3/31/09 - 2:00 PM - Close Call in Dallas

I was traveling this past week in Dallas on business and had a bit of a scare that I thought was worth mentioning.

I arrived in Dallas on Monday night, went to sleep in my hotel, and woke up to find that my operated eye was extremely red and bloodshot. It hurt a good deal, mostly a scratchy and achy feeling and to say the least, I was worried (rejection possibilities, etc.)

I had a couple of thoughts, which were (a) I had put a Pred Forte drop in my eye right before I went to sleep, which is unusual, I usually do it around dinner time (b) I thought that maybe that I had been rubbing my eye during the night as I don't wear my guard anymore and (c) I thought maybe I had an allergic reaction to the sheets in the hotel, cleaning agents, etc.

I immediately called Dr. Rapoza's office and asked the nurse on call what I should do. She asked me a series of questions aimed at determining if I was having a rejection episode, including: (a) was my vision worse than it had been the previous day - answer: no, (b) was I experiencing any light sensitivity - answer: no, and (c) did my eye hurt a lot - answer: it hurt, but was more scratchy and achy than real pain.

The nurse told me that it did not sound like I was having a rejection, but recommended that I come into the office the next day. Since, I was scheduled to be on the road the remainder of the week and not to be back in Boston until Friday, she recommended that I see someone in Dallas. She hooked me up with someone that Dr. Rapoza knew in the area and I scheduled an appointment for that evening, after my activities during the day in Dallas. She also told me to continue to take my Pred Forte as prescribed throughout the day.

I had my day's meetings and over the course of the day, the redness in my eye went down quite a bit. The eye was still scratchy and achy, but it felt much better than when I woke up. By the time, I got to the Dr. in Dallas, I was feeling much better, but decided to go anyway to be safe. Dr. Fagadau (www.fagadauhawk.com) saw me and told me that the graft looked fine and that there were no rejection issues with the eye - phew! He actually commented that Dr. Rapoza had done a good job - nice to get a second opinion! He surmised that I had likely rubbed my eye/had an allergic reaction, etc., which caused the inflammation and that the Pred Forte has treated this over the course of the day. He also noted that my vision was poor, which he did not seem concerned about at this stage and told me I was good to go and to contact him if I had any issues while I was in Dallas. I was actually very impressed with him and also that Dr. Rapoza was able to recommend him while I was traveling.

All in all, a relatively scary initial experience turned out to be a good thing, as it made me feel comfortable that I could get good care while I am traveling. A quick note on my vision, although, it is still not great, I am starting to think that I can see a bit better out of the operated eye - it is baby steps, but I think it is improving...


  1. Brent, thank you for your blog and thank you for verifying my sanity. I had my transplant one week ago and your description of the visual confusion of trying to focus when one eye sees virtually nothing and the other one is doing the work was most helpful! That is exactly where I am today. I, too, "knew" recovery would be lengthy but it didn't sink in until about day three when I realized my eye was pretty useless! What a let down! I'm sure my doctor will remind me that this is a long journey and I've just begun to take a step or two just as your doctor reminded you!

  2. Thanks for the blog, Brent. I just got the call today that a cornea is available for my left eye (I too, have Kerataconus, and am 34). I get my transplant tomorrow, and am feeling a flurry of emotions. Good luck with your healing, I hope mine goes as well as yous! Did you ever write that letter to the donors family? I plan on doing that, also.

  3. I hope you are continuing to get better and better! I have scratchy itchy days and it is no picnic! I'm glad to know it's not just me.


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