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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Image of My OCT Scan

Just a quick update to add my OCT image.  I’ve added here and to last night’s post (so you can compare mine with the normal one posted on the Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York website.)  I kind of think mine looks like two people laying on the beach on their bellies and seeing just their backs and butts.  I’m hoping to hear from the doctor today or tomorrow.

My OCT scan from 11 Jan 2010.

My OCT scan from 11 Jan 2010.

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OCT Retina Test

What an adventure today at the Pagoda Building at 100 Presidential Ave.  After a few minutes in the waiting area, we were called back.  I followed Irene into a very dimly lit room, stumbling slightly on one of the stools.  I sat on a stool that seemed to be a bit too high for the machine I was supposed to put my chin in while pressing my forehead against the bar.  The device that was going to take the images and measurements of my retina looked similar to an older (circa 1998) surveillance camera.  Inside the lens was this cool blue light, slightly lighter than the blue light on the machine that reads your IOP,  that looked similar to something in a sci fi movie with a thin red line across the horizon that looked like a laser.

My good fortune was that the machine was brand spanking new and both Irene and Todd had not yet mastered it.  Irene couldn’t get a good set of images and kept asking me if I was diabetic, which I am not.  She then said that the cataract in that eye must be really dense, because they couldn’t get a clear image.  She then decided to dilate my eye.  (This test was only for the left eye.  The right is waiting for the Six Million Dollar Man eye and I haven’t spotted those at Radio Shack yet.)  Dr. Pro had asked that the eye be dilated, but Irene thought it wasn’t necessary at the beginning.  While my pupil was dilating, Irene stepped out of the room.  Todd, Eliz, and I talked about the machine.  I asked Todd a question and didn’t get a response.  Eliz then answered for him.  Seems he didn’t realize I couldn’t see him and he nodded yes to answer my question.  After about 10 minutes, Irene walked back in, but Todd wanted his turn on the machine, so Irene coached him.  He couldn’t get a good image either.  Irene’s turn again.

After about 10 to 15 minutes of trying, we were asked to go wait in another waiting area.  We only waited there a couple of minutes and then it was back into the hot seat for me (and I didn’t stumble in the room this time since my eye was dilated…)  Finally, Irene was able to get the correct images the doctor ordered.  I asked if I could have one put on my flash drive.  Irene said no, but said she’d print one out.  As she looked through all the images, she realized that they weren’t that good.  She asked if she could try again on getting a good image.  At this point, either Eliz or I mentioned the Endothelial transplant from December 2008.  She then said that might be why she couldn’t get a good image.  Whatever.  She got some images she was happy with and printed one out for me…  In black and white!  The doctor will have a look in a day or two.  I’ll call on Wednesday to see what the story is.

I’ve got a scanner issue that is stopping me from uploading the image.  Hopefully I’ll figure it out tomorrow and have the image up here then.  I know it doesn’t look like this image:

OCT demonstrating normal retinal architecture.

OCT demonstrating normal retinal architecture.

My OCT scan from 11 Jan 2010.

My OCT scan from 11 Jan 2010.

So now I have to wait to hear from the doctor.  My image is a bit more “hilly” than the image above.  I’m hopeful this is the reason for my latest issue.  I also hope this can be fixed.

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