What a Busy Week

So it’s been a few weeks since my last update.  There were several times this past week I wanted write something, but I just couldn’t steal an hour to do it.  It’s Sunday night, Eliz is sleeping and the kids are both away.  Here is my chance!

I’ve been wanting to go to Affiliate Summit East in New York since I learned about it a few months ago.  My one big problem was how.  If Eliz went with me, how would we run ForYourSalon.com and ship orders?  And, more importantly, even if we conceded that there will probably be few orders since it is the middle of August, what would we do with the kids?  Also, since Eliz was going to assist me, I didn’t think it would be fair to have to pay for her.  If I could go on my own, I would.  (The last time I did something like this on my own was in January 2001.  I flew to Miami for a Taylor Rental event – we were interested in purchasing the one in Media and my prospective partner bailed on the event two days before we were to leave.  I went anyway and had a very tough time getting around the airport, hotel, and event, even though my vision was substantially better than today – between 20/80 – 20/100.)

Fortunately, after an email to #ASE10, I was able to work something out on entry fee for Eliz by providing a letter from one of my eye doctors.  Conveniently, I had an appointment with Dr. Ayres, the cornea specialist this past week and he agreed to write the letter for me (more on the appointment later.)  I’d like to thank Amy from Affiliate Summit for all her help!

The big question was about the kids.  Do we take them and let them take in the sights of NYC on their own?  The Museum of Modern Art is across the street from where the event will be held and 5th Ave is only a block away.  The bottom line was that we didn’t feel comfortable with that and thought it would be too great of a distraction for us.  We’ll take the kids back another time.  Eliz’s mother (Grandmere to the kids) will sleep here the two nights we won’t be here.  She’ll also grab dinner for them.  As she says, she’ll supervise not babysit.

So, along with doing my normal routine of communicating with customers, updating shipping status’, and helping Eliz with the heavier deliveries, I was also constantly checking  Hotels.com (Hotels.com by city, dates and number of guests) for a place to stay since I missed out on the good deals through the event at the New York Hilton, where the event is being held.  I just couldn’t pay $400 per night plus taxes to stay there… So, the post is sponsored by Hotels.com.

I also had a few things to do for Digital Graphics Design. The main item was end of the month invoicing. We had picked up a couple more hosting accounts, plus Dan had completed some updates for current clients. While my title is president, my actions are primarily as bookkeeper… Dan did get a lead for an e-commerce, so Dan, Ken, and I kicked around pricing for that after doing some research on what the prospective client wants. Keep your fingers crossed… In other spare time, I’ve been helping a friend who just opened a shop by creating a logo and working on a website for her. I really miss doing that, but I don’t feel my work is up to par to actually charge for it.

This past Wednesday afternoon, I had an appointment with Dr. Ayres, as I mentioned above. There wasn’t much of a change. The eye chart seemed a bit blurrier than at my appointment a few weeks earlier with Dr. Garg. I could read the E, but the S in the SL line was difficult for me. I’m not sure if I would’ve been able to read it if I didn’t know what it was. Dr. Ayres had a look and we spoke about the fluctuation in my vision. He had Gordon do some sort of scan to measure my cornea. They used a machine they were trying out and he hoped that he’d still have it at my next appointment to get another scan at a different time of day. Looking into the machine, I saw what looked like one of the flowers on the Mystery Machine. Zoinks! While I was having the scan done, Eliz asked Dr. Ayres about writing the letter for the Affiliate Summit. When we returned to Pod 2 (I still don’t know why they don’t call them EyePod 1, 2, and 3…) Dr Ayres and I talked about the letter. He told me to continue on the eye drops and come back in six weeks, in the morning. So while there weren’t any miraculous breakthroughs on why my vision can’t get back to where it was just after the surgery in mid-April, I wasn’t really expecting too much and my IOP remains stead at eight, which is good considering it could get wacky (cuckoo bananas?) because of the drops that I’m on. As promised, Dr. Ayres had the letter to me by the next morning.

It’ll be interesting to see if this week is as frantic as last week. Since both kids are away, it will certainly be more quiet here.

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It’s Not Cuckoo Bananas, But It’s Not Good Either

It has been a busy week, so I haven’t had a chance, until now, to post an update on last Fridays appointment with Dr. Garg, the retina specialist.  Unlike two weeks ago when I went to the glaucoma doc, this appointment was lacking most of the nonsense.  By the end of the appointment, I wasn’t any closer to an answer than I was since late April.

The appointment started with the typical questions from a tech about how my vision was doing, if I was experiencing any pain or discomfort, etc.  Then it was time to read the chart with my left eye.  The E was not a problem.  The next line, C and D, I could see, but if I didn’t remember it I might have said G instead of C.  The next line, which I now know is DHN, I couldn’t see.  With the pinholes, I was able to make out the H.

She moved on to my right eye.  Good news there, I can still tell if a light is off or on if it is a foot or less away from my eye…  Yippee.  She then put, or should I say shot, drops into both eyes.  God only knows how many, but it was sure more than one of each.  One is to numb the eye to get IOP (pressure) readings, while the other was to dilate my eye.  While she was doing this, she left the chart on, so I continued to try to read it.  She then used a hand-held device to get the IOP (Dr. Ayres calls this device a glorified random number generator.)  IOP was nine in the left and mid to upper 20s in the right.  The previous week at my glaucoma appointment, it was eight in the left and 13 in the right using the standard device (the one that you put your chin in, press your head against the bar, and look at the blue light.)

