Archives for May 2010

A Frustrating Week

Well, it has been a week of total frustration.  Since mid-afternoon last Thursday, my vision has not been good.  Every day when I wake up I hope that it will be better, but then I open my eyes.  I’ve got just under three weeks until I visit the retina doc again, but at this point, it seems pretty obvious to me that the drops aren’t working.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been less than a joy to be around this past week.  I have just been miserable.  Even watching the Flyers advance to the cup finals brought me down.  I was there in 1997.  Not this time.  No point in going.  I’ll watch it on TV though.

I’m tired of not being able to find things and having to ask Eliz for help.  I’m tired of bumping into door jams because I go a little wide right.  I’m tired of waiting and hoping.  I want to move forward.

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Play Ball!

For the first time in a very long time, I got a chance to hit in a softball game.  I’ve been looking forward to it since the middle of April, after my surgery.  A few weeks ago, when my vision was heading in the wrong direction, I didn’t think I’d even try.  After my visit to Dr. Garg a couple of days ago and starting the drop regimen, my vision seemed to improve a little, so I was back in.

After some stretching (okay, very little stretching on the parents’ part,) we grabbed a ball and warmed up.  We threw the ball around like we do here: Jane to Eliz, then Eliz flips me the ball to me (I like to pretend I’m the second baseman and I’m turning a double play,) then I “fire” it to Jane.  Jane will sometimes just give me grounders that I field (without a glove, I don’t want someone to think I can actually play and throw me the ball) and throw to her.  After about 10 minutes of that the girls took the field and the parents went to the bench.

The batting order was determined by who went over and grabbed a bat first.  I hit fourth.  We went through the order all at once.  After three outs though, if there were any runners on base, they came in and the next batter started a “new inning.”  Wasn’t too different than t-ball for Jane about eight years ago.  Two of the first three parents struck out, while the other grounded out.  I felt no pressure stepping into the batters box, since I wasn’t going to be the first one to strike out.  I so wanted to make contact.  First pitch was a ball high.  Second one was over the inside part of the plate, strike one.  Third pitch was in the exact same spot, strike two.  The fourth pitch bounced on the front of the plate, ball two.  I probably saw that one the best and had the bounce been higher, I probably could have hit it — like in mush ball.  The fifth pitch looked good, but I swung and missed, strike three.  There were at least six strikeouts on our team, including Jane’s K of Eliz.

I noticed when I was batting that I couldn’t see as well if I looked straight at the pitcher, I had to glance toward first base to see the ball better.  That concerned me, because that is what seemed to be going on over the last couple of weeks.  My central vision wasn’t good.  I went out with Eliz to stand in rightfield.  As we were talking, I told her my vision wasn’t right.  Since I started the drops, I had noticed an improvement.  I even commented to Eliz on the ride to school that I’m glad I took the eye drop just before we left home and that I was seeing pretty well as I watched the cars on the road in front of us.  How could my vision have changed so quickly?  Was it the running around while we were throwing the ball around?  Was it bright sun?  I don’t know what the answer is, but my vision seems like it has gone back to how it was before I went to Dr. Garg on Tuesday.  Once I finish with this entry, I will investigate macular edema a little further.

After two more drops today, my vision is bad.  I had trouble reading most of the graphics on TV tonight and the text on the computer is fuzzy.  Fortunately, I have an appointment tomorrow with Dr. Ayres, the surgeon and cornea specialist.  Maybe he’ll have an idea about the macular edema and the quick change in my vision.  Most likely, I’ll have to wait until I go back to Dr. Garg on 15 June.  It’s funny, I think if I had hit the ball, I don’t think I would have noticed or been bothered by the decrease in vision.  I’m already looking forward to next years game…

Couple other short items…  I spoke to Dr. Rist, my gp, today.  She was calling to give me the results from a blood test I had yesterday after my appointment with her.  They were all very good and well within the normal range.  They were dramatically better than a year ago.  My blood pressure yesterday was also pretty good, 104/68.  All in all, the 1500 calories per day has been a good thing.  I will be increasing my caloric intake to about 1700 next week, since I’m within a few pounds of my goal.  The doctor calculated my metabolism and came up with that number.  I asked the doctor if the results were back from the throat swab she had done yesterday (I’ve had a sore throat since early last week, along with chills the first day or two,) but they haven’t as of today.  She prescribed Amoxicillin yesterday since she had noticed some things in my throat.

