Archives for January 2010

Small Update on My Vision

I’ve been on the eye drop Xibrom for about 10 days now, along with an increase in the number of times per day I take Predforte (from 1x per day to 3x per day.)  Not only hasn’t this regimen helped, but my vision continues to deteriorate.  I visit the retina doc in about a month and the cornea doc a week later.  I’m beginning to wonder what kind of shape my vision will be in at that point.  It can’t be that my local ophthalmologist, the glaucoma specialist, cornea specialist, and retina specialist all missed something, could it?

I had a blood test last week to test for a whole bunch of things including Lyme  disease, diabetes.  According to the less than warm and fuzzy card I received in the mail on Saturday from my doctor’s office, everything was normal.  I have to tell you that I get more personalized mail from Publishers Clearing House.  I was kind of hoping there would be something in the blood test that might give a clue to my vision.  No luck.  I will call my doctor tomorrow to see if she can elaborate further on my test.

At this point, I’m also wondering about what to do about making a living.  I would love to try to continue to build, but that has become increasingly more difficult for me to do.  I haven’t really worked for anyone but myself and Eliz since 1985.  What could I do?  More importantly, who would hire me?  I’m interested in your opinion.  Comment here or over at Facebook ( if you are a friend.


A Long Day

It has been a long day.  It started off with a trip to the retina specialist at 8:30 am.  We were a few minutes late, so only had to wait about 10 minutes in the waiting room.  Eliz had a cup of tea from the Senseo (or similar) machine, while I brought my own (my favorite Teavana mix: Queen of Babylon and Rose Garden Rooibos.)  I was called back into the first exam room, where I would (try to) read the eye chart and go over my eye issues.  Kelly asked about any of my eye problems and then noticed we were from Media.  She said she grew up in Wallingford.  When Eliz told her we did as well, she mentioned that she graduated from Strath Haven in 2002.  I told her I graduated from Nether Providence and Eliz from Strath Haven and Kelly asked if I went to school with her mother since I was born in 1954.  I laughed and asked if I looked 55…  I guess if there’s going to be a mistake, that one isn’t bad at all.  She corrected my birth year to 1964 and we moved on to the eye chart.

Again, I was unable to read any of it until I flipped the pinhole cover down.  Like magic, the E appeared.  I then said I know the next line is S and L, but I can’t see it.  She told me I was wrong.  What!?!  It’s not S and L.  Now I had to know.  I moved the pinholes all around until it was as clear as it was going to be for me.  I guessed O for the second letter.  Try again.  D!, I said next.  That was it.  The first letter (don’t ask me why I don’t read them in order) looked like it could be an O, G, or C.  I guessed G in hopes of it being the GD line.  No such luck.  C was my next try and that was it.  Kelly mentioned that this chart is made up mostly of similar letters that repeat often, so my usual deduction that I’ve got a one in 26 chance which increases with every letter doesn’t work.  I’m actually going to have to read them.

Once I was finished with the eye chart, Kelly took us to another waiting room, where Eliz read me the story of the Penn State mascot in a recent addition to ESPN magazine.  Before we could finish, we were called to see the doctor.  Dr. Garg asked me about my issues and mentioned that he had spoken to Dr. Pro about me.  He explained that even though my right eye doesn’t do much he still wanted to check it out.  Since my cornea is really cloudy and I have a pretty mature cataract in it, they would use an ultrasound to have a look.  He also explained a test they’d run on my left eye, to check for changes in the macular pigmentation.  Dye is injected via an IV (that’s iv, not roman numeral for 4) and pictures are taken.  After he mentioned the dye, I remembered that I had this test before.  The images are wicked.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a flash drive on me to get the images.

I went into another exam room to have the ultrasound and then back to the second waiting room to wait on the angiography.  After a 10 minute wait, Tom called me back to have the angiography.  He took a couple of images of my eye before putting the dye in.  The dye made me feel nauseous for about a minute.  Tom took more images and left to give someone an OCT scan (which took him all of five minutes — about 1000x faster than mine took on Monday.)  He then came back into the room I was in to get two more pictures.

I waited in the angiography room for a few minutes until they called me to see the doctor again.  He explained what he thought was going on.  He increased my use of one drop to three times per day and added another drop to try and get the swelling down in the retina and cornea.  He suggested that I wait on having the cataract removed until I see him again in six weeks.

After three hours, we were out of there.  We headed down City Ave to pick up Jane from school.  She called me just before the ultrasound and said she wasn’t feeling well, which I knew when she left for school.  I also knew we’d be right down the street from her and could pick her up after the appointment if she couldn’t last the day at school.

After I spent an hour, or so, at home (at which time I found out my mom had gone into the hospital — more on that below,) we headed over to Viva Salon in Springfield.  They’ve been having a problem with a hydraulic base that was still under warranty.  We swapped out the bad base for the good one that has been in our car since the move and headed to my next eye appointment.

I had scheduled this appointment with John Ruffini, another NPHS alum, to talk to him about the cataract surgery (and before I knew of any retina issues.)  He had a look at my still dilated left eye and we discussed my options and the problems that could arise from taking out the cataract.  He also thought it was best to see how the eye reacts to the increased drops and new drop.  I have put off scheduling the cataract surgery because of moving the business and the fact that it could undo the partial cornea transplant.  My left eye has endured seven operations over the years, with another one imminent.  I’m tired of going through these procedures and the recovery with mediocre success.  The risk/reward factor isn’t great, though I would do anything to preserve any sight I still have.

After leaving John Ruffini’s office, we made a delivery in Holmes and stopped by a salon in Milmont Park to look at a styling chair that needs replacing.  We returned home at about 4:00 pm and had an alarm company tech waiting to convert our system.  It took him about two hours (the whole story will have to wait for another time.)

We were finally able to head to Riddle to visit my mom.  She went to the hospital at around 8:00 am this morning because she was having shortness of breath and chest pains.  The doctor wanted to keep her overnight for observation.  She seems to be okay, though uncomfortable because of the shingles.  We are hoping to pick her up and take her home tomorrow.


Time to See a Retina Specialist

I received a call from Dr. Pro late this afternoon regarding my OCT scan from Monday.  Before the call, Dr. Pro talked with Dr. Ayers to discuss the scan.  They both agreed that there is swelling in the retina.  Dr. Pro told me that sometimes this occurs when the IOP is low, which mine has been since my trab in 2003.  He didn’t think it would come on all of a sudden from low IOP though.  My IOP has been between five and seven at just about every eye appointment I’ve had since spring or summer 2003 (except for that dramatic increase after the partial cornea transplant when it rose so quickly it made me vomit multiple times on Friday, 5 Dec 2008 — the day after the surgery.)

Dr. Pro recommended a couple of retina specialists at Wills Eye, who also have an office at the Pagoda Building in Bala Cynwyd.  It was too late in the day to get an appointment today, so I’ll call them tomorrow and set something up.  I’d like to get something quickly to stop further decrease in my vision.  I already have an appointment with my local ophthalmologist, John Ruffini, on Friday and will discuss the scan, my options, and the cataract (which was the original reason I made the appointment.)