Tuesday, May 1, 2012

January 2012: Eye Think This Might Be Bad (Living With Cogan's Syndrome)

January 2012:

This month has been so aggravating.  I woke up one day in the beginning of January with what I thought to be Conjunctivitis. Pink Eye, I thought. I’ve never had this before. What the heck? Gross. I had severe pain in my left eye—which would not stop tearing—I could barely look at the light, with a little extra morning gunk protruding out of the corner. My eye was extremely red. I called in sick to work and went to my primary care physician immediately. I had never had pink eye before so I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, my wife, Sarah has had it multiple times, and I never once caught it from her, so this all seemed odd to me.

Based on my description of the symptoms I was experiencing, my doctor believed it to be Conjunctivitis as well. She prescribed me eye drops and I was on my way. Unfortunately, the eye drops didn’t work. I spent a couple of nights in much pain, sprawled out on the couch, with uncontrollable streams flowing from my eyes. It was unbearable. I was pretty sure that the doctor was wrong about my condition. I ended up seeing her two more times—in the meantime, my right eye began to have issues as well—until she finally decided to refer me to an ophthalmologist.

After taking a closer look at my eyes, the ophthalmologist believed me to have Uveitis. He prescribed Prednisone eye drops, which he alleged would bring down the inflammation. I began using the eye drops right away. At first, I noticed slight relief, but not enough to feel comfortable. I decided it would be a good idea to wear an eye patch on my left eye anytime there was a light on, or when outside. This included at work—I work as a teacher’s aide at the daycare at Eastern Connecticut State University—so the kids all decided to call me “The Pirate” upon seeing me and ran like mad.

I spent most of the month like this: wearing an eye patch to work; taking Prednisone whenever my eyes felt like they would burn out of my skull (which was pretty often). Finally, by the end of the month, things are beginning to taper off. The pain isn’t as bad, although it does flare up every once in a while.

Hopefully, February will bring brighter days. Days in which I can actually stand to have a lamp on in my bedroom.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Max. Quite a clever name for this post as well.

  2. Max - Thanks for sharing your story. Blogging and Journaling will be like therapy not just for you but for those of us who are trying to understand. P.S. I'm Chanel's Mom and have been hearing about you and Sara's beautiful story since the days you were all at SUNY New Paltz.

  3. Max, I want to thank you, too, for sharing your experiences with us. For sure I am keeping you in prayer! - Mike Poteet

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  5. I always thought you were a pirate! May your days ahead, be better than your days behind. You're in my thoughts Maxy - Joe