2008 12:11 PM


I have an appt with the opthamologist this afternoon. She thought it was urgent enough to see me today, so now I'm really freaked.

The good news is that it is only going to cost $84 because they're not going to do the regular glasses exam or whatever it is.

I'll update when I have the results.

Kimmiepie 07-15-2008 07:05 PM

Well I went. The guy was *very* nice which is unusual in my experience with doctors. lol

He diagnosed it as some word I can't remember, but basically "swelling of the optic nerve". He said circulation looks good, no clots, everything else looks great. He said he's not worried about brain tumor etc. because of the way the nerve is connected to the brain it would be both eyes (unless it was a tumor behind the eye and it's not). I'll need to have my midwife check my blood pressure on Friday (she always does anyway) to make sure it's not high because that could cause it, as well as check urine because diabetes could as well.

He said it could be a number of benign things. Sinus problems, pregnancy, and 100 other things. He said it should correct itself, but if it doesn't or gets worse to come back in 4 weeks. The worst case scenario he said would be MS. I doubt that though because I had two MRI's less than 2 years ago for that, and they were all clear. Of course it could have developed since then, but I have no other symptoms and I am not going to worry about that at this point.

I feel much relieved, and just hope it goes away soon. Thanks so much for the replies.

ETA: When the nurse noticed this was my fourth child she was a bit shocked. Then she started asking me about when the last time I saw my OB was and I told her I was seeing a midwife, and that I was seeing her Friday. She went "Oh, she comes to your house?" I said yes. Then she says "What, you're going to have the baby there too?" I said yes. She said "Why????" The look on her face was priceless. That was my first experience with a homebirth reaction.

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