Also, we’ve been getting more calls to our design company (Digital Graphics Design) as of late.  I had to cancel a meeting with a prospective client earlier in the week since I wasn’t feeling well.  Today we got a call from a professional looking for a small website.  I am going to attempt this one on my own.  Let’s see how that goes.  When I took the call in the morning, I was seeing okay and was confident I could do it.  Now I’m not so sure.

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Wow, I was Wrong!

I say that like it doesn’t happen often.  Today I had an appointment to see Dr. Garg, the retina specialist I visited several times in January and February.  As far as I was concerned, he was my last hope of finding why I was having difficulty seeing over the last couple of weeks, after noticeably better sight after the cataract extraction on 15 April.  I mentioned in this space last week that I didn’t think he’d spot anything.  Fortunately, I was wrong!

After having difficulty reading the 20/200 line (their chart is different than all the others, the 20/200 line is CD not SL) I had my IOP taken (9 in the left, 28 in the right – that is high, but since there is no pain and virtually no sight, who cares,) I was given drops to dilate my eyes.  After a 10-15 minute wait, we went to another examination room.  Dr. Garg came in and asked me about the trouble I’ve been having and the surgery, then had a look.  He noticed something and said he would like me to have an OCT scan.  After another short wait, Tom called me in and did the OCT scan.  After another short wait, we went into a different exam room.

Dr. Garg came in and immediately said that I have Macular Edema.  I was pretty happy for a second.  I thought, “Wow, he actually found something!”  Then I though, “Uh oh, now what?”  I asked the doctor how it is treated and then I was happy again.  Eye drops (the name escapes me at the moment, but I think it begins with a D) four times per day.  That is easy enough.  He then showed Eliz and I (between my dilated eye and poor vision, I couldn’t really see much) the OCT scan from today and the one from 15 January.  He pointed out the difference in the one today, which Eliz was able to see.  After about two hours, we were done.  I go back in four weeks.

Today was the first of three doctor’s appointments for the week.  Tomorrow, I go to my general practitioner for a check-up.  Perfect timing for me to visit her, as I’ve had a sore throat for about eight or nine days.  I’m interested to see what she says about my weight.  I was in the mid-180’s the last time I was there in March.  I was 168 this morning.  I know many of you have been asking about how I dropped a total of 66 pounds since 10 December 2009 and want to know my secrets.  The short answer is 1500 calories a day and I weigh everything I eat at home (unless it is packaged, then I use the nutritional info on the package.)  When we’re out, I use the restaurant’s own nutritional info.  If a restaurant doesn’t provide the info, then I calculate it.  If I can’t calculate it, we don’t eat there.  Do you hear me Bertucci’s?  I’ve kept a food journal since February and I’ll post it soon (I wanted to do it a couple of weeks ago, but my vision issues got in the way.)  Friday, I visit Dr. Ayres for another post op check.

Lastly tonight, I went to Anthem Institute (formerly Chubb Institute) for a Graphic Design Advisory Board meeting.  It was both good and bad.  Good because I love talking about graphic design work, the industry, and the curriculum at the school.  They’re making some positive changes there that will give students a deeper design knowledge that should translate into being better prepared to land a job once they graduate.  The bad part about tonight was talking about new version of programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Flash.  How is that bad?  I so want to use them, start shooting pictures again, shooting videos (and editing them,) and cool stuff like that, but my vision is not cooperating.  Maybe I’ll be able to get back to it once the drops work their magic…

Oh, and one last thing.  Really.  The parent daughter softball game is Thursday afternoon at Friends Central.  I am hoping to get an at-bat.  I will most likely strike out, if given the okay to hit, but I want to try.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Fortunately, Lankenau Hospital is literally right around the corner…

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