Second Post Op Visit

I was looking forward to my second visit to Dr. Ayres since the surgery on 15 April.  The last few days have been trying.  I began to notice that my vision was changing.  I was getting a bit nervous as I was having difficulties seeing things close to me and up to five to 10 feet away.  Some of the problems, I figured, had to do with my eye healing and changing.  The eye drop regimen also could play a part in my vision.

While we were in the waiting room, Eliz and I did the word scrambles in the Inquirer (her mother gives that section to us after she finished the crossword puzzle, so we usually have a few days of scrambles to do.)  I realized today while we were doing the scrambles that I am a visual thinker when it comes to these puzzles.  That is not good since I can’t see the puzzles at all.  I have no trouble doing math in my head without seeing the numbers, but I am slow, usually, with the words.  I do occasionally get the words before Eliz, but she is usually quicker than I am.

After completing three puzzles, we were called back to Pod 2.  I was able to read the OBLB (20/100) line, though it didn’t seem as crisp as it did the day after the surgery.  The pinholes brought it into focus, but I couldn’t read any of the CAV8 (20/80) line.  Dr. Ayres came in and had a look.  He said things looked very good.  My IOP was up to 10 (which is higher for me than normal,) but he believes it is from the steroid drops that I was taking four times a day and believes that will fall back a few notches as I lower the amount of those drops (I take them three times per day for the next week and then two times per day until I see him on 21 May.)  I hope he is correct about the pressure…

After he finished looking, we talked about what is going on with my vision.  I told him of my difficulties seeing things close to me and the trouble I had since the weekend even on the computer.  He apologized about not giving me the whole story before the surgery and said that the lens he put in was for distance.  I told him I was happy with how I could see things in better detail than before.  He explained that, like a person 10 to 15 years older than me, I had lost the ability to focus at things close up.  He hoped that the problem could be fixed with glasses, but it was too soon for that since my eye is still healing and will continue to change as it does.

I brought the pair of reading glasses I’d been using since the surgery to read on the computer and see food on my plate so he could check the strength.  I’ve used several different magnifications since the transplant in December ’08 and I wasn’t sure which pair these were.  I was also concerned, since they were less effective over the last few days.  Fortunately, they were 3.5X.  I knew that I had a pair of 4x glasses at home, somewhere.  When we got home, I found them and was relieved that they made reading my screen much more comfortable than the 3.5X pair.  I hoping I don’t need to go up to 5X, but they would still be cheaper than prescription glasses.  They will do a refraction at my next visit on 21 May.

I don’t know if it was the 4X reading glasses or what Dr. Ayres had to say about how good things looked, but it seems that I can see better after the appointment.  I only have to wait two weeks before I see my glaucoma specialist, so we’ll see how the IOP is doing then.  I’d also like to get a fields test to see how that has changed since the surgery.  Maybe I can have that done then too.  I’ll post it here on the blog if I have it done…

Generally, I’m happy with the results so far.  Eliz and I may go to the movies this weekend (her birthday is Saturday and she’s requested Mexican Post for dinner, then a movie at Regal across the street.)  Jane’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah schedule (six in the next eight weeks) may force us to reschedule…  I tried to help Eliz prepare some parts of dinner tonight, with limited success.  Shooting pictures and video is something I’d like to try soon.  I tried taking a picture a day or two after the surgery, but couldn’t see well enough through the viewfinder.  I may have to leave the lcd screen on for pics and videos to be usable…  For now, lets see what tomorrow brings.

This post is sponsored by Buy.com.  $5 off $100 or more in ALL Stores! New Customer Coupon! exp 4/30/10.

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EyeOp XIV Report

I figured that I’ve gone through enough eye surgeries that I can label them in roman numerals.  In fact, if I had some time, I’d probably do this post on video, with cool graphics and theme music like a championship game post game show.  Here it is, without video, cool graphics, awesome theme music, and John Fecenda doing the voiceover:

Welcome to the Hotels.com EyeOp XIV Report.  We’ll take you through the entire operation from warm-ups to the very end.  The patient walked in relaxed and comfortable, but lacking any fashion sense in a button down Tigger shirt, grey sweatpants, and sneakers.  At check-in, he was informed of a last-second audible that there would be no transplant on this day, just the cataract extraction.  Not flustered by the surprising news, he moved to the waiting area and went through the word scrambles as quickly as Eliz could read him the letters.  Then, his number was called.  It was time.

In the prep area, he relaxed while Lisa went over the plan and put some “face paint” above his left eye.  There wasn’t a flinch when she put the IV into his left hand.  After a brief meeting with the surgeon, Dr. Ayres — where additional “face paint” was added above the left eye and a reason was given for not being prepared to do the partial cornea transplant (if it wasn’t needed, the tissue would have been wasted) — Dr. Curtis came over to start the IV.  She remarked that the patient already looked relaxed and sleepy before starting the IV.

