Latest on My Eyes

For the last several days, I was thinking about what I was going to write for this blog entry. My eyes weren’t going to be part of the post. One year ago today I started paying attention to what and how much I was eating. Through mid-summer, I lost about 80 pounds. I’ve been in maintenance mode since then, eating about 1800 calories a day. I will create a post dedicated to how I did it and a spreadsheet to track your daily caloric intake. For now, just know that this scale was instrumental in my weight loss. It’s $25 and you get free shipping.

The thoughts on my post changed once I went to see my retina specialist, Dr. Garg. I figured in the last couple of days, there might be a conflict on what to write about because of my appointment, but only if there was anything new with my left eye (the one that sees more than light.) Sure, I’ve noticed my vision getting worse over the past months. It’s been brutally frustrating, but when we left for my appointment I thought I’d get a, “Everything looks okay, I don’t know why you’re having these new troubles…” Today, Dr. Garg noticed three things that are most likely causing the decrease in my vison and only one of them has to do with my retina.

It seems that the only issue with my retina is from folds that developed from my pressure being low for a long period of time following a trabeculectomy (glaucoma surgery) back in 2003. Dr. Garg told me that even though my pressure has been in the “normal” range (for me) over the last five years, the folds will never go away (just like you can never get a piece of paper completely smooth again after it’s been folded.) This will slowly take my vision. Dr. Garg said if that were my only eye issue, it really wouldn’t be too big a deal. The other issues Dr. Garg saw today were both cornea related. One is corneal edema, or swelling of the cornea. The other issue has to do with the transplant I had two years ago. He said there was some cloudiness behind the new (to me, 69 years old to the original owner) endothelia. Dr. Garg stated he thought that happens in about 25% of transplants. I’ll know more when I visit my cornea specialist in about 10 days.

When we left the appointment, I said to Eliz that at least there was something there and I wasn’t imaging it. I was somewhat happy. It seems that the cornea issues can be handled with meds and a “procedure” (which makes me think of City Slickers – “You’ll have surgery, but call it a procedure…”) After we returned home and I thought about it, I realized that for the first time in my life, I can’t keep my vision from getting worse. From the time I was a young boy, I was always told ‘there’s no way to improve your vision, we’re just hoping to maintain it.’ Of course, I had hopes and dreams over the years that something would come along… Now, my vision can’t even be maintained. I hope it’s not a slippery slope.

This post is sponsored by the EatSmart Precision Pro Multifunction Digital Kitchen Scale. It has an extra large LCD readout (which means that I can see it when I’ve got my reading glasses on) and an 11 pound capacity. I’ve used this product since last December to lose weight. I weigh everything in grams, because, to me, it is easier using a whole number. If you want to drop some weight, this is a tool that will certainly help you.


An Hour and a Half in Rehab

Okay, that is a pretty dramatic title.  It was low vision rehab.  Just like Lindsay Lohan, I don’t think my rehab will work either.  Today at Dr. Astorino’s office, Dawn had me try prescription glasses for distance, stand magnifiers, and contrast enhancing glare filters — basically sunglasses but with amber, orange, plum, and light gray lenses.  My vision was worse than normal today and my eye was watering quite a bit, so I was eager to see if anything would make a significant impact on my sight.

I was really surprised at the difference the glare filters made on both contrast and depth.  I tried about 34957285 different colors, with amber working out best.  I guess it really is the color of my energy…  Last week during my visit, Dr. Astorino put a few lenses together to help me see for distance.  Today, I tried them on to watch TV in her office, walking around her office, and then looking around outside.  Since the lenses were in one of those bulky lense holders, it was hard to get a good feel for them while walking around.  Watching TV and looking around outside it was slightly better.  At $205, I did think about not getting them since it was a slight difference.  In the end, though, I thought any improvement was better than nothing.

I go back tomorrow to have a look at portable electronic magnifiers, Kindle, iPad (like I need a doctor to tell me I need on of those,) and a couple other things.  I’m kind of excited to check out the Kindle, though you can’t reverse the screen to do white text on black which is about the only way I can comfortably read.  I’ve missed reading magazines and would love to read a book.  Of course, I can do that at my desk on my computer, but it’d be awesome to sit on the porch on a nice day and read.

While I was somewhat happy that there are things to help me out, it is only a small step forward.  Like my dad says when I tell him his stock was up a penny, “at least it didn’t go down.”  Forward is better than backward, but I want more.


My Inglourious Sight

For the past four or five days, my vision has sucked more than normal. I don’t know why. It’s almost like interference on a television screen. The picture is still there, but it’s hard to see through the static. I’ve been a little nervous about my vision because Eliz and I are heading to New York tomorrow for an internet marketing conference — Affiliate Summit East.  Just walking around a crowded event will be challenging.

When my vision doesn’t cooperate, like over the past few days, I spend less time at the computer and the time that I do spend there I get less done since it takes me longer to read.  It gets pretty frustrating.  It seems I need help from Eliz or the kids to get even the simplest of tasks done.  Tonight, Jane and I looked through some inventory to pick out some specials for (we ended up adding the 1189 flat iron from Hot Tools, the Turbo Silverado hair dryer, the One ‘n Only Acid Extra Body perm, and Hair Rescue Intense Clarifying Treatment from Zotos to our specials.)  I have to tell you that I get pleasure when I can accomplish something on my own.

Tonight I realized how poor my vision was.  While flipping through the channels, I saw that Ingloourious Basterds was on.  Eliz and I watched that movie in late April, just after my surgery.  I absolutely loved it.  The best part of it then was I was actually able to read most of the subtitles on my own.  That wasn’t the case tonight, so I didn’t watch it.