Friday, February 25, 2011

WOW!! Eyeballs are gross....

Well, it has been a much eventful past few weeks!  I found out earlier in the month that the pressure in my eye was too high.  The theory on this from my doctors was that I had developed glaucoma as a result to the medication that was injected to my eyes to help restore partial vision and lower the inflammation to my optic nerve.  I received three series of Kenelog injections.  They were successful in helping my eyesight and they sped up the process of calming my optic nerve.  I will never regret choosing to have them done.  As with all medications, side effects are a risk.  In my case, the medication never fully absorbed into my system.  This caused the pressure in my left eye to continue to climb over the past three months. 

Regular, healthy eye pressure should sit somewhere between 10 and 14.  My has harbored in the 40's for quite some time.  So, I was referred from my retina specialist to a glaucoma specialist to help regulate and remedy this problem.  One of the biggest problems with glaucoma is up to a 30% vision loss.  In a situation like mine (one who already has vision loss), this is not good news.  We tried three different approaches.  The first week I used a drop called Isotol.  I did not respond to those.  The second week we tried a combination of Combigan and Travitan drops.  My doctor referred to this as the "kitchen sink" approach, meaning that was the most intense approach.  My eye once again showed no response.  Then, for the third week I continued the combination drops and started taking a pill called Diamox.  Diamox pulls the fluid off.  The side effects are awful.  The pills cause numbness in your face, hands and legs because they rob your body of necessary electrolytes.  Thankfully, this goes away as soon as you cease taking the medicine.  On the fourth visit, my pressure had reduced to 21 with the pills.  However, the pills are not something you can  take long term, and the pressure was still not within the range she desired.  So, surgery was the only option left.

Two surgery options were available to me.  The first option was to remove the Kenelog from my eye. In many cases, 70%, removing the steroid will lower the pressure to a healthy level.  This surgery requires little down time.  The Kenelog is removed by making an incision, removing the steroid and putting a few dissolvable stitches in the eye.  The second option was to have a new drain put in the eye.  This surgery takes roughly 6-8 weeks to heal, requires continued observation, medication and comes with a whole list of restrictions.  Naturally, I was thrilled to try removing the Kenelog injections first.  I am not a big fan of being down and out for over a month!! 

So, I had surgery on Monday.  It was such a interesting experience.  You are put under anesthesia while the eye is prepped and the incision is made.  Then, as they are completing the operation you wake up.  Sounds awful I am sure but you cannot feel anything.  I carried on a conversation and even cracked jokes with the doctors as they completed the operation.  I was allowed to leave the surgery center a mere 30 minutes following the procedure!! Truly amazing how much technology has advanced all of these procedures.  Recovery has been pretty easy, I just feel like I have something in my eye all of the time and the stitches are very itchy.  And, it is very gross to look at.  My eye is very bloody and yellow.  The stitches have yet to dissolve but they said this takes about a week.  Here are some pictures from the procedure, I will keep you posted on my progress! :)
My lovely eye patch! :)
My left eye 1 day post surgery.

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