Sometimes Things Look Different to Me

Every morning I weigh myself twice, once before I get in the shower and once after I dry off after the shower. Getting on the scale is also an eye test of sorts. Our scale’s readout is an LCD with two inch tall numbers. The weight only displays for five to ten seconds after it is calculated, so I have to be fast when trying to read it. Today, I was able to read it the first time before the shower. I was 154.8 pounds. Some days it takes me two or three times if my eye is dry or has a bunch of stuff in it. After the shower, and after a moisturizing eye drop, it took me two times to read it. I was 154.6, by the way. (It’s funny how most days I weigh less after the shower…) My goal is to stay around 155, which I’ve been since last summer. As previously mentioned, that is about 80 pounds less than I weighed when I changed my eating habits ever so slightly.

I get frustrated when I have to get on the scale multiple times. What is worse is when I think I see one number, then the next day the number is two pounds higher and I wonder if I actually read the number correctly the day before. Similar things happen when I read things on my computer screen. The word email looks an awful lot like small to me when both are all lower case. Lower case t’s and f’s, v’s and y’s, i’s and l’s are the worst. Sometimes it’s letter combinations that throw me, like rn looking like an m or ri looking like an n.

Today, when I was reading some tweets, I read down to one I posted last night. I tweeted: Tired of Safari quitting on me multiple times per day. Well, 10 minutes ago when I read it, it said this: Tired of Satan quitting on me multiple times per day. Hmm… Don’t give up on me Lu! (Of course I’m kidding, I don’t believe in satan like I don’t believe in god…) I did have to zoom in on the the word to make sure I typed Safari. Once I verified that I did, I smiled at what It looked like I had typed.

The same sort of things happen when watching TV or simply looking at objects. More times than not it is frustrating to me. (Last week, I left one Bang-Bang Shrimp on my plate at Bonefish Grill that Eliz had to tell me was there.) Today though, I smiled at what I thought I saw.

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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.

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Going the Wrong Way

Since Wednesday or Thursday, I’ve noticed that my vision didn’t seem to be as good as it was earlier in the week.  By Friday, after talking with Eliz, we decided it was probably a good idea to try and visit Dr. Ayres, the surgeon that removed the cataract (and performed the endothelial transplant in Dec. ’08.)  Fortunately, they were able to squeeze me into their busy schedule at Wills Eye at noon on Friday.

We didn’t have to wait long in the waiting room.  I was very curious about reading the chart.  The E was not a problem.  I could see the SL on the next line, but it didn’t seem as sharp as my previous appointment about 10 days earlier.  I could not read the OPLB line.  That was a step backward.

When Dr. Ayres came in, I told him about what was going on.  He took a look and said everything seemed about the same as my previous appointment.  No signs of retina detachment, the new lens was still in place, and there was no signs of rejection on the previously transplanted endothelia.  My IOP was at seven, which was down from 10 at my previous appointment.  As he put it, the good news is that it is not a problem from the surgery, but that means I don’t really have any way of fixing the issue.  He prescribed a non-steroidal eye drop just in case there was a little swelling that he didn’t notice.  He said it was like Advil in drop form.

On Tuesday I have a scheduled appointment with Dr. Pro, who is my glaucoma doctor.  I want to have a Fields test, because one of the things I have noticed is more blind spots, especially in my central vision.  Hopefully, he’ll find something that can be corrected.

So, it seems I’ve missed my opportunity to go to the movies or a Phillies game.  It might also be time to learn how to do things without much sight.  I was waiting for the surgery before I tried anything new, but I think it is time.

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