Letter to the Editor

Nevada woman seeks help for condition

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dear Editor,

I am a 50-year-old woman caught between a rock and a hard place! Let me tell you how the walls are closing in.

In January of this year (2015), I began to have trouble with my eyes. It was like a lace curtain being lowered over them. Each day it was a little darker, it was subtle, not all at once. By the middle of February, I had given up on driving at all. The curtain had turned into a very dense fog. Sometimes I could not see anything at all.

In March, I quit my job because I couldn't see to do it. I saw my primary care provider, who sent me to an ophthalmologist. He found that I had swollen optic nerves and significant vision distortion. He ordered an MRI and sent me to a neurologist. The neurologist read the MRI, sent me for a spinal tap, and then a lumbar puncture. In May, I was diagnosed with a pseudo tumor and vision loss. I also have a major build-up of pressure in my spinal fluid. I have been wearing glasses since high school, but this was a big jump from my prescription in just a few months! I can see only a few inches from my face.

When I quit my job, I lost not just my income, but my insurance as well. Since June, when my insurance actually expired, I have been trying to get some type of aid through state funded sources, but to no avail. (Currently, I am working on my disability case).

I have been turned away too many times by these agencies that say I don't meet the criteria. While I don't doubt the truth of that, I hate being the one who falls through the cracks, because I am not 65 or I don't have dependent children in my home. I haven't had this problem for a year or more nor is it a total or permanent blindness. Isn't there some program out there that can help? If not, why?

This is my rock and hard place! Thanks for listening.

Pam Hooper