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I have contracted a condition alternatively known as intercranial hypertension or pseudotumor cerebri.  In most cases it responds to treatment, either with the quite venerable drug acetazolamide, or if that doesn't work, through various forms of surgical interventions.  However, in a small number of cases, the condition, which involves the swelling and distortion of the optic nerves under pressure from excess spinal fluid, fails to respond to treatment.   In these cases, there tends to be a degradation of the optic nerve tissue, eventually resulting in blindness.  This would be me.

I have contracted a condition alternatively known as intercranial hypertension or pseudotumor cerebri.  In most cases it responds to treatment, either with the quite venerable drug acetazolamide, or if that doesn't work, through various forms of surgical interventions.  However, in a small number of cases, the condition, which involves the swelling and distortion of the optic nerves under pressure from excess spinal fluid, fails to respond to treatment.   In these cases, there tends to be a degradation of the optic nerve tissue, eventually resulting in blindness.  This would be me.

I have already essentially lost all sight through my left eye, while the most recent visual field test, taken after 6 weeks of hospitalization that included numerous procedures, tests, etc., and the involvement of some of the nation's leading neuro-ophthalmologists, shows that I have lost about 25% of the visual field in my right eye.  As there has been no evidende that the basic problem has been alleviated, it is to be expected that over time my right  optic nerve will follow the course of my left.

I haven't been able to work or drive since mid-November.  At 57, I also am having to give up living on my own, and am in the process of moving from my 6-room apartment I have occupied for over 12 years into what was the storage room at my sister's house, which she was kind enough to clean up and make available to me.  However, she lives in a little cookie-cutter post-WWII tract house, where she'd not only already been caring for our 89 year old father, but had allowed our long-term unemployed brother to move into her basement.  The biggest reason I enlisted in the Air Force at 17, was in basic at Lackland three weeks after HS graduation, was because I never wanted to be a burden on the family.  Yet now here I am.

The one good piece of news I've gotten is itself something of a mixed blessing.  I spoke today with a disability attorney, and he declined to take my case, because approval of a disability claim in my case should be so quick, simple and straightforward that he couldn't make any money representing me.  So I'll take that as a good thing.

Originally posted to Hic Rhodus, Hic Salta! on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:49 PM PST.

Also republished by KosAbility.

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