Katie Marie

Life Update

I’ve been thinking about where to start, turning it over in my mind over and over…and over. I guess I just start at the beginning.

I have worn glasses for the past 25 years. Having difficulty seeing without corrective lenses is the norm for me. In fact, my eyesight has become so distorted (thank you pregnancies and children) that I have to wear contacts in the shower so I can see. Glasses/contacts are an accessory that everyone in my family has…well, except my brother who is a lucky duck and was able to have PRK done last year.

Recently I had my annual eye exam to update my contact and glasses prescriptions. While dilation isn’t fun, I know from my days of working in an optical shop as a licensed optician how important it is to do the dilation and allow the optometrist to do a thorough check of your eyes.

This examination was no different…except it was. As my optometrist was examining my eyes she was spending quite a bit of time, more than she had in years past. Honestly, I was thinking she was trying to find a way to professionally reprimand me for not taking better care of my eyes since Goob was born. I am semi-ashamed to admit that I fall asleep wearing my contacts almost every day.

Instead, what she told me made my heart drop into my stomach. During the exam, she saw that my left retina had a small hemorrhage and fluid was building up between the back of my eye and my retina. I knew exactly what she was talking about. She had a concern that my retina was detaching.

8 or so years ago, my dad’s right retina spontaneously detached. He began having symptoms of foggy periphery and floaters in his line of vision. In the end he had 7 surgeries to try to reattach his retina which, instead of repairing his eye and restoring his vision, left him permanently blind in that eye. Retina detachment is something that has occured to multiple individuals in my dad’s line.

I walked away from my eye exam with a referral to a retina specialist and an appointment for 2 days later.

Honestly, I fully expected the specialist to examine my eyes and send me home with the direction of resting up and the hemorrhage would mend itself over time.

I am 35 years old, and I have been diagnosed with dual detaching retinas. I have experienced absolutely no symptoms. If it were not for the annual eye exam and the routine dilation, I would have no idea. As it turns out, my right eye has more surface area that is detached than my left; but it is on the periphery so the optometrist could not see it. My retina specialist was kind enough 😒 to inform me that in all of her years of experience the only individuals she has seen under the age 50 with detached retinas are those who have experienced severe head trauma and those who have an inflammatory disease. I am scheduled for surgery on my right eye next week and will be having my left eye repaired within the next month after my right eye heals.

I’m not gonna lie. I am terrified…not of surgery, or the recovery. I am scared to death of having an outcome like my dad. I am non-stop worrying that I have an underlying condition that caused my retinas’ to detach. I am scared that all of the careful planning and goal setting I already completed for myself for this year is going to be all for not. I am worried that my quality of life is going to diminish and I won’t be able to continue to be the kind of wife and mom I strive every day to be. Waking up out of surgery with the fear of being blind and never seeing my beautiful boys’ faces ever again, or my handsome husband…that is what causes my tears to fall. That is what gives me nightmares, that is what hurts my heart the most.

While the specialist says my prognosis is promising, with my family history as well as all of the unknown, it is difficult to be optimistic. Still…I am STUBBORN, and I don’t like to be told no, or you can’t. When someone tells me that it would be too difficult for me, or that I am not capable, first thing I do is to prove them wrong. What can I say, I like to be defiant.

So…please bear with me and be patient as I take this medical journey. I will continue to post updates, but as for other content it may not be as often as I’d like for the next couple of months, but I will do my best.


  • MorgenW

    So very sorry to hear this! You are such a strong person, and I look up to your faith! I have had multiple retina detachment scares, long scary appointments with 3 hour waits to see Dr. Tweito at Nevada Retina Center. All resulting in no answers as to “why” I was having symptoms as a young female. I can’t imagine the heaviness this must put on your mama heart. I will put your name on the temple prayer roll up here in Seattle. Life is so brutal/beautiful. Wishing you the best with your procedures 💗

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