Retina Check

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. We’ve had a bunch of things going on that took (and still take) priority. Friday afternoon I visited Dr. Garg for an appointment. He is my retina doc. I was hopeful that Dr. Garg would spot something that could be corrected. My vision has been mired around 20/400 for the last eight months or so.

Unfortunately, Dr. Garg didn’t notice anything new. When I asked him his opinion on why my vision has deteriorated he told me that the multiple issues of congenital glaucoma, cornea and cataract surgeries, and a retina that was “pooping out” (his words,) were the reasons. He explained that while he didn’t notice any problems with my retina he said that age and everything going on with my eye causes it to “wear out.” He said that, like a favorite shirt that you wear often, each time you wear it and then wash it, it starts to wear out over time. He told me to take zinc and extra vitamin C (along with my current multivitamin) to keep the cells in the retina alive and healthy for as long as possible.

I was obviously disappointed that he didn’t find something that could be corrected which would then give me improved visual acuity. On the bright side, if there is one, I will cut back on all the specialist appointments to twice per year for each. If there is a problem, I’ll first try my local ophthalmologist.

As I continue to look for things to help me see stuff I can’t, I’ve found an app for my iPhone that is a great magnifier. It is the only app I’ve ever paid for and bought it after trying most if not all of the free magnifier apps. It is Magnifier – Capture the Micro World! by Game Lingo. I tried it the other day when I was home alone and wanted to know the serving size and calorie count of walnuts. I was very excited when I was able to use my iPhone rather than take the bag into my office and put it under my reading machine. I’ve been hoping for a good app for the iPhone because I just didn’t want to carry something else in my pocket. I’ve been looking for a good hand-held magnifier, whether it be a regular magnifying glass or a digital device like the Pebble from Enhanced Vision, for the last six months or so. Once I use the app more, I’ll post a more in-depth review.


A Frustrating Week

Well, it has been a week of total frustration.  Since mid-afternoon last Thursday, my vision has not been good.  Every day when I wake up I hope that it will be better, but then I open my eyes.  I’ve got just under three weeks until I visit the retina doc again, but at this point, it seems pretty obvious to me that the drops aren’t working.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been less than a joy to be around this past week.  I have just been miserable.  Even watching the Flyers advance to the cup finals brought me down.  I was there in 1997.  Not this time.  No point in going.  I’ll watch it on TV though.

I’m tired of not being able to find things and having to ask Eliz for help.  I’m tired of bumping into door jams because I go a little wide right.  I’m tired of waiting and hoping.  I want to move forward.


Surgery No. 14 is Set

Over the past 10 days, I’ve been to three different doctors.  I’m starting to feel like my parents.  The most important of the three was two days ago.  My appointment was with Dr. Ayres, the one who did the partial cornea transplant (DSEK) in December 2008.  He thought that the cataract I’ve had in my left eye for sometime could be the culprit in my steadily worsening vision, but he sent me to Dr. Garg, a retina specialist, to rule out a retina issue.  Dr. Ruffini also thought I should consider having the cataract removed.

I was not looking forward to another surgery on my left eye until things started going downhill in July.  The problem was, none of the doctors knew what was causing the problem.  The cataract didn’t seem much worse than a few months earlier, if at all.  After going from one specialist to another, it was determined it wasn’t a glaucoma issue or a retina issue.  Lets just hope it is the cataract that is the issue.

I’m having the cataract removed on 15 April (so I guess I’ll send our taxes in early…)  There is also a possibility that I’ll have another DSEK (endothelial transplant.)  The donor endothelia will be in the OR, just in case.  Evidently, removing the cataract risks damaging my now 70 year old endothelia (along with the other common risks associated with this in most people and specific risks for unique individuals, such as myself, with other eye issues.)

I am disappointed that I have to wait that long for the surgery.  I joked with Dr. Ayres that I was ready to have it yanked on Wednesday.  I’m sure I have been less than pleasant to be around at home.  Tonight, I was home alone while Eliz, the kids, and a few of Jane’s friends went to see Alice in Wonderland — I miss going to the movies.  My frustration level is high and it takes me so long to do many basic things.  I am so ready to get the cataract out, it is hard not to get excited.  I’m trying to temper the excitement, since it only leads to disappointment after the surgery (at least after the last three.)