Speech bubbles float around two people's eyes as they look at each other.

Interview with My Mom about My Chronic Dry Eye

I decided to ask my mom, Ginette (jee-net), about her views of my experience with chronic dry eyes, because she’s been the one to see the evolution through more than 40 years and was with me on so many appointments, from the simple vision checks to the eye surgeries.

She was worried she wouldn’t have much to say, or nothing very interesting. It turns out we had a lot to dig through and I might be biased, but I think reading her thoughts on the matter is very interesting!

Here’s what we talked about while we sat outside in the backyard.

Small note: we did the interview in French, which I am translating!

Impacts on my mom

Annie-Danielle: How has my chronic dry eye problem had an impact on you?

Ginette: Emotionally, because it made me sad to see you not feel good or unable to wear contacts as much as you would’ve wanted to. Otherwise no, you were the one to suffer those impacts!

Annie-Danielle: Did you have to make some changes in your life because of my dry eyes?

Ginette: [laughing] Only to drive when you couldn’t see well, and I hate driving!

Her views on my experience

Annie-Danielle: How did you experience the different treatments I tried?

Ginette: I see those as a very negative experience. Nothing worked! I have an especially bad memory of the tear duct plugs, because they put these in, there can be no adjustments and they send you back home. When it created irritation you had to go to the ophthalmology emergency and wait forever, because the optometrist can’t legally remove them, even though it takes 2 minutes with tweezers!

As for all you tried and that failed, I felt bad. I wasn’t worried: dry eyes aren’t dangerous, but I was concerned with the fact there was no solution.

Annie-Danielle: How have you seen my difficulties with contact lenses?

Ginette: You were never 100% comfortable because of your dry eyes. As a teenager: unable to sleep with them when you got those that were supposed to be good to wear for 7 days straight because, the eye doctor said back then, you didn’t have enough tears and proteins accumulated. Even just wearing them for a regular day was difficult for you; you always had to use a ton of drops, and you were constantly uncomfortable. Yet there was never an eye doctor to say you had a dry eye problem; it just wasn't a thing!

Impacts on me

Annie-Danielle: Of course I have other health issues. How do you think this problem affected those?

Ginette: Eye discomfort affects many things. The eyes are so important! The rest, like pain, can usually be treated with medication, but not chronic dry eyes. Drops have their limits!

Annie-Danielle: From your perspective, what impact did having dry eyes have on me?

Ginette: Not much, honestly, because you’re resilient! You were uncomfortable, even in pain sometimes, but it never slowed you down.

Annie-Danielle: What about emotionally?

Ginette: Probably, but we don’t see it, you don’t let it show. It’s impossible that it wouldn’t have had an impact.

A moving conversation

It was quite moving to hear my mom on this, especially when she told me how resilient she thought I was. And she remembers all those years struggling with contact lenses better than I do!

I also feel she has a great point, about how our eyes are so important in our lives, yet often not taken care of or considered.

There you go, kids, listen to your mom!

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