Natalie Adler the mind converted a conflict into a physical manifestation

The world is full of of embarrassing conditions you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Every week, Carian discusses one. This week: an unusual case of blepharospasm.

Every time when Natalie Adler’s eyelids feel heavy at night, she knows it is coming. Invariably, after waking up the next morning, she’s unable to open her tightly shut eyes. “Something happens overnight. I go to bed and I can open my eyes, and then when I wake up the next day I can’t,” Natalie explains.

But after three days of darkness, her eyes open up and function normally again for three days.

Natalie has been locked in an extraordinary pattern for years: her eyes are closed for three days and then open for three days.

Doctors don’t know the cause. The condition is similar to blepharospasm, an involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscle. But the six-day routine turns her case into a medical mystery.

“There’s nothing that would cause symptoms of a woman to close her eyes for three days, and open her eyes for three days,” neuro-ophthalmologist Dr. Dean Cestari told ABCNews.

According to ABCNews, Cestari believes that at least part of Natalie’s condition may be attributed to a psychological condition that has manifested itself in a physical way.

“It can be hard, because sometimes these patients come in with real experiences. They aren’t making this up,” said Cestari. “But the mind converted a conflict into a physical manifestation.”

No cure has come out yet. She tried botox injections around the eyes, which successfully changed her consistent six-day cycle to five-days open, one-day closed. But after two years, the effects of the treatment wore off and she was back to her three days of blindness.

Although Natalie still hopes for a permanent solution, she has also learned to live with her condition. She marks her “good days” months ahead in her diary and makes sure they are cramped with the things she wants to do.

But some things can’t be scheduled: “On my 18th birthday, my eyes were closed, but on my 21st they were open, so I had a party.”

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