Month 9

Things have been going well since my last post. I’ve noticed slow, but steady improvement in my vision. Things have stabilized with my eye pressure. At my eye appointment a few weeks ago they were able to correct my vision to 20/40… a blurry 20/40, but definitely better than the 20/300 I was getting before. I was scheduled to visit my optometrist this week to get fitted for new eyeglasses, but had a minor setback last weekend. I woke up last Sunday with pain, redness and severe light sensitivity, which are all symptoms of rejection. I got in touch with my doctor that day. I bumped up my dropped and was planning to see him on Monday. When I woke up, all of the pain and light sensitivity was gone, but I still had some redness. He asked me to continue taking 4 drops a day for 2 weeks and mentioned that I should delay the eye appointment. I was back to normal by Tuesday. I’m still not sure that caused the incident; it might have been sleeping on my eye wrong, not getting enough sleep, or something else.

I also had a milestone this week – I was able to confirm that I have some depth perception. This past weekend my wife and I took the kids to see a short Halloween-themed 3-D movie. While I didn’t get the full experience, I was able to see many of the 3-D elements. Prior to my surgery, I was unable to perceive any of the 3-D effects when I watched a 3-D movie at the Detroit auto show. I’ll probably try this again after I get my glasses. So far so good though. Maybe one day I’ll be able to see what this 3-D craze is all about.

Month 7

It has been a while since my last post. I’m still healthy and my vision is still improving, albeit a lot slower than I had hoped. The last couple of months has been very busy, with work and a couple of trips and great weather.

During my July appointment I was able to read the 20/60 line on the eye chart. Even though I’m still seeing the multiple images, which affects the sharpness of my vision, I have noticed things getting a little better. Something that amazes me some days is that I’m able to see depth, especially objects within a couple of feet. It’s a strange feeling that I’m still getting use to. I’m also able to see things close up (6-8 inches) very well, although things go out of focus after that. The funny thing is that, as I approach 40, the vision in my “good” eye is getting worse up close, so I find myself using my “bad” eye for reading small print and my “good” eye for seeing everything else. I guess this is better than asking my wife to read small type for me like I used to.

I have only had one problem so far… during my August appointment, my eye pressure was high. My doctor took me off of the Prednisolone Acetate drops and switched me to Lotemax drops, three times a day. He also had me take Travatan drops to lower the eye pressure. I returned a week later and the pressure was still high, so he cut the Lotemax to twice a day and also prescribed Combigan twice a day. These drops irritate my eyes a lot more, but hopefully they are lowering the eye pressure. I go back again on Friday, so hopefully I can get back to a regular routine.

So after seven months, with seven stitches removed, here I am. I’ll try to post something sooner.

Month 4

It’s been a while since my last post at Week 9. I had just had my first two stitches removed. I had two more stitches removed in May, and two more removed last Thursday. My vision is pretty much unchanged since last month. My health has been excellent, and I haven’t had any problems with pain, infections or (much) light-sensitivity. I am looking forward to the day when I can get fitted for a new eyeglass prescription so that I can see if going through this procedure was worth it. Without having clear vision outside of 6″ – 8″, it’s hard to tell. My doctors continues to tell me that everything is going well. The cornea is still clear, and the donor cornea has a good shape. He said that he will continue to remove stitches to fine-tune the shape, so I will continue to have monthly appointments for the foreseeable future. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a prescription within the next couple of months.

I continue to use a couple of informal barometers to check my progress. My DirecTV box has a bright blue ring in the front, so I continue to check the spread pattern of my vision. I mocked up an example in my Week 9 post. The pattern is still round, just a little wider and softer. This explains why my vision is still blurry at distances. I can also see a pattern in my non-surgical eye, but the spread is less and more random. My glasses bring everything into focus, so I continue to be hopeful that the same can be done in my surgical eye. It is difficult to remember how bad my vision was prior to the surgery, but I do remember that I my vision was equally blurry  whether I was looking through my lens or not. I am also able to read close-up text through my surgical eye, such as the fine print found on the back of a credit card. This is something that I can’t even do with my non-surgical eye. I have also noticed a significant reduction is nighttime glare, which makes it easier to drive at night. Unfortunately, since neither eye has good vision at a distance, I still limit my night driving when I can.

So that’s about it for now. Hopefully I can continue to be healthy and more toward better vision. I’m down to three drops of the OmniPred per day, and I only take Vigamox for two days immediately after stitches are removed. Oh yeah, stitches being removed… The first set of stitches that I had removed was pain free. I felt pretty good the day-of, but the next day I had some redness, light-sensitivity and a little bit of pain. I had a little bit of pain while the second set of stitches were removed, and had the same pain the next day. I had the same pain following removal of the third set, so know I think I know what to expect… typically about 24 hours of discomfort and redness. After that it’s back to normal.

If I’ll try to post updates more frequently if something changes. Otherwise, no news is good news.

Week 9

Last week I had my 2-month follow-up with my doctor. He said that everything looks good. A topography was taken of my eye, and my first two stitches were removed – one near the top and one near the bottom-right. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but it was surprisingly easy. He asked me to open my eye wide, then he used a q-tip to hold open my top lid while he removed each stitch with a pair of tweezers. I felt a small tug, but other than that there was no pain or discomfort and he was done in less than a minute. I had a little but of pain the next day, relieved by pain medicine. I felt back to normal after a couple days. This was what I was told to expect.

