6/2/09 - I can see!!!

So I got back a couple of hours ago from my appointment with Dr. Watanabe and I am psyched because I can see!!!!

To be more specific, I am getting vision out of my left (operated) eye that is significantly better than I currently get out of my right eye!!! I have been trying to explain it to people, but the best way I can describe it is that I see much more sharply than before and also can see details. For example, if I close my left (operated) eye, and look out of my right Keratoconic eye, I can still see all the same stuff, but it is just blurrier (probably best way to describe it is as if I am looking through a pair of glasses with a smudge on them). In addition, I can also see with much greater depth perception than before (as I am now getting vision out of both eyes). It is not quite like going from 2D to 3D, but it is more like going from 2.5D to 3.0D. Actually, a good way to describe it is as if I am seeing in high definition now, as opposed to analog television - way better!!!!

So details. I had my appointment with Dr. Watanabe at 4:00 PM and his resident (I apologize that I can't remember her last name, even though I asked twice) started me off by looking at the eye and then doing a corneal topography (basically a device that attempts to take a 3D image of the eye) to help with fitting the contact lens. Apparently, even the surgery can not make the frickin device work well for me as I got an OK image, but not great. My eye is still a little steeper at the top (the opposite of before) but not nearly as bad. In addition, the stitches are "pulling" on my eye a bit, which creates a weird dynamic for fitting the lens.

After the over-refraction on my left eye, it appeared that I could get down to 20/40 vision, but they thought that I might be able to get better if they used a hard RGP lens as the fit could be better. We tried a bunch of these lenses and it seemed as if it was going to be tough to get the fit right. The steepness at the top of the cornea and the "pulling" made it a difficult combination. In addition, I reminded Dr. Watanabe that I had some serious intolerance to plain RGP lenses (and especially larger ones) which is why I am wearing the piggy-back system. Apparently, in order to not have the lens rest on the stitches part of my cornea, we needed to use a relatively large lens. At that point, Dr. Watanabe decided that we could just try a soft lens as I was getting 20/40 vision already. He mentioned that if I am able to tolerate a soft lens and if I don't have any issues with oxygen on the new cornea, that we could actually try a piggy-back on that eye at some point. In addition, he mentioned that if the stitches fall out at some point or are removed that it will make it much easier to fit the contact lens to the eye.

So I put on the soft contact lens, which is a very strong power, I believe it is a +8.0 and wow! I mean, I can not see as well at close ranges because of the power, but at a regular distance, I see amazing. I am sure that some are thinking that 20/40 vision is not amazing, but for me, to see 20/40 sharply is really extraordinary! In addition, Dr. W reminded me that I need to start reading things at a normal distance instead of holding them up so close to my face (old habit that will be a joy to break..).

I then asked them if I could get a pair of glasses as I can actually see out of my new left eye with glasses. They fit me and it is a little weird as they really don't help in my right Keratoconic eye, but I feel like I will actually be able to take my lenses out at night and rest my eyes instead of wearing them every waking hour of my life (small pleasures, but I am really excited about it...)

I came home tonight and was able to see my beautiful wife Caroline and amazing baby son Bradley so much clearer than I have been able to see them in a long time (maybe ever!). It is really an amazing thing, and I think that this has the potential to get even better as my eye heals and the stitches maybe come out! I actually commented to my parents that when I looked in the mirror, I looked really old! I can actually see the pores in my face - when did that happen? It is actually really amazing to see my face with my new vision - it has been awhile since I actually saw what I really look like!

So all in all, an amazing day. I am trying to contain my excitement a bit as I am REALLY hopeful that nothing happens regarding contact lens intolerance in the new eye, etc. but it feels pretty good right now - (I am actively knocking on the wood of the desk!). In addition, on top of being able to see, the most important thing for me is that I now have a much better chance of not going completely blind as I still do have a degenerative eye disease and my right eye will likely continue to deteriorate. I really am extraordinarily lucky on some many fronts relative to this disease. An amazing support network of family and friends, amazing Dr.'s - Watanabe and Rapoza!!!! and amazing luck! Here's hoping that everything continues to go well - wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. This is all great! I also said I felt like I was going from analog to HD! How funny!


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