Episcleritis - my story, my thoughts.

This is a continuation of my story on Sarcoidosis

In June 2007, Sharon and I spent two weeks on Maui. Two years earlier we had spent four nights at Princeville on Kauai, and we loved that island, but not necessarily the 'luxury hotel' experience ($35 per person breakfasts, $5 parking fees, no kitchen) - it felt like we were constantly trying to get around the price gouging.

In an effort to 'zero in' on what made us happy in Hawaii, we booked two weeks (enough time to really unwind) in a Maui condo. It seems like most folks love Maui, we like to explore, so what the hey. We booked a condo in Maalaea, which is at the fork in the road between Kihei and Lahaina, right at the aquarium.

We learned a couple important lessons about "who we are". First, most of Maui tourism is focused on the "dry side" of the island where it very rarely rains, and the resorts are all maintained through irrigation. We found ourselves in the middle of that "dry side" and it just didn't feel like "Hawaii" to us. Second, our condo was a bargain (one of these is constantly advertised on Seattle / Boeing bulletin boards) and there's a reason for that. It's neither pituresque not in the middle of the tourist areas. The complex is crammed onto a narrow ocean frontage, with the vast majority of the units facing the parking lots. Granted, it is truly a "short walk" to the beach, but the beach is a little crowded with all the condo-dwellers competing for the scant 100 feet of space. Third, it was cane harvest season. All you folks who have been to Hawaii immediately blurted out, "Smoke!" Well, there was a little of that, but the real issue was noise. I was told that there is either a law or "best practice" that does not allow them to burn cane within 500 feet of residential property. Because not burning reduces efficiency of harvest, they are instead allowed to operate heavy equipment 24/7, right next to the condos. The classic back-up alarm "beep-beep-beep" is going all night long, and the dust is probably as bad as the smoke elsewhere.

Shortly after we arrived, my right eye began to bug me. I have worn contact lenses for 35 years or so, and I am familiar with garden variety "pink eye" as well as surface scratches on the eyeball. This was not at all like that. This was a dull deep "ache" in the cheekbone area. I don't have a lot of experience with sinus headache, but Sharon does, so we went down that road a bit. I tried saline irrigation, got fingerprinted and photographed for some pseudoephedrine (OK, it's not quite that bad, but the log procedures are seriously over the top) and nothing seemed to work.

Finally I sought out the services of a "Doc in the box" in Kihei. He diagnosed it as an eye infection. He gave me some drops, told me to discard my current set of contacts, and if I had a fresh pair, I might be able to wear them some in a few days, but I should take it easy on my eyes.

If you've worn contacts as long as I have, you tend to pay attention to good non-prescription sunglasses like Vuarnets and Serrengettis, but your prescription sunglass lenses are more or less non-existent. My eyeglasses were pretty much "John Lennon" style. They came with a set of clip-on sunglasses that I was sure I brought with me, but could not find. Desparate for a solution, I bought a pair of those, "I've just had a Belladonna dilation at the eye doctor, and I'm going to put this dark brown chemical jug over my glassses" things.

I did not realize at the time I was at the Doc that one of my symptoms was "sensitivity to light". I've always been a little sensitive to light, but this turned into migraines and a strong desire to stay out of the sun.

Enough about the miserable time I had in Maui.....

When I got home to my doctor, he immediately thought of Episcleritis since it is commonly tied to Sarcoidosis, which I had suffered from some nine years earlier.

My doctor referred me to an Opthalmologist, who treated me with steroid eye-drops until the problem went away, about an eight week cycle.

I share this because I still don't see much information on the web linking Sarcoidosis and Episcleritis. I hope this helps somebody.

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