With the recent website upgrade to FitEyes.com, I decided to send an email to all registered member. While writing the email I was inspired to discuss more of my experiences with self-tonometry, the process of monitoring my own eye pressure. After I wrote and sent the email, I realized that we have a lot of visitors to FitEyes.com who are not registered and who would not be able to see the experiences and thoughts I shared with the registered members. Therefore, because I feel very passionate about the benefits of self-tonometry, I decided to post the entire email on my blog. Here it is (and now it is updated to reflect recent events such as my grandmother's most recent birthday).
Hi Everyone - I just upgraded the FitEyes.com website. It has been a long, long time since I have sent an email to all members. FitEyes has continued to grow and flourish in recent months. I want to take this opportunity to invite you to visit the new website and let me know what you think. Not only will you see a new design and new features, you will find lots of new content (some of it potentially controversial).
New Website Features
You will see that FitEyes.com has many new features. It is running on open source software now. (For you techies, the operating system is open source too: Ubuntu Linux.) You can form friendships and communicate privately with other FitEyes members. There are lots of other new features, so please explore and try them out.
Self-Monitoring Eye Pressure
It is my strong belief that almost every glaucoma patient or glaucoma suspect (or anyone with elevated intraocular pressure) will benefit greatly from self-tonometry. The practice of frequently monitoring your own eye pressure in your daily life will be universal in the future -- just as monitoring blood sugar is a normal part of managing diabetes today.
Unfortunately, most experts continue to practice under the mistaken assumption that there is nothing we can do to implement this beneficial practice of self-monitoring eye pressure right now, today. They feel that the equipment is not available and won't be available for years (or decades) to come. However, that opinion is simply based on a lack of knowledge and experience with self-tonometry. As self-tonometry research participants already know, this vital practice can be done easily with today's existing equipment -- provided you know which equipment to select and how to use it. One of our main missions at FitEyes.com is to make this knowledge available and to help anyone who wants to begin this practice now to have that opportunity.
My opinion is that self-tonometry is an absolutely vital part of what we can do to take care of our own health. Of course, it is also vital that you work with your doctor. But sometimes patients need to educate their doctors when adequate solutions are not widely known. I am convinced beyond all doubt that, for most glaucoma patients, having one eye pressure exam every few months (or even less frequently) is not adequate for the goal of maintaining our best vision possible.
I feel that self-tonometry is so powerful that it can be a positive life-changing endeavor that may surpass almost anything else you have done in your life. I feel that is true for me -- and I have done some amazing things in my life. I have raced motorcycles at high speed, I graduated from college with a perfect straight-A average, I have traveled around the world, I have done many extreme sports such as wind surfing and sky diving, I have enjoyed amazing times with friends and family both at home and in exotic locations, I have even felt and seen God's direct presence -- and I just attended my grandmother's 100th birthday! These life experiences are all wonderful and I could list many more. But I am not exaggerating when I say that self-tonometry has been one of the most profoundly positive experiences of my life.
And it gets better and better. I have been at it for several years now and I rarely miss a day. I derive a lot of insights from it.
I promise you there is no way I could have said, "I Am Loving Glaucoma" without the benefits of self-tonometry. I suspect I would have been hating glaucoma like most other people if not for this one critical factor -- my participation in deep self-tonometry research.
If you do not own a tonometer I encourage you to consider making the investment. Reliable tonometers are not inexpensive. In order to obtain any value from self-tonometry, you will require a tonometer costing thousands of dollars. I had a very difficult time making the decision to spend that much money when I embarked on this path several years ago. However, I reasoned that my vision was worth far more than that. I felt that if I didn't do more to manage my eye pressure, I would be faced with a serious disability that would greatly diminish my earning power throughout the rest of my life, thereby costing me far more than even ten or a hundred tonometers would cost me. I also reasoned that I would be a burden on my family if I lost most of my vision. Therefore, I convinced myself to spend the money to purchase a very good tonometer -- and that was one of the very best decisions I have made in my life.
The real value comes not from the tonometer, but from the insights it affords. I am constantly reminded of the saying, "the eye is the window to the soul." I believe that the eye is also the window to our health -- especially if we have glaucoma or ocular hypertension, but also in a wider sense. My self-tonometry research is convincing me that there is a deep connection between my overall health and my eye pressure. There seems to be no end to the amazing things I am learning about myself and my overall health as a result of monitoring the subtle changes in my eyes. It is a wonderful experience and I hope more people can participate!