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EOL: Eye Progress

As it turns out, that latest PowersCosmic strip [Above] (which i did prior to the surgery) is unlikely to be accurate at all — and not just because corneas don’t talk — because the cornea that I received was donated by a young guy who was probably just as frightened of the romantic comedy section at blockbuster as I am.

It’s just after 3 am as I write this, which is just over 35 hours since the operation and immediately after the longest block of sleep I’ve had since arriving home. The first night was quite difficult, I could only manage to sleep for short periods at a time as the pain was ridiculous: I can only describe it as being like there were a thousand Mexican Fire Ants giving each other battery-acid and steel-wool enemas in my eye socket. However they’ve all moved on to where-ever imaginary pain insects go after having a good irrigation and my eye feels little more than ‘irritated’ now. I still can’t touch my eye lid without wincing in pain, which I do every time I wipe my eye, which I have to do quite often because it’s still weeping A LOT.

On the whole I feel like I’m recovering quite well and the surgeon agrees. I had an appointment yesterday (the day after the transplant) to remove the protective bandage and he (the Surgeon, not the bandage) seemed to be happy with the way the cornea was sitting and various other aspects of how the surgery had gone.

I’ll try to update again soon, but even writing this post has taken it out of me (I’ve had to type standing up and looking down at the screen, because there’s less pressure on my eye that way) and my eye has started to weep pretty badly again.

Thanks for all of the emails (and phone calls) folks, I’ll try to reply to everyone as I can, but this is probably the best place to find progress reports.

Finally, please take a short moment to spare a thought for the family and friends of the young man who lost his life recently. His decision to be an organ donor has meant the lives of many people will be changed for the better, mine included.

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7 Comments

    Very glad to hear it went well dude :) Hope you can get back into the elroyonline action straight away!!

  • It’s a good thing the Good Lady Barbarella was guarding the phone during nap time so idiots like me didn’t wake you up.

    I, too, would like to express my admiration for both the person who donated your new cornea and his family. I hope this selfless act provides them with some solace and encourages other to become organ donors.

  • I second that thought.
    It takes not only a thoughtful individual but a very understanding family. As a motorbike rider, I have that box firmly ticked.

  • as for the pain, I’ve suffered flashburn from welding and that feels like someone is gently wiping the back of your eye with a red hot poker.
    I find that the only thing to take the pain away was to smack my head repeatedly against a solid object. Failing that, try panadol, a pitch black, quiet room and an ice-pack.

  • I strongly believe that we should have to actively select to NOT donate our organs instead of donate them. We have a lot to learn from countries like Norway, Belgium, France, Singapore and Spain. It may sound harsh, but there are so many lives – like yours Elroy – who stand to gain so much and contribute to society thanks to advances in technology surrounding transplantation. My two cents.

  • Without raising an ethical viewpoint, I think that one can’t enter into a ‘Karate Kid’ type debate over advances in technology vs organ transplant.
    It is also a good point to remember that the biggest advances that were ever made in medical history coincided with times of war and suffering…

  • I apologise; my post was a little unclear. In the countries that I named there is an ‘opt-out’ system of organ transplant consent, meaning that organs are considered to automatically be available for donation unless the loved ones/family expressly remove that consent. My point about technological advances relates to the post operative treatment that is now routinely available in developed countries – its getting better all the time. Implied consent, or an ‘opt-out’ system means more people get the much needed organs and they have an improved quality of life.