[image size=”medium” align=”left”][/image]Immediately after my appointment I didn’t notice any change (positive or negative) in my vision. As the days progressed, it actually seemed to be worse. My vision is still blurry, with the multiple images, but I did notice a change in the pattern. Before the stitches were removed, the blurriness was very random. When I looked at a bright light source, the pattern was shaped kind of like Idaho… there was a narrow cluster near the top and a wider cluster around the bottom. After the stitches were removed, the cluster was more round and symmetrical. Although my vision seems worse, it’s important to realize that I’m still looking out of my old lens. That prescription distorts my vision a lot, so I really don’t know if my vision is better or worse.

My next appointment is in a month. Hopefully I can get the OK to start golfing. The weather has been terrific and I’m ready to get out there!

Week 7

I has been about a month since my last post, and almost seven weeks since my surgery. The swelling is pretty much gone, and I don’t have as much sensitivity to light. Up until about a week ago I was still having problems with light during my morning commute. The sun was right at eye level, so it felt like a flashlight (a really bright, hot one) was being shined in my eyes, even with sunglasses on. I still need to wear sunglasses when the sun is out, but driving is a lot better now.

My vision is still very blurry, but I can see things that I couldn’t see before. My vision still changes from day to day, so some days I can barely read text on my computer screen, and other days it’s just a blur. One point of reference that I use to test my vision us reading the address on envelopes. I few weeks ago I could read the address from about 3 inches way. Now I can read the address from about 14 inches away.

My next appointment is in about 10 days when I’m supposed to start getting stitches removed. That should be interesting…,

Eye Photos

Here are some photos of my eye before and after the surgery:



Day of Surgery (eye shield)

Day 1 (red and swollen)

Day 1

Day 2

Day 4 (less red but still swollen)

Day 5

Day 5

One Week Post-surgery

Week 1

Two Weeks Post-surgery

Three Weeks Post-surgery

Week 3

This week was an interesting week. The redness and swelling in my eye is going down and it is starting to look normal again. My vision is still blurry, and when I look at a bright light source I see multiple instances of the image slightly off center from one another. I probably notice 15 or 20 if those images. I’ve been told that this will go away over time as the eye heals and as stitches are removed.

Even with the double-double-double vision, I’ve noticed many positive improvements in my overall vision. While at work today, I was sitting with a colleague at her computer. Before the surgery, I was unable to read screen text from more than standard reading distance. I would always have to lean in closely toward the monitor to see something over someone’s shoulder. Today I was sitting behind her about about 5-6 feet away and was able to read text in an Excel spreadsheet. I also noticed that I’m able to read larger text with my “bad” eye from a distance, and I am able to read close-up text (3-4 inches away), which is something that I can’t even do with my “good” eye. Night driving is still bad, but a little better.

I still have no pain in my eye. I just go through moments of dryness when I need to use artificial tears. I’ve also noticed that I have light sensitivity for a short time after taking my drops. I am very glad that I had this procedure done in the winter, when the days are mostly overcast. We’ve had a couple of sunny mornings, and taking my drops before I left for work made the commute extremely uncomfortable. Today I took my drops after I arrived and I had no problems with light sensitivity. Learning the order of things has been interesting.

Week 2

Today was my first day back to work. My eyes are still a bit irritated and my vision is blurry, but things are definitely better with light sensitivity. I have no problems driving and getting around. I was able to take it relatively easy today, since I had to sift through the backlog of e-mails and get caught up on corporate news. It will take me a little bit of time to get back into the swing of full days… I was able to take a nap during the day and rest my eyes while I was off for those two weeks.

Day 11

I’m doing a lot better today. The swelling in my eye is going down and I feel less irritated. I got out of the house for a while today. I went to visit my parents and went to an evening movie with my wife. We saw “Up in the Air” with George Clooney, a very good movie. It was interesting being out at night to test my vision. My eye is blurry, but there didn’t seem to be much glare, which was the big problem before the surgery. I have mild Keratoconus in my right eye, so I still have a problem with distortion and glare, but I could notice an improvement in my overall vision.  I’m looking forward to the day when I can getting a new prescription to see what my new eye can really do.

Week 1

Day 8

I started noticing some swelling below my lower eyelid. There seems to be a lot of swelling and fluid on my eye… I call it the “gooey eye”. My eye doesn’t look round at the bottom; it looks almost like a partially deflated water balloon. I doctor suggested that I bump up my steroid drops to 6 times a day. I don’t have any pain, my eye just looks bad.

Day 7

Today was my one week follow-up appointment. The doctor said that everything is going as expected. My vision is still blurry, and will be for a while. My eyes are still red, but the eyelid swelling is going down. I am also doing better with light sensitivity, so I don’t feel the need to wear the eye shield anymore. I’m starting to feel closer to normal.

Day 6

Things have been going well over the past couple of days. I am still dealing with the swollen upper eyelid, but the redness in the eye is going away and the light sensitivity is less severe. I can tell that the swelling is going down, just not as fast as I’d hoped. It feels like my eye is being pinched in the outside corner, and it’s difficult to open my eye all the way. I spend about half the day wearing an eye shield and the other half of the day wearing my glasses or sunglasses. My vision is blurry, but it is better than it was before the surgery. I take a picture every morning… I’ll post them soon.

I’ve been trying to work computer use back into my schedule, since I will be returning to work in a week. I found that I need to pace myself, since my eyes get tired after a couple hours of on-and-off use.  I also ventured outside today to test my reaction to natural sunlight. If you’ve seen a movie that has a nuclear blast scene… where the sky turns a blinding white… it felt kind of like that. I understand why I’m not supposed to drive! My life as a hermit, with the shades drawn and the lights dimmed, will continue.

My one-week appointment is scheduled for tomorrow morning.