One Year Later

So, today marked the first anniversary of my partial cornea transplant (for those that need to know specifics, I had a DSAEK procedure, which is a partial-thickness corneal transplant that replaces only the endothelial layer.)  I guess this means that at least part of my body (a very small part on a rather large body) is 70 years old.  God knows I often feel like I’m 70…

When I had the surgery, I wondered how well I would see in the days and months afterwards.  As I’ve mentioned in other posts, most of my doctors were pretty optimistic.  They all agreed that unless something went wrong, I’d get back to 20/200.  Some thought I could get to 20/100 or even better.  One year later and my vision is at 20/400.

Dreams of reading a newspaper, magazine, purchase orders, invoices (those that I create to send to a customer, not those sent by a vendor — Eliz can read those,) mail, and anything else printed on paper never came true.  Wild fantasies of tossing a softball around with Jane, hitting a tennis ball around with Jake, going to a Phillies, Flyers, or Eagles game (you know, I’ve never been to the Link) and enjoying it have all been placed back deep in the corner of my mind next to being a rock star, an action-hero actor, or a top chef.

As I’ve previously posted, none of my ophthalmologists know why my vision has deteriorated since June.  Maybe it’s from the mold at our business (we’ll know shortly, because we are vacating or current building very shortly.)  Maybe it’s age related.  Maybe it’s because I’ve gained weight.  Maybe it’s just supposed to be this way.

I have an appointment on 9 December with the cornea specialist.  Perhaps he will have an answer better than the last time I saw him, when he told me that he didn’t know what it was and it would be a hard fix.  I’ll post sometime after the appointment and let you know.

I do plenty of complaining, whining, and ranting here.  One thing I’m not sure I’ve ever done is thank the donor of the endothelia that now resides on the fifth layer of my cornea.  I don’t know who he or she was.  I only know that the donor was 69 years old when they died and without their cornea (even though they only used the endothelia, the whole cornea was available to me) I would almost certainly be much worse off.  Thank you sir/madam, I do appreciate your gift.

Share

Goodbye 44!

No, I’m not looking into the future and the 2012 presidential election.  I turned 45 the other day and, quite frankly, I’m hoping for a better year.  At 45, how many good years are there going to be?

There was a great deal of promise when I turned 44 last November.  I was having a very tough time seeing and surgery was scheduled for early December for a full cornea transplant or a partial cornea transplant (where only the endothelia is swapped out.)  The hope was for the endothelial transplant, but that was to be determined during surgery.  The surgeon was pretty optimistic that my vision would get to 20/100 or a tad bit better.

The result was the easier surgery, replacing only the endothelia, but vision that peaked at 20/200 in spring and then started going the wrong way by July.  I can now see 20/400 in my good eye and none of my ophthalmologists can tell me what the problem is now.  So the hopes and dreams from last Thanksgiving have been replaced by frustration and concern this year.

Then there is the business.  When I turned 44, I had absolutely no idea what was going to become of our business, Salon Supplies + Interiors (see the two previous paragraphs.)  Our lease at 1010 MacDade with the ganif (I am being too kind) was set to expire on 5 February.  Once my doctor informed me that the surgery was “a success,” we tried to negotiate a one year lease at a lower rent.  We were paying $3750 in rent, $1200 in taxes, and about $1100 for utilities on average per month.  (Utilities varied from $800 to $2000 and were billed by the ganif, not Peco.)

Now the question was to move or close.  I really wanted to launch ForYourSalon.com, which was suffering from massive delays (uh, yeah, my sight issues.)  Thankfully, Ken came on-board full time and got it moving again.  We looked at properties from the end of December to the third week in January, when we found our current location.  It was perfect!  It had a drive-in bay, a loading dock bay, and nearly 8,000 square feet.  This place could accommodate our cabinet shop, used equipment department, new equipment showroom, and beauty supplies department.  And the price was right too: $2,500 per month rent, no CAM charges, no taxes, and a utility bill that averages about $575 per month (highest was about $675 and lowest was about $350.)

We boxed all the supplies and moved everything in about five days.  We had everything setup in the new place in about three weeks, though we only closed for three days during the move (the last day at the old location and the first two days at the new location.)  The first few days at the new place were somewhat painful for me since we had so many different workers (moving temps, electricians, etc.)  While my staff knew to keep things off the floor and away from traffic areas, the others did not.  I walked into metal piping that was hanging out of the electricians truck by about three feet (the truck was parked in the warehouse.)  It literally brought me to my knees.

So our predicament is very similar this year.  Different building, different issues, with a move imminent.  This year there is greater worry.  The conditions of our “perfect” space began to worsen with every drop of rain that fell at the end of June.  As water poured in every day or two over the summer, the mold and fungus began thriving.  Samples taken by a mold remediation company in early November showed levels much higher than they should be.  We will be out of the space within weeks (hopefully two weeks.)

Besides my sight, my general health hasn’t been good over the past year.  I’ve had sinusitis multiple times since early summer.  Hmmm, I wonder if it has to do with the mold…  I am looking forward to evacuating that building and seeing if my health (and Eliz’s too) rebounds.

The immortal words of a great philosopher are always in the back of my mind, “It’s always something.  If it’s not one thing, it’s another…”  That said, I’m looking forward to a better year.  I’ll let you know right after I turn 46.

Share

Wills Eye Tomorrow

Okay, I’m going to try to keep this short…  I’m scheduled to see my glaucoma specialist tomorrow.  His name, fittingly, is Dr. Pro, and he is…  It was at an appointment with him late in September of last year that he noticed the clouding of my left eye and recommended me see a cornea specialist, which I did within a month.  That led to the December surgery.  I guess I’m hoping for lightning to strike twice.  As I’ve mentioned in previous entries, my vision has been giving me additional trouble over the past few months.  Dr. Ruffini noticed a slight fold in the cornea that was not there the last time I saw him.  Is that the problem, or is it something else?  I am hopeful that Dr. Pro will spot something, and if he does, I hope it can be corrected.  If not, my last bit of hope will come at the end of this month when I see Dr. Ayers, the cornea specialist that put in the 69 year old endothelia and gave me a black eye in the process (don’t worry, I forgave him for the shiner…)

I had also hoped to stop by ASB (Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired – asb.org) tomorrow, as they are just across Walnut Street from Wills Eye.  I didn’t hear back from them, so I don’t know if we stop in.  I don’t get a chance to get out of the store too often, so we’ve got to make the most of it.  Jane and Margaret are covering for Eliz and I tomorrow, by the way.  I will post tomorrow or over the weekend on how he appointment goes.

Share