Sweet Sixteen Tomorrow

Let’s hope it is sweet, or at least it doesn’t make things worse. Tomorrow at 12.30 I’m having what is called YAG laser capsulotomy, a minor surgical procedure (my sixteenth) to get rid of some clouding that has developed since the cataract extraction last April. I’ve been told that it is very quick procedure. In fact, the women from the office who phoned me today with the time of the surgery told me there were no restrictions (as far as eating or meds go,) and, get this, I could drive myself to and from the procedure. Uh, if I tried to drive myself to the procedure, I’d never get there. If I tried to drive after the procedure, Action News and NBC10 News have a 50-50 shot at being the news since the surgery center is about a block away from them.

I won’t get into what I hope I can do after the surgery, because even the doctors I’ve talked with about it tell me that I will probably only pick up a very slight increase in vision. Risks associated with this surgery are also pretty small, with retina detachment the primary complication. While I am hopeful of getting back to the sight I had for the 10 day period following my cataract extraction, and staying there, this surgery will not get me there. My sight has been so poor as of late that any positive outcome will be greatly appreciated. The dream of significantly better sight will have to wait for modern medicine.

So, we’ve got a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. At 8.30, we’re touring the high school at Friends Central where Jane would move on to next year (she’s currently in eighth grade there now.) After that, we’re heading down Lancaster Avenue to make a delivery. Then on to the Main Line Surgery Center for the surgery. (I’m hoping we can fit a Starbucks stop either before or after the delivery — though maybe I should wait until after the surgery so the caffeine from the Apple Chai Infusion doesn’t make me too jittery… After the surgery, a delivery or two over in Ridley, and, if it’s in, a trip to Newark to pick up our Clairol order. Wow, I’m tired already.

Share

My Eye, My Dad and Our Day

I’d been looking forward to today for the past dozen days. Back on 10 Dec, I went to my retina doc, who, as previously mentioned, noticed three things that he thought were causing my vision to be worse than it had been. Two of three “issues” were cornea related, while one was retina related (and not correctable.) Today, I had an appointment with my cornea doc, Dr. Ayres.

As I was getting out of the shower, I heard the phone ring. Jacob answered it downstairs. Since he didn’t come up to mention the call, I figured it wasn’t for me. Minutes later, after taking my morning eye drop, Jake came in and told me my mom called. He went on to tell me that my mom said my dad was having shortness of breath and chest discomfort and they were going to the hospital. I sat back on the bed and thought about canceling my appointment. Since my mom didn’t ask to get me on the phone, I assumed it was a precautionary trip to the hospital (I later found out my dad didn’t want to go to the hospital, but since he mentioned chest pain, the Maris Grove staff wouldn’t take no for an answer.) I tried to reach my mom on her mobile, but didn’t get an answer. I felt selfish, but I decided I’d keep my doctor’s appointment.

We arrived early for my 9.45 appointment (seven minutes is early for us…) After we checked in, Eliz tried to call my mom. She got the voicemail (and knowing my mom can barely make and receive calls, didn’t leave a message. A minute or two later, Eliz’s phone rang and she handed the phone to me since she needed some insurance info for the receptionist. It was my mom. I spoke to her and then my dad. My mom told me what was going on. My dad told me, “Don’t count the money yet.” At that point, I felt I made the right decision to go to my appointment.

A few minutes later, I went back into (Eye) Pod 1. I was able to read the L (but not the S) on the SL line (which is the 20/200 line.) Dr. Ayres came in a few minutes later. He asked how things were going and I told him about my appointment 12 days earlier with Dr. Garg. He seemed to get defensive when I told him what Dr. Garg said. Dr. Ayres then had a look at both eyes. He started on the right one and quickly moved on to the left after saying, “That one is trash.” This I already knew. I haven’t seen anything but light with that eye since the last century… After he looked at the left eye he told me that it looked pretty similar as previous visits.

He said the transplant looked good, though was less than perfect. (It’s from a 69 year old donor and I’ve had it for two years.) He didn’t see signs of rejection. He said he could do another transplant if I wanted, but he didn’t think it could be too much better. The downside was too steep for me, so we’ll revisit that at a later date. Dr. Ayres also noticed a bit of haze behind the lens implanted in the cataract extraction in April of this year. It’s called posterior capsule opacity. It can be dealt with doing a procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy. He said there is very little downside to this, so I am scheduled to have this done on 20 January. I’m not sure if this counts as my 16th surgery or not…

Once we finished up with my appointment, we headed down Route 1 to Riddle Hospital to see my dad. We spent about three hours with him. The cardiologist met with all of us and said he didn’t think the problem was a heart issue. After running Jane to a friends for a birthday party and a trip to Newark DE to pick up a small order, we returned to Riddle at 5.15. We visited with my dad for about 45 minutes and then took my mom home, stopping for dinner on the way (she treated us to Ruby’s Diner.) My dad was tired and seemed to want us to go. Hopefully he gets some rest and is able to go home tomorrow.

Share

Visual Fields Test

My appointment with my glaucoma specialist went well, except for the fact that I was back to the 20/200 line and even that wasn’t as crisp as a my second PostOp appointment on 27 April (I also believe it was slightly worse than my unscheduled appointment with Dr. Ayres this past Friday.)  I’m glad everything looks great, but that isn’t helping me see better.  As per Dr. Pro’s (and Dr. Ayres’) recommendation, I’ve scheduled an appointment with Dr. Garg, the retina specialist I saw earlier this year.  I have a feeling I know how that appointment will go too.  Everything will look fine, but my vision will still suck.  Call me Nostradamus.  I’ll let you know how things go on 18 or 19 May.

Central Vision Visual Fields Test at Wills Eye

Central Vision Visual Fields Test at Wills Eye

One of the problem I’ve noticed is that I seem to have more blind spots, especially in my central vision.  When Eliz and I were working with Jane at softball, I noticed I had trouble following the ball when Eliz would flip the ball to me from three to five feet unless I looked to my right.  I’m not sure what the above test indicates, but since I don’t think I’ve ever had this particular visual fields test I don’t think there is anything to compare it to.

Visual Fields Test Machine in the Glaucoma Dept. at Wills Eye

Visual Fields Test Machine in the Glaucoma Dept. at Wills Eye

After my appointment at Wills Eye, Eliz and I walked up Walnut Street and stopped into the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  I had contacted them just before we moved Salon Supplies + Interiors and ForYourSalon.com out of that disaster of a building (which has been condemned, by the way.)  Between the move and setup of the business and waiting to see how things went with the surgery, I didn’t follow up.  Looking back, that seems dumb.  As it stands now, I don’t think things will improve dramatically, if at all.  You may say I’m a pessimist, but I disagree.  I would call myself a realist.  Sure, I can hope and wish, but I’ve been doing that since I was a small child.  Maybe I learn something and gain some confidence.

Share