She waited a minute or two and then tried to get another number on the right eye.  Meanwhile, I’m still trying to read the 20/100 line on the chart.  She then said I was cheating by continuing to attempt to read the line.  Eliz didn’t like what she said and asked how I was cheating if I was just trying to read the chart.  While the lady answered Eliz, I had my hand in front of my eye, trying to simulate the pinholes while still trying to read the line.  Hey, if you don’t want me to keep trying, shut the effing thing off!  As we got up to move to the next exam room, I glanced behind the chair where the chart is bounced off of a mirror and saw that the line was DHN.  Now maybe that was cheating.  How would that help me though?  It’s not like I could get a drivers license for reading the 20/100 line.

In the next room, Dr. Garg came in and asked some questions and then had a look.  He then told me that the only thing left to try were injections in the eye.  Before we try that though, he wanted to get another OCT scan to make sure the risk/reward was worth the attempt (actually, attempts, as it would take several injections over the course of a few months for it to work.)

Tom gave me the OCT scan a few minutes later, then we headed to another exam room.  After a minute or two, Dr. Garg came in and had a look at the scan.  He said that it wouldn’t be worth trying the injections as there was only a 15% chance of them helping me see better.  At that point, I said, “Okay, so there isn’t really anything you can do for me?”  “That’s right,” he replied.  He told me I could come back in five months (why?,) or sooner if I was having any other problems.  He did tell me to make sure that I see him, Dr. Ayres, Dr. Pro, or Dr. Ruffini frequently to get IOP readings.  Seems like ‘roids that I take 2x per day in the left eye could cause the pressure to rise.  Maybe it’s time to see Dr. House, Dr. Riviera, or Oscar Goldman…

So while my vision is not cuckoo bananas (a technical term Dr. Garg used at my last appointment in June,) it’s not good either.  So what do I do now?  Some days, my vision is better than others.  Today, for example, it sucked big time (I suppose that is a technical term I picked up somewhere along the way.)  Maybe I’ll see a little better tomorrow.  I’m not holding my breathe (but would if it would help…)

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Almost Unbelievable…

As you’ve read here over the past seven weeks, I’ve been pretty frustrated and miserable.  On the way to my my cornea specialist, Eliz and I were talking about what I was planning on discussing with Dr. Ayres.  I was going to tell him how tired I was running back and forth to all these eye specialists who couldn’t really figure out why my vision had deteriorated to 20/200 (close to my pre-surgery acuity) after I was able to read most of the 20/100 line a week after the surgery.  I was also going to ask Dr. Ayres to ease off some of the drops.  I was up to about 8 to 10 per day, and after some, my vision was blurry for varying lengths of time, reducing my vision further.

So we’re driving down Lancaster Ave. after dropping Jane at softball camp at Villanova and we turn on Preston and Steve on WMMR (Eliz is a huge fan.)  They were talking about some guy who was trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records by singing the lowest note ever.  The discussion somehow turned to the Oak Ridge Boys and their hit Elvira (warning, don’t click the link, you won’t be able to get the song out of your head…)  They were talking about how deep one of the members of the band could sing, were making fun of the song and then mentioning that one of the members was from Collingswood, NJ (it is in southern New Jersey.)  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Tears were streaming down my face for over five minutes.  When they finally stopped, we were just passing St. Joe’s on City Ave.  I grabbed a tissue and wiped my eyes and began to look around.  Things looked clearer to me.  We stopped at a red light and I looked at the trees and buildings and told Eliz that things looked better than before the tears flowed.

We were only a minute or two away (his office is on Presidential Blvd. in the Pagoda Building, just off City Ave.)  We sat in the car for a minute or two since we were early.  I looked at the building and the trees and things still looked better.  Once we walked in, things were still tough to see inside.  We took the elevator to his office and signed in.  Eliz grabbed a magazine and started looking through it.  I glanced at the front cover, but couldn’t make out the title, so I thought my vision was returning to its current normal.  After a few minutes, I was called back to Pod 3 (which I suggested on multiple occasions to rename EyePod 3.)  Tia was the name of the tech and she questioned me about what meds I’ve been taking and how my vision was doing.  Then she turned on the eye chart.  E looked clearer.  So did SL.  I was then able to make out the L first, then the P in the OPLB line.  (As I’ve mentioned before, I know all the lines down to DAO6, the 20/60 line, so I’m never 100% sure I’m actually seeing them.)  There is no alternative 20/100 line other then the OPLB line, like there are for the 20/80 line and better, so I was given credit for seeing the P and the L.  With the pinholes, I tried both the CAV8 (20/80) line and its numerical alternative without being able to read anything.

Dr. Ayres came in a few minutes later and I told him about what happened on the way into the appointment.  He then took a look and had me blink twice.  He noticed that my eye was losing the tear film in about five seconds (he didn’t use a stopwatch, instead opting for the technical Philadelphia, as in one Philadelphia, two Philadelphia, etc.  We always used Mississippi when we played football as kids.  You could blitz on five Mississippi…)  He then explained to Eliz and I that 10 seconds is the norm for the tear film to last after blinking.  I’m not surprised that my eyes aren’t normal.  Never have been, never will be.  He also mentioned that once the eye begins to dry, the visual acuity begins to fall.  He gave me more drops, over the counter lubricating drops for during the day, and a prescription for a drop to use at bedtime.  It is an antibiotic that evidently is somewhat thick.  It is used for infections in the eye, but I was instructed to close my eye and massage it onto the edge of my upper and lower lids.  I’ll let you know how that goes in a few days since I haven’t used it yet.  Dr. Ayres also took me off one of the steroid drops (two less drops per day) and Muro 128 (four times per day.)

Can it be that at least part of my current eye issues were discovered because of Preston and Steve?  Yup!  So, thank you Preston and Steve (and Kathy, Casey, Nick, Marisa, the Oak Ridge Boys, and that guy trying to sing the lowest note!)  Now I just have to hope that the new drop works.  Wish me luck (again…)

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