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Frida Pettersen Opens Up About Seven Months of Vision Loss in Her Right Eye: A Medical Mystery

No one, not even the ophthalmologists, has been able to explain why Frida Pettersen (23) from Namsos has been without sight in her right eye for the past seven months.

As part of trying to solve the medical mystery, she wants to share her story with as many people as possible.

She has therefore chosen to be open about the condition on Facebook, in the local newspaper Namdal newspaper and now in Dagbladet.

– I hope that there is someone out there who knows what this is, says Frida.

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Seemed innocent

The 23-year-old accepts all suggestions with thanks. It eats away at not knowing what suddenly hit her on a Saturday morning in June last year.

– It has been a very difficult six months. Fortunately, I have had good friends and a wonderful family who have supported me and been there for me, but it has been tough nonetheless, she says.

It all seemed quite innocent at first.

– I woke up with a red and swollen eye that itched a little, and really thought it was catarrh, says Frida.

She had had eye inflammation, which in the technical language is called conjunctivitis, a couple of times before.

The family despairs: – Heartbreaking

She was a little surprised that this time she had lost the sight of the inflamed eye, but concluded that it would certainly return as the swelling went down.

– Looked pretty bad

The following Monday, she went to work as a security controller at Namsos Airport.

– The eye had not improved, and both my colleagues and I thought it looked quite bad. I actually put a regular plaster over it to hide it at the start, says the 23-year-old and chuckles.

Over the course of the day, they agreed that Frida should get to the doctor.

“You are not going back to work”, was the message she received. The 23-year-old was on sick leave just four months after she started her dream job.

MEDICAL RIDDLE: According to Frida, the doctors have run all kinds of tests. Here have just had a CT X-ray – wearing sunglasses for indoors to block outside light. Photo: Private Show more

– I got a bit of a shock here and there, but at the same time I knew very well what the eye looked like, so I realized that it was probably a good idea to calm down in order to recover, she says.

Thereafter, Frida was regularly followed up by an ophthalmologist at the hospital in Namsos.

– Scared and confused

Over the next two weeks, both the inflammation and swelling subsided, but the vision never returned.

– I was confused and scared. At the same time, I tried to think positively. “Of course the sight will return,” I told myself. Recently, I have become more realistic, and am trying to get used to the idea that I may have to live with this for the rest of my life, says the 23-year-old.

Frida has never had problems with her eyes before. Like so many others, she has used glasses and contact lenses to correct her vision, but that’s about it.

– I have thought through everything. Maybe something happened when I was unlucky and hit something in the eye at work two weeks before? But … it only hurt for half a second, says Frida.

PATCH: On days with strong sun, Frida used this eyepatch and a plaster patch to block out the daylight. Photo: Private Show more

She describes the current function of the affected eye as follows:

– It’s like someone shining a very bright light on thick fog. The light goes in all directions, and so my eye is unable to regulate the amount of light that is let in, she says.

It is tiring for Frida’s head, and at the same time leads to an overexertion of her healthy eye. The result is often a pounding headache.

– This usually leads to me being knocked out for 15 to 20 hours, says the 23-year-old.

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– Nothing wrong

She has therefore made sure to cover her eyes with sunglasses and an eye patch. Recently, she also received a specially made lens that blocks out 95 percent of all light.

– The first sign was the bruises

Frida has always had close follow-up with an ophthalmologist. First at the hospital in Namsos, and now at St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim, but the eye disease remains a mystery.

– They have tested for everything possible. The whole head – both the brain and the eye. The tests show that everything is as it should be. There is nothing wrong with nerves or the anatomy of the eye, says the 23-year-old.

For the past seven months, Frida’s everyday life has been very limited. She has not been able to go to work and has not been allowed to drive a car either.

SPECIAL EDIT: Here, Frida is wearing the special lens that blocks out light. Photo: Private Show more

– As driving is a dear hobby of mine, it has been incredibly difficult. I have tried to find other activities to do, but it has been difficult without depth perception, says Frida.

Back in the Volvo

The joy was therefore great when, three weeks ago, Frida received permission to get behind the wheel of her Volvo again.

By then, six months had passed since the acute vision loss, and according to the driver’s license regulations can you get your driver’s license back if “[ …] an optician or ophthalmologist certifies satisfactory general visual function and a driving assessment has then been carried out with a passing result”.

According to Large Norwegian encyclopedia it is then assumed that the patient has had enough time to get used to being one-eyed, and has then recovered some of his depth vision.

PASSION: Frida loves to drive. It was therefore extra difficult to be banned from driving for six months. Photo: Private Show more

– The only difference really is that I have to move my head more to be able to keep track – I can’t just move my gaze. Also, it’s important that I’m careful with blind spots, but it’s going just fine, says Frida cheerfully.

She is also determined to get back to work at Namsos Airport as soon as possible.

– If I remain blind in one eye, then life is not over for that reason! But both me and my parents are starting to get quite despondent about not knowing what is causing this, she says.

– Very individual

It is at this point very difficult to say whether Frida will ever get an explanation of what has happened.

Lost an eye after a huge mistake

Since Frida is still under investigation at the hospital, St. Olav’s Hospital does not wish to comment on her case in particular, but is speaking on a general basis.

– There may be cases where you cannot find a reliable explanation for the patient’s symptoms, says Noopur Kumarhead of department at the Eye Department at St. Olav’s hospital.

– Does it often happen that such investigations take a long time?

– On a general basis, the answer is that investigations can take time. You often have to compare with new investigations, as well as new investigations over time to follow the development of the individual patient. The time perspective here will be individual, she says.

2024-02-20 03:41:27

#Frida #despairs #Hope

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