Deciding to Get a Second Opinion … Again
When I first realized that after almost one year of getting dry eye treatments I needed a second opinion, I felt sick to my stomach. As most of you can relate, a majority of people have already seen a lot of optometrists, ophthalmologists, and a slew of other specialists. To say it is daunting is a huge understatement.
It's hard to start over
It is hard to start over and try to explain your condition and all the treatments that you have tried. We have found out that with dry eye, there usually isn’t just one treatment that works; rather it's normally a large number of different treatments. Some doctors are familiar with them, and some have never heard about them. It seems like a game of elimination. Except it’s not a game – it’s your livelihood.
You may wonder, "When should I start looking around for other answers?" For me, it has been a choice I was going back and forth about for months. After a year with the same specialist, I was doing better but had more questions and wondered if my condition is more of a corneal neuropathy. If that is the case, my treatment would look a little different.
More avenues to explore
It seemed that I had hit a plateau that my eyes just weren’t getting any better. When you do all the treatments and never skip a beat on your dry eye routine, this can be frustrating. While I have a great relationship with my doctor, I feel like I have more avenues to explore. This does lead to a feeling of guilt and defeat, which is all too familiar when you struggle with dry eye disease.
I think we can all agree that during our journey there is a lot of self-advocating. If not all, self-advocation for some people. Advocating to be heard, understood, and even sometimes believed that we really are in such pain.
Keep seeking answers
One thing this chronic condition has taught me is to keep seeking answers. Stand firm in your treatments, what treatments you get and advocate for, what is working and what is not. It is okay to seek another opinion even if it’s your 50th, if that's what you feel you need to do.
I decided to go to Boston to seek another assessment and opinion. This was not an easy decision. Who knows if I will get the answers I need? But I do know I need to try. If dry eye has taught me anything, it’s that there is hope, and sometimes I have to seek that hope out on my own. Just know you are not alone and that we can do this.
Have you ever canceled travel plans due to dry eye?