Visual problems, the opthamologist! and Paratransit

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Sunrise2780, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Sunrise2780

    Sunrise2780 New Member

    Paratransit is the car/van service for the elderly and disabled here in Fla. They have been giving me a horrific time b/c I'm able to do some local travel (w/my mobility scooter) when I can, so they are *assuming* my symptoms don't prevent me from using the county public buses.

    I took their certification-functional assessment test which was a joke!

    1- They use a cognitive test known as FACTS which was developed by Easter Seals Project ACTION and has been validated for use in assessing applicants who are mentally retarded!

    I am not retarded so therefore I passed!

    2- The functional physical consisted of a manuevering my scooter on streets, crossing, etc. I just FOLLOWED the physical therapist around, incl when crossing the street. MOF, she was in my way to check for traffic!

    Anyway, as most of you know, test us and we WILL pass!! But....

    They "denied" me non-medical transportation.

    I recently got to the stage of filing a complaint thru the court w/an atty. They made a "deal" (a couple of wks ago), - drop court case & whatever (this has cost me some $'s. I'm grateful I was able to afford this, although if not, I would have gone to "legal aid"), and I was given **"Conditional" transportation, **instead of re-certification after 3 yrs, it would be 1 year. I am now waiting for the paperwork.

    The year will give me time to find out how to protect myself and collect whatever info I can for when I'm called down after the year is up.

    I can't travel out of my local area on my own from my symptoms, which their medical examiner documented that my rheumy submitted "contradictory" info re: FM, but never clarified what it was!

    One of my problems is that I can't wear my glasses b/c of my Myofascial & FM pains. I'm not legally blind, but I do have difficulty w/distance and close-up. Also, seeing at nite is very difficult. My Myofascial symptoms (which is what I came down w/first back in '83) are neck, shldr & facial spasms. And yes this causes several problems w/my vision.

    I recently went to an ophthalmologist & everything turned out ok (so what else is new w/my "invisible" syndromes???!!!!). He "advised" me to *not* include visual issues at all to Paratransit! He supposedly knows about FM, knows that Paratransit, yada yada yada...... He also informed me that if I had Lasik surgery for my distance, I would lose my close-up. I called the eye inst today & "something" can be done to correct that. I'm never go back to him!

    He finally said I should go to a certain eye institute (covered by my insurance) - the Bascom Palmer Eye Inst. which is a center in the Miller School of Medicine - University of Miami. I went to their site - asp and searched for FM & CFS - nothing!!
    This was on one of the univ's pages:
    Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Again Ranked Nation's No. 1 Eye Hospital by U.S. News & World Report - July 2005 edu/
    I posted below info that I found in a search for "something" that 'might' fit into my problem. It's excellent & the info is just what I needed! With the help of this info, I will be able to ask the "right" question(s).

    Posting goes back to 1996:

    While reading back through an extended group of posts, looking for as much info as possible, I kept coming across posts about vision problems. Naturally, as an Optometrist, I read all of these, although I myself have had no vision problems (although that may be the only thing I have NOT had!) during the extended period I have been looking for an explanation of my many and varied signs and symptoms.

    May I please make a general post to all of you who have reported vision problems? I can not give you definitive information on the correlation between FM and your eyesight, but I can report anecdotal wisdom on a few specific patients I have seen, and also maybe some general good advice. For all FM patients who seem to be having vague visual symptoms- vision slightly blurred, only blurred sometimes, eyes tire easily, seem to be "pulling", print sometimes blurs, distance vision not predictable, etc, etc, etc.

    I strongly suggest that you find an Optometrist rather than an Ophthalmologist and specifically an Optometrist who specializes in functional vision. Most Ophthalmologists and many Optometrists today evaluate eyes from a "medical" model- if there's no disease present then it should work. (Sound familiar?) A functionally oriented Optometrist looks at vision primarily from a sensory viewpoint- how the information gets to the brain, and does it do so clearly and comfortable. Do the eye muscles work well together to facilitate vision? What kind of prescription is most appropriate for the patients multiple needs and activities? This is the perspective of a functional OD- and clearly the most appropriate type of eye doctor to deal with the ramifications of FM.

    As for specific cases, I have two women patients, both in early 20's with a FM dx. In both cases it is necessary to be particularly vigilant about their spectacle Rx, as even the slightest change will induce symptoms. In both cases, these patients wear bifocals; not because they are aging prematurely, but because the additional power in the reading portion of their glasses make reading much more comfortable and helps to stabilize the distance Rx as well. In the case of the younger of the two, (age 21), since being diagnosed, and starting to wear bifocals, her Rx change rate has dropped noticeably.

    Sorry for the long diatribe, but even without FM I get angry when I hear that people have treatable vision problems that are ignored because "your eyes are healthy". Perfectly healthy eyes can still have focusing problems and muscle imbalances.
    B/c I can't wear my glasses, I get headaches, eye-socket aches, etc. There won't be anything that can be done for me, but I need my symptoms documented to submit next year.

