Monday, July 21, 2008

Detached Retina (Update #3)

Here is the latest news regarding my detached retina saga. With each doctor visit I become more and more optimistic that I will have a full recovery. Since my last update I have had two doctor appointments and they were both positive.

My first appointment was with Dr. Levy on Wednesday, July 16th. He did the YAG Laser procedure on Friday, July 11th. He felt that my lens membrane looked great and it was totally clear. A good sign if you want vision that isn't blurry. Anyway, the procedure was painless and quick and worth it on this journey to getting my eyesight back.

Then today I saw Dr. Wyant for a check-up on my retina. He was pleased to note that the retina is fully attached and that my vision in that eye is 20/60. It is still a little blurry but at least I can see. He changed the frequency for my eye drops. I am still using the Pred Forte for infammation, but now only need to do them three times a day for five days and then reduce them to two times a day. He also cleared me for work and back to my normal activity level beginning August 4th. This was extremely good news. I will be able to get some hiking in before the summer is over. This still leaves the matter of removing the oil from my eye and replacing my lens. He informed me that he would not do this until at least three months after the last surgery. The last surgery was June 17th and that means that we won't do anything until at least September 17th. But all of this depends on the retina and how well it is healed. I can deal with this. Things are so much better now and I can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel. He did give me some other good news. On my next visit (August 18th) we will try a contact in my left eye as a replacement for my lens to see if that helps my vision until we can actually replace the lens. The last few weeks have been good and I have been moving in the direction of more normal activity - I am doing things around the house, driving, running errands and doing light exercise. And the last two doctor visits have given me encouragement and eased my concern. I also want to thank everyone for all the comments, cards, encouragement and visits. It has really helped my recovery and made all of this more tolerable. I will be back in about a month to let you know what is happening.

Detached Retina (Update #4)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Detached Retina (Update #2)

This morning I went to the doctor for the YAG Laser Capsulotomy. The procedure was done by Dr. Renny Levy. It was a very simple procedure and the waiting and prep time actually took more time than the procedure. Dr. Levy and the staff at the Surgery Center of Santa Fe were very courteous and professional. After I checked in and filled out all the necessary papers they took me back to an exam room. The nurse checked my vitals and put two drops into my left eye. I then had to wait for ten minutes and then the same two drops were put into my left eye again. And then another ten minute wait. A different drop was then put into my eye to numb it. After five minutes Dr. Levy came in and started the procedure.

He put a round lens looking object over my left eye to hold it open. All I had to do was sit there with my chin in a holder and my forehead leaning against a strap and not to move. He had me focus on a green light with my right eye and to make sure to keep my right eye open. He was sitting behind a small and simple machine.
He looked through it and performed the procedure. I heard some clicking and saw some red lights. And that's it - the whole thing lasted about a minute and a half. Once the procedure was completed the nurse put Pred Forte drops into my left eye and I was ready to go. I was at the center for only an hour. The only orders the doctor gave me was to continue to use the Pred Forte drops six times a day and to return for a follow-up visit on Wednesday, July 16. I also had to go to the Retinal Office and make an appointment to see Dr. Wyant on Monday, July 21. My eye actually feels okay. The only thing I had was a little discomfort. And that only lasted about an hour. Now my eye actually feels pretty good. My sight is still blurry but it is actually a little better. And the doctor thinks that in the next few days it will get even better. It won't be perfect because I still don't have a lens. That will have to wait until about October.

Detached Retina (Update # 3)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Detached Retina (Update #1)

Today I had a follow-up doctor appointment with Dr. Wyant. He is the doctor that performed my second vitrectomy. He had good news for me today. The best news is the retina is completely reattached and looks good. I am still on lifting restrictions and I am unable to do anything strenuous. He is now allowing me to do some walking as long as it is just casual. I can also do more things around the house. I no longer have to worry about the eye getting wet. I can spend as much time reading or working on the computer as I feel up to. I no longer have to use Atropine (drops to dilate my eye) or Zymar (antibiotic). I am still using Pred Forte (for inflammation) 6 times per day. I am excited that I no longer have to dilate my eye - the light was just killing me. It should be more tolerable now.

We talked about why I still only see shadows out of my left eye. He explained that with the first vitrectomy and the use of the gas it caused a cataract in my left eye. When he performed the second vitrectomy he had to remove the lens of my left eye in order to see into my eye to complete the surgery. The lens had clouded over due to the gas bubble. It would have had to be removed later anyway - so he just did it earlier. Well with out the lens the sight is more blurred and can be corrected with glasses. But the other problem is that the lens membrane (which is still in place) is also clouded. I will be have a YAG Laser procedure on Friday, July 11 to make a space in the membrane that isn't clouded. After a few days I should start having some vision in the left eye. It won't be perfect, but with my glasses at least I will have some sight. Eventually I will have to have surgery to take out the oil and replace it with salt water (which the eye will replace naturally with vitreous fluid) and have the lens replaced.

So all in all today was a good day and it finally seems that I am on the road to a full recovery. The doctor told me that hopefully by the end of July I would be released back to work and normal activity.

Detached Retina (Update #2)