At 11:06 am, the players took the field.  The patient was so very comfortable, only spoke to the doctor once or twice and enjoyed “twilight” (minus the vampires.)  Within 30 to 45 minutes there was a pat on the shoulder from Dr. Ayers and it was off to recovery.  After a grueling victory, the patient celebrated was a cool cup of water and an apple cinnamon bar.  He was given last minute instructions (keep the shield on, don’t get water — or anything else — in the eye, take 12 eye drops per day, etc,) and put his chai (jewish symbol for life, not spiced Indian tea) necklace back on.  Three hours after arriving, it was time to go home.

The 1-800 Contacts Great Sight of the Day was everything outside!  The grass and the trees looked greener.  The buildings had depth and dimension.  Some signs on buildings could be read.  So far, so good.

So that’s how the Hotels.com EyeOp XIV Report would end.  But the healing continues.  This morning, on our way to the first post op appointment, I was able to see more signs on buildings and stores and read some advertising on buses.  At my appointment, the doctor said everything looked good and I was able to read some of the 20/100 line without the pinholes.  I was even able to read the A in the CAV8 (20/80) line with the pinholes!  The other good news is that I only have to wear the plastic eye shield to bed.  I can also resume ALL normal activities on Monday (until then, no heavy lifting, gardening, or other strenuous activities.)

I watched some of the Flyers and Phillies games tonight.  Wow!  I was amazed at how much I could follow the play in the Flyers game.  I could see the score and time left in the period without getting up off the floor (where I lay, propped up on my left elbow to watch TV.)  Even the Phillies game looked good, though it wasn’t in HD since we have Fios.  I could see the rain pouring down on Halliday…  I was disappointed we didn’t get to Jacob’s lax game before the rain came.  We were in traffic on 202 after our delivery in Wilmington.  My next chance at live sports is Jane’s softball game on Monday.

I am pleased with the results thus far.  I believe I’ll be able to follow a movie on the big screen.  Maybe we’ll try that next weekend.  I am looking forward to trying things that I haven’t been able to do for many years.

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Latest Eye Appointment

I went to see Dr. Ruffini yesterday for a checkup.  He is my local ophthalmologist that I see a few times per year or when there is a problem.  I’ve been having difficulty over the last few months with my vision, so I was happy to go to the appointment.  I was interested in seeing what my vision was, after only seeing 20/400 at the glaucoma study (20/200 with the pinholes.)  Sure enough, it was the same yesterday.  The difference between yesterday’s test and the glaucoma study’s test is that I knew the chart yesterday and could recite down to the 20/60 line with my eyes closed.  I could see the big E, but it wasn’t clear as day.  The next line (20/200) is SL.  I couldn’t see it at all.  I asked the nurse for a minute to continue looking at it, hoping it would come in.  It never did, so I asked for the pinhole thingy.  It was like night and day.  As soon as she flipped the pinholes down, I saw the S and L.  Then I got ambitious and tried to read the OPLB line.  I always look for the L in this line since it has straight lines in it.  No luck.  I could barely see any black where the letters were.

The nurse/assistant then put numbing drops in my eyes and took my pressure.  I’m not a fan of them taking my pressure, because they do not take their time getting a reading and are obviously not as skilled as the doctor in reading the results.  She got between 10 and 12 on my right eye (not that that eye matters.  Hell, I’d sell it to the highest bidder if I could – and no, PayPal would NOT be accepted for payment.)  She got eight in my left eye.  That eye hasn’t, pardon the pun, seen eight in quite awhile (since 5 Dec 2008, the day after my endothelial transplant, when my IOP was in the mid-teens due to something being blocked from the surgery.)  It has fluctuated between five and seven at most visits over the last six and a half years since my last trab (glaucoma surgery) in Feb 2003.  She then dilated my eyes.

Dr. Ruffini entered about 10 minutes later, and not a moment too soon, since Eliz and I had finished all the word scrambles from the paper.  I told him of my lousier than normal sight and the double vision I’ve been experiencing.  He had a look with a light that was 3457329845 times brighter than the sun.  He said he could see all the way back to the nerve in my left eye; my cornea was very clear; the cataract had grown slightly, but it wasn’t something that needed to be dealt with near-term.  He also mentioned a slight fold at the center of the endothelia.  He wasn’t sure what might have caused this, since it wasn’t there the last time.  I asked if the low IOP (hypotony) could have caused this and thought that might be it.  Wow, after 44 years of going to ophthalmologists, I actually contributed to the discussion!  He advised me to discuss the wrinkle with both the glaucoma specialist and cornea special at my upcoming appointments with them in October.

I was disappointed  when we left the appointment.  These things are going on in my eye, I still can’t see as well as I did back in March 2008 (before the problems with my cornea started,) and yet there is no solution.  Nothing.  I don’t know why I have such a hard time believing that.  I also don’t know why I’m having such a tough time dealing with it.  I’ve known since I was a little kid that this was my predicament.  Knowing doesn’t make it easier.  As my sight gets worse, I’ve gotten more miserable and I’m too young to be a grumpy old man.

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