One Week to Go

At some point next Thursday morning, I will be in surgery hopefully only having a cataract removed.  There is the chance that I will also receive another corneal endothelial transplant (DSAEK, partial-thickness corneal transplant, endothelial keratoplasty, or whatever you want to call it.)  It is what I had done on 4 Dec 2008.

From what I gather, recovery time on the cataract extraction is about half that of the DSAEK (which is about four months.)  Seems like I won’t have to wear that awful eye shield as long with only the cataract coming out.  After the last surgery, I had to wear it for over a month.  Lets not forget the misery on the day after my last surgery.  My IOP went from seven to about 30.  I puked my guts up all day long from the dramatic change in pressure.  Showering was difficult too since I had to make sure I didn’t get any soap or water in my eye.  That was only for a few months.  Eliz will be shaving my head this weekend so that I only need to use a washcloth to wash my head.

I am very excited about the prospects of seeing more than I see now.  Maybe I’ll see well enough to go to the movies again.  I’d love to go and see a few Phils games, or even go see an Eagles game (you know, I’ve never been to the Link.)  If things go really well, maybe I’ll be able to throw a softball around with Jane, a lacrosse ball with Jake, or even read the mail instead of having someone read it to me.

Of course, there are risks and I do worry about something going dreadfully wrong.  I see only light out of my other eye, so any failure would dispose of the fantasies I’ve listed in the previous paragraph and make life a bit more challenging.  I have no idea what I would do then.  Lets just hope for the best.

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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.

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