My latest check up with the eye surgeon was this morning. For the most part the grafts have healed about as well as can be expected. And the anticipation was that today we’d begin the process of removing the remaining dozen or so sutures from my left eye. Of course, I’ve had this conversation with the surgeon before (with my right eye) and pretty much anticipated that he’d want to avoid starting to mess about removing the stitches this close to Christmas (the process takes a couple of weeks). I was right. But there has been another concern that needed to be addressed.
My vision has been getting worse, not better. Particularly in my right eye: the one which had the last of it’s sutures removed many months ago. So bad has the deterioration been that I’ve relying heavily on my left eye. With this in mind Michael (the surgeon) started the examination of my eyes today.
So, as if he’s heading for a hilarious punch line, he rolls his chair back and begins with “I really hate to tell you this…” He’s a great guy, brilliant at his job, but he can’t tell a joke for shit. The long and the short of it is that the anti-rejection drugs (a mild steroid) have caused the lenses in both eyes to cloud… Yup, cataracts baby!
What this means is that now, at the end of a process that’s taken more than five years to get to, instead of getting on with life with relatively normal vision, it’s all heading down hill again… Weeee!
The good news is that the surgery to correct cataracts is pretty simple, when compared to the graft process that I’m going through at the moment. Eventually the cloudy lens will be removed and replaced with an artificial one, which may or may not give me X-ray vision (Michael wasn’t prepared to commit either way).
The problem with this is that once again my vision will be unstable. Well, it will remain unstable… if that makes any kind of sense. The lenses have begun clouding like they’ve got some place else to be (there was no sign of them a couple of months ago), so I expect things to go down hill pretty rapidly and I still have to have the sutures removed from my left eye, which will require me to use more of the drugs that have actually caused the cataracts to appear to begin with.
I know that without the grafts I’d be blind by now. And I’m thankful every day for the generous donation of the corneas that have enabled me to continue to work and lead a relatively normal life. But, fark me if I’m not over this already!
If there’s a bright side to all this it is that the cataract surgery will also be an opportunity to correct some small issues that have come along with the new corneas (astigmatism, etc). So while I’ll never end up with great vision, I will be able to see, which is more than I had in front of me half a decade ago… Even if I will be seeing through artificial lenses and other people’s corneas for the rest of my days.