Monday, April 23, 2012
A VISION UPDATE
BEFORE PICTURE, JANUARY 2012
TODAY'S PICTURE APRIL 2012
In January, I wrote a post that was very difficult to write, not knowing what the future had in store and facing a possible prognosis of losing eyesight. You can read that original post here. Before I go much further, I just want to thank everyone for their support, words of kindness and the prayers that I know were being said, I never knew how many people have "prayer lists" until they began telling me I was added to theirs.
Two people in particular played a key role in helping me maintain my sanity during this difficult time, first is my mother who naturally did what mothers do by supporting me and even insisting on making sure she accompanied me to the office visits with the opthamologist and the laser surgery. She claimed it was because I shouldn't drive after having my eyes dilated or after the laser, but I think it was more to be there if the news got much worse than the first day I was given the diagnosis. I know she had many sleepless nights worrying about what could happen.
The other is my closest friend, who will remain nameless, but anyone close to me knows who he is, and he knows it also. We have known each other for over 25 years and his daily phone calls to make sure everything was OK shows what a friend is all about. The first night I was given the possible prognosis of going blind, he insisted on dragging me out for dinner and get me out of the house and my sulking that night. He is a great husband and father to his family and the best friend someone could ask for.
OK, so enough of the sappy stuff.
For all the original details , read the post above, but today was three months since the laser surgery on my left eye. I was on edge, not knowing what the "verdict" was going to be. The large smile on the opthamologist's face when he came into the exam room, was the first indication I had that it was going to be a good day. My right eye has some issues, but is holding its own compared to what the left looked like
Before he came in, they had tested eye pressures done a few other tests and then took color images of the retina and macula in the back of my eyes. I'm not a doctor so much of it meant nothing, but the images he showed me told me the story. I think the doctor thought he was given the wrong "after" photos, and he said even he couldn't believe the results, using words like "impressive" and "remarkable" to describe the outcome of the laser surgery.
The surgery was done in January, and because of the swelling and condition of the retina I was told at the time it would take three months to determine the results.
Today was the day and you can see from the pictures above the difference. The "before" picture was taken on January 6th, 2012. The yellow and green colors are relatively normal. I guess the green is the preferred shade, but some yellow can be expected for someone with diabetes and my age. The red is not good, white is bad and black is the worst. As you can see from the before pic, the upper half of my left eye was definitely in trouble.
On January 26, 2012 I had laser surgery to try to stop the swelling, or macular edema, in the macula and the retina which had the potential of causing blindness within a year if left untreated and at the time, even the laser wasn't a sure fire fix. My vision had deteriorated so much in less than two months, I was scared of the outcome. I was already being prepped mentally for the next possible step which were steroid injections directly into the eye. I had enough trouble getting used to putting contacts into my eyes, never mind watching a needle coming toward my eye.
The after picture above shows the results after three months. It is not perfect, but the whites and black are gone and just a tinge of red is left. It is still something that needs to be monitored closely for both eyes , but I feel much better than I did on January 6th. And whoever perfected the laser for this surgery is amazing. Prior to the laser this would have been definite blindness.
Thank you again for all of your support.