    Plz, I know I'm new here & I have tried to participate some, but right now I'm very alone with this. I'm 60 yrs, live alone & don't have anyone to help me unless I pay.

    I could really use some "friends" or suggestions, whatever.

  2. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    Hi Sunrise,
    Gee, I can hardly remember what I said. I don't save my posts, so if they get deleted for some reason, then they are gone with the wind. lol

    One thing I mentioned was because I had diabetes for 28 years, I have to see the opthamologist every year because he is covered under our insurance. My endo wants me to see an opthamologist too, but then if he saw a problem with retinopathy coming, I'd have to go to another place to be treated.

    I don't wear my glasses because they just bother me and I can see fairly well for around the house. I need glasses to drive. My distance vision bothers me more than just being on the computer or watching TV.

    Some days I have blurry vision, but I'm able to cope with that. Part is probably due to side effects from Detrol and the other is probably diabetes.

    Yes, if you had Lasik surgery for your distance vision, you would need to use reading glasses if you need them now. They are supposed to be coming out with a surgery that will fix all eye problems for those over 40 to 50, but I don't know details of that yet. For some reason, I see better close up without glasses than I do with the progressive lenses.

    Because of diabetes, I won't wear or even try contacts unless doctor's said I had to wear them.

    I'm sorry to hear you are having such a problem with the Paratransit. This is ridiculous that you have to go through so much. You can't just go out on the scooter to get everywhere. Well, at least you will get the one year ability to use the Paratransit.

    Just seems we have to fight all the time for meds, docs, everything and then we have even more things in our way to fight over too.

    Anyway, I realize now that I shouldn't have put in my post to you what I did. I guess I'll have to be careful about that in the future when I see something going on in a post that is against the rules. Then, I may want to copy my post and save it.

    I was full of steam the night I posted to you. lol But my brain isn't working at full force like it was when I originally posted. :-(

    Sometimes my mind is like a blank on trying to reply to posts and I just don't. Other times I'm just full of something to say. I don't seem to be able to control that. Seems when I have had pain meds, I'm more apt to be able to think clearer and post my thoughts better.

    I'm going to save this one. lol It's more rambling than it is anything else though.

    Big hugs,
  3. Sunrise2780

    Sunrise2780 New Member

    Hi Faye and all,

    I'm sorry for the delay in responding. Thur I started with a lower backache and it turned into quite a flare-up which finally let up sometime this afternoon.

    Then my PC had a bit of a flare-up! I'm not sure all is ok yet, but I might need a new mouse. I'll see what happens...
    Faye, don't worry about the previous post. I know you gave me warning that I did a 'no-no' and the rest was friendly. I don't know why I didn't go back & edit it. I do have serious cognitive problems & problem solving issue.
    I would really like to wear my glasses outside as it is easier for me as I travel w/scooter, and I could wear my 'pretty' sunglasses.

    But alas, I can't! Like you, I can get around w/out in the house, but the TV can't be too far away. The PC is fine, although I did go in & set for "visual problems" making some of the icons and text larger.

    I can't use contact lenses either. I tried that several yrs ago. See my other posting: "Visual Problems - Do my glasses cause pain?"

    As for the Lasik surgery, it will have to be paid out of my pkt if I decide.

    > if you had Lasik surgery for your distance vision, you would need to use reading glasses if you need them now.
    But I can't wear glasses! LOL I did speak to the eye inst & they said that after the distance Lasik, something can be done for the

    close-up. But, first I want to contact them as I want them "familiar" with the visual problems of FM.
    > I'm sorry to hear you are having such a problem with
    > the Paratransit. This is ridiculous that you have to
    > go through so much. You can't just go out on the
    > scooter to get everywhere. Well, at least you will get
    > the one year ability to use the Paratransit.

    What are they going to put me thru next near? I'm going to have to 'fake' symptoms for that day as I can't get them to understand how our symptoms change. ITM, I will be researching how to handle myself, get new documents, have my rheumy list "every" symptom w/details (I'll type it up & put it on a disk too, letting him work with what I bring in to him. I did that last time, but he didn't include my page of "symptoms & my lifestyle", so I submitted it with a note that this was submitted to my dr.

    > Just seems we have to fight all the time for meds,
    > docs, everything and then we have even more things
    > in our way to fight over too.

    So true, but it seems to be so much about these "invisible and complex" illnesses. Drs & whom others (in my case, Paratransit & the stupid opthmologist). I'm having problems handling this stuff, like I want to strike out, but don't know how & where, so I just get more depressed!

    I also want to accomplish 'something' that could affect the next person besides myself. So any suggestions, plz go for it. I do have a few ppl that I will contact to find out what to do, although I have a few ideas.
    Regards, Sunrise

    PS - I think it's new software rather than the mouse. I'm a troubleshooter, so I'll figure it out. I'm just glad to finally be able to get back here & respond.

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