I haven't posted in a while. I have been getting acquainted with my new GVHD friend: Chronic Dry Eye.
I'm fairly certain that my body thinks I'm a dead Egyptian pharaoh. With my dry mouth, dry eyes (and other possible dryness), I'm all the more closer to becoming a dry, shriveled up mummy.
Dry eye, as the name suggests, is a condition where your lacrimal glands (ie: tear ducts, think of any Goth song that involves the word "lacrimosa") no longer function properly, producing little or no moisture for the eyes. It occurs in 60-90% of BMT recipients, so unfortunately this does not make me special. It just makes me 60-90% miserable. It's like the Dust Bowl, but for your eyes!
As a result, my eyes experience all kinds of dryness throughout the day.
There's the Desert Eye, dry and desolate, pretty self-explanatory:
And the Sandy Eye, similar to the Desert Eye, but with more gritty, grainy feeling, like someone's kicked sand in my eyes:
Then there's the Glass Eye, my personal favorite, when it feels like I have ground-up shards of glass in my eye:
And of course the Lazy Eye, where my eyelids start to stick to my eyeball and blinking takes more effort than normal:
And what I like to call the Eye of Sauron, in which my eyes are wheels of fire (unfortunately, I have not yet gained the ability to see great distances or spot Hobbits wearing Rings of Power):
With all this (and new levels of pain each day!), I have also discovered that I can no longer cry. That's right. My eyes can no longer physically shed tears.
I did a medical experiment on myself. I watched the saddest movies I have ever seen, movies that have historically proved to utterly reduce me to a sobbing mess curled up on the floor.
(Tears of the Sun and Hotel Rawanda if you're wondering. I would have also watched Life is Beautiful but at that point I had concrete proof that I could no longer cry, and watching a cry-movie when you can't cry is like trying to take a shit when your constipated. It's unpleasant.)
If I did not cry while watching these movies, I would know that I am either (a) a heartless flesh-beast or (b) no longer capable of expressing common human emotions.
Immediately I knew it was not option (a), as within moments of the movies starting I began sniffling, with my breath catching in my throat, getting all red-faced. Alas, the only thing I was missing was the tears.