I posted a few months ago about a strange episode that Em had with dilated pupils.
I have noticed her do it a few times since then, although it has not been as obvious or long lasting as it was that first time. On Friday, she did it again and other people witnessed it, so I’d like to think I am not imagining it!
I was kicking myself that I didn’t take a picture or video of her that first time and so, when it happened again on Friday, I got some video over Em’s protestations. I won’t show it here, because I am not sure it really shows what I saw and there is much of Em trying to not be recorded. (I just watched it again – and I vacillate between thinking it is significant and that I am crazy. I think it shows something, but I just don’t know if the doctor will think so.)
Anyway, here is what happened:
We were on our way to church on Friday evening – it was still bright and sunny outside at 6:30 or so. My brother was driving, Em and I were in the back seat: an SUV swerved into our lane and my brother hit the brakes because there was no place for him to go to avoid a collision. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but Em was really freaked out – she was feeling that we narrowly escaped death thanks to her over active adrenal system which frequently gets her worked up over nothing.
We continued on our way; I glanced over at Em and saw that her eyes were dilated again, although it was quite bright in the car. Her eyes did not change as we walked from the bright out doors into the relatively dim church or when the lights were brighter in the sanctuary. Once we got in, I grabbed my phone and recorded a short video of her eyes. She blinked, held her eyes shut for several seconds and her pupils did not contract or change.
Her eyes remained like this through the service. Once it was over, I shined a bright light in her eyes just to see what would happen and her pupils finally contracted a little. From the time I noticed her eyes were dilated to the time I shined the light in them and they finally contracted, it was probably more than an hour. I am thinking this is some sort of an autonomic reaction – the first time was after seeing an emotional movie and the second time was after a scary incident. I can’t recall what was going on with the other episodes – they were more subtle and quicker to resolve, so I didn’t record them. Furthermore, I could be wrong, but it seems like her eyes are always, or at least often, more dilated than they should be – relative to everyone else around her. But it is subtle and not so easy to catch – especially when I don’t know exactly what normal is.
So, the eye doctor wanted me to call if she did it again, but, of course, she did it on a holiday weekend evening, so that wasn’t going to happen. We see Brian, our neurology PA next week (supposed to have seen him last week but we had a snow storm and had to reschedule), so I think I will talk to him about it, show him the video and get his thoughts. Then call the eye doctor and see if he wants to see her.
The thing that makes me think I am not making this up is that, yesterday, when we were seeing the GI doctor, he did a double take when he glanced at her eyes. He spent a moment shining the light in her eyes, then moved on – I mean, a GI doctor doesn’t exactly specialize in eyes. But, that double take spoke volumes to me, because that is usually my reaction – something is just not quite right about her eyes.
I don’t think that this eye thing is a big deal – it doesn’t seem to hurt Em in any way, other than give her a bit of a headache and make her a little more sensitive to light than she already is. I would, however, like to have somebody who knows more than myself help us figure out what is going on.
[Edited to add a slide show of pics from the video I took. If you think you see some murderous thoughts behind those pretty blue eyes, you are correct! Nonetheless, this is evidence for the doctors who are concerned about it!]