Graves Disease? Am I dying?

Last updated: November 2022

I have suffered from auto immune diseases since I was 27. But in 1999, I bent down to brush my teeth and one eye was looking in the mirror, and the other at the ceiling. Oh Boy, I called my neurologist and he said call the endocrine doctor who had previously treated me for my thyroid disease with a radiation pill. She sent me to the Eye institute. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease.

My treatment journey

First was the CT scan, and then they made me a mask, that they would use to bolt my head to a table. Once my head was bolted to the table, they used radiation to stop the swelling behind my eyes. I had (5) treatments over a two week period. My double vision was still a problem. Next I would undergo 4 eye surgeries. The first one. they cut the muscles off my eyeballs and realigned my eyes, but the right one was still a little off. Second surgery the doctor left the needle in the bandage and said, " when you wake up, have your mom bring you to my office and I will need you awake to finish sewing up your eyeball." Ha :) That comment made me queasy. I threw up on the way to his office. I watched my doctor sew my eyeball and never felt a thing. Third surgery they cut my eyelids all the way across in the crease and took out all the tissues that made my eyes so puffy. Forth surgery they cut in the corner of my eyes and took out all the tissue under my eyes.

Current status

In 2002, I returned to work and have been able to keep the same job for 20 years. The only issue I have now, if my eyes get tired from certain types for lights, I have focusing issues, or double vision. I asked why they call it Grave's disease, if I'm not dying, and they said it was named after the doctor who discovered it. I asked, could not not use his first name? But from now on, I will simply call it TED.

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