Rheumatoid Arthritis, Poor Vision, and Icy Breakers of the Ocean

RA, poor vision and Icy breakers - feature

As my husband and I sat in our parked car and looked out over the cold icy waters of Lake Michigan, I found myself staring at the waves that were crashing over the blocks of ice that had formed at the edges of the shoreline. Immersed in a discussion over my appointment with the Thyroid Specialist who had shown such kindness to me, why were the crashing waves capturing my attention?

Lake Michigan - #vision
Lake Michigan photos provided by Bettie Gilbert

New Treatments – Vision Issues

The waves of new Rheumatoid Arthritis medications were increasing. And the plunging into new treatments had only gone deeper, as God was bringing home to me a depth of His loving that I had only begun to taste.

Three appointments in as many weeks, with each one speaking a common theme, will tend to make one listen! (Oh, I am so slow to listen, it seems!)

First, an Eye Doctor told me that I had to stop minimizing my symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome; my vision was being poorly affected because of that. The second was with a Thyroid Specialist who did NOT minimize the effects of this Rheumatoid Disease on my body,

And now, came as I placed those new glasses from the Eye Doctor in front of my eyes.

Wonder of wonders, I could actually SEE through the new glasses – Vision!

For many years, I’ve put up with glasses from an inferior manufacturer that never allowed my eyes to focus correctly. Previous doctors explained that the glasses just needed to be bent to my face in a better way. Well, crooked or straight, blurry is blurry.

Crooked or straight, blurry is blurry… Rheumatoid Arthritis and Your Vision #ra #vision Share on X

Unfortunately, I accepted that diagnosis of poor vision and dry, burning eyes as my own deficiency, and berated myself that I could not be sufficient in yet another thing.

Lake Michigan - Vision - poetry of BettieG
Poetry and photo provided by Bettie

HE is my sufficiency

–the One who delights in loving and rescuing me!

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;

all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life

Psalm 42:7-8 NIV

Ever felt yourself being washed in mercy that felt like I was falling and being rescued at the same time?

In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. 3 You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. 4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ 5 The engulfing waters threatened me,[b] the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. 6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.

Jonah 2:1-6 NIV

Hence, It is only in the falling, in the desperation, that we find ourselves crying out for His sufficiency, His compassion. And yet in that very falling is the rescue that He had planned all along.

Where I have discounted the depth of my own stories, my own difficulties, I have held myself apart from receiving His mercy: from seeing how close is the very mercy that can NEVER be cut off.

Additionally, it is here that my heart is plunged deeper into His grace and His love.

Vision issues but He is my refuge
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When He plunges us, when He lets us face those waves, He is holding us and plunging in right there with us. He is that strong tower even in the midst of the waves’ heaving.

This has become an ocean for me, a place of learning again and again that He is with me at the bottom of the sea just as much as He is with me on the quiet beaches.

Consider this:

Have you been facing the waves of an ocean also? Have you been trying to swim on your own?

Would you join with me in this place of falling and rescue as we cry out to HIM?

Dear Heavenly Father,

Oh, Lord, we come trembling before You here, acknowledging that we are in a place where rescue seems far off. We admit that we have tried to ignore the storm, deny the pain, and minimize the waves. But we are in over our heads. We cry out for YOU today. We need You to be our strong tower once again. Thank You for the mercy that is flowing all around us now, for YOUR eternal compassion. We lay ourselves in Your strong and mighty arms.

In the name of Your son Jesus we pray,


curleque by Coffee at pixabay

Thank you, Bettie, for this encouragement that you received.

To the Reader

The most common eye-related symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is dryness. Dry eyes are prone to infection, and if untreated, severe dry eyes can cause damage to the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface of the eye that helps your eye focus. Dry eyes can also be a symptom of Sjogren’s syndrome — an autoimmune disorder that’s often associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Sjogren’s syndrome – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

More rarely, rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation in the white part (sclera) of your eyes, which can result in redness and pain.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis and experience eye pain, vision changes or other eye problems, consult an ophthalmologist for an evaluation. Early treatment can help prevent vision-threatening complications.

-Mayo Clinic, Rheumatoid arthritis: Can it affect the eyes? – Mayo Clinic

If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, you should get your yearly exam with an ophthalmologist and not an optometrist.

RA and Your Eyes: Complications | Rheumatoid Arthritis | Everyday Health

curleque by Coffee at pixabay

Other Posts by Bettie

A Day in the Life of a Pain Warrior

A Light and Momentary Pain?

How I Found Refuge in my Chronic Life

About BettieG

You can find Bettie sharing from her multi-generational home in the far northern suburbs of Chicago. She is on a journey of walking forward with Jesus, in the middle of her own pain and weaknesses from multiple chronic illnesses. The beauty of nature is a joy that always calls to her, as well as the joy of her family and 9 young grandchildren. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years and take great joy in their weekend coffee breaks together.

View all posts by BettieG

One Comment on “Rheumatoid Arthritis, Poor Vision, and Icy Breakers of the Ocean”

  1. Thank you dear Mandy & Michelle for your invitation to share here with you and your readers again. And thanks for the great info you always include! Blessings and love to you.

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