Q & A with George of “A Flower in their Eyes”

I “met” George online through this website actually! She’s got my same diagnosis of “multi-focal choroiditis,” but with panuveitis, which means that her inflammation is all throughout her eye. (See Uveitis Basics for how uveitis is diagnosed.) George also has a website about uveitis and is a talented artist! Here are her answers to my questions:

About you:

Name and age: My name is George Alvarado and I am 19 years old.

Last book you read: I am currently reading  Pachinko By Min Jin Lee.

3 things you can’t live without during #stayathome: my 3-Year-old dog Misty, My Bose speaker, and my acrylic paints.

“I painted the eyes because I have always had a passion for the arts and it was a great way for me to express myself.” George Alvarado Rivas 

About your uveitis:

What type of uveitis do you have / what is your diagnosis? 

I have recently changed my Ophthalmologist and he has changed my diagnosis to Multifocal Choroiditis and Panuvietis. Since I took my test again it seems as though my M.C.P. is Idiopathic. 

How did you know something was wrong? When were you diagnosed and how long did it take? 

I started to notice gray spots in my vision and thought it was best to tell my mom. I soon had an appointment with my optometrist after hearing my systems and concerns. We then ran some basic vision tests and she decided to send me to the emergency room. She was afraid that there was a possibility that my Retina was detaching or that I had developed liquid behind my Retina. In the emergency room a specialist came in to see me and she also suspected that I might just have liquid behind my retina. I was told that this can be caused by stress and it could have been a possibility since I had just taken my finals for my first semester of senior year.  I was sent home to rest and wait for an appointment with the Ophthalmologist. I have also prescribed some eye drops but I can’t seem to remember the name of the prescription. About a week after my visit I was back in the emergency room with extreme light sensitivity. Unfortunately, the emergency room sent me back home telling me there was nothing they could do. I went home with fear and pain. This was when I knew there was something wrong.

How are you currently treating your uveitis? What other treatments and/or procedures have you tried?

I am currently taking Cellcept, Prednisone, Cyclopentolate 1% eye drops, and Prednisolone eye drops. I have also tried methotrexate and another medication that I am currently blanking on.

What is the hardest part of having uveitis for you? 

The Hardest part of all of this has been accepting that there is a possibility of losing my vision at any time. What has also been hard is the lack of support and awareness there is for Uveitis.

How has having uveitis changed your life?

Being diagnosed with Multifocal Choroiditis and Panuveitis has changed everything for me. I had set a path for me to follow but I had to change my plans to accommodate how my M.C.P affects me.The Plans I had to change was mainly schooling and career choices. I had wanted to attend my high school and go to all the senior events but I sadly couldn’t due to the photophobia. I was able to finish school by taking Independent studies and was able to finish 2 weeks early. I was able to walk the stage with all my friends and graduating high school was something important for my family. My parents both immigrated from El Salvador to the U.S when they were young but were not able to graduate from high school. I had also hoped to go to Community College in the hopes of going to Forensics or Liberal art. This was not possible since my M.C.P was still out of control and I needed to accept my diagnosis. I was in a deep depression and I didn’t see a future for myself. I have decided to look more into Liberal arts, hoping there would be a major or a career choice that can help my advocate for the Uveitis community.

By George Alvarado Rivas 

I have recently created an Instagram account called @theflowerintheireyes where I share pictures of my eyes and a little bit of information about Uveitis. There is sadly a lack of representation and awareness about Uveitis. It took me almost a year to find a community and the people I follow on Instagram. I would not want anyone else to feel as alone and hopeless as I did when I was diagnoses. I had gotten inspiration for the name of my mother. On my first doctor’s visit, my mom was able to see how my pupils were deformed and she said that one looked like a snowman while the other looked like a flower.

Visit George:

Instagram: theflowerintheireyes
Website: The Flower In their Eyes: For the Eyes of Yesterday

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