I’m happy to announce that this will be my last eye update for a very long time! My corneal transplant was a huge success and I am very happy to report it. ^_^
Let me start off with the proverbial disclaimer, that this is just my personal story of success, as the results of corneal transplant may and do vary with every case of Keratoconus. Every story of this procedure is different, as every case of this rare eye disease is different. If you’re curious about corneal transplant or other eye treatments for your disease, please seek the advice of a trained professional in order to find the right treatment for you! Now, onto my personal story…
Leading up to my surgery, I felt a lot anxious and worried about it, but I was more anxious to just get it over with and began my recovery. I was so determined, that I refused to let a blizzard get in my way of the surgery! Dr. Maguire had called every patient personally, warning us of the huge blizzard to hit Minnesota on February 2nd, and offered us two options: To either reschedule or the option of staying in a hotel close to the clinic and braving the fifteen minute trip through a major storm.
I’m a very stubborn woman, I did not wish to wait for another week or so, and therefore I choose the risky option of staying in a hotel and braving the storm. My sister (Kelli), roommate (Edith), two small dogs (Fifi and Apollo), and I gathered into my roommate’s car and made the hour and a half trip to the hotel, in the middle of the night to beat the blizzard.
The money that I had saved up previously had came in handy, as I was able to pay for a two night stay at a swanky three bed hotel room. It was beautiful, with added wi-fi and cable TV, and I enjoyed watching Doctor Who on the BBC America channel. As we slept there during the rest of the night, the blizzard hit hard and it was white-out conditions by morning.
It was difficult to see any of the roads, my roommate struggled to drive us to the clinic, and the car was filled with such anxiety. There are a lot of winding roads on our travels and many ditches, which other motorists were driving off into, and a trailer-truck was jackknifed on the highway from an accident. I sat in the backseat of the car, with a very frighten little dog, we were all covered head to toe with melting snow, my heart was racing and hoping that we would get there safely.
I have to admit that my roommate is a very excellent driver and she got us there and back again in one piece! I owe her for indulging my stubbornness and getting me to my surgery on time! Edith ROCKS! ^o^v
Dr. Maguire and staff was very relieved and happy that I had made it for my surgery. Everyone was so kind, helpful, and understanding that I was a lot nervous and anxious about the whole thing.
As they lied me down on the operating table and placed the oxygen mask over my face, I whimpered and began to have a panic attack. I told the anesthetist that I was a bit claustrophobic and he was kind enough to remove the mask and administer the oxygen in another way, placing the tube next to my chin instead, and coaxing me to take deep breaths. A second later, I was unconscious and they began the surgery.
I woke up without pain and an eye-shield over my left eye. I was still out of it, from the anesthesia, so the first thing I said to the nurses was “When do I get my eye patch? I want to be a pirate. I like pirates…” Then I said randomly, “I’m such a science nerd! I want to go to school to study physics.” I fell asleep again…
When I opened my eyes a bit later, my sister was sitting next to my bed, and Dr. Maguire was no longer in scrubs and wearing his usual suit and tie. He explained that everything went well and that I could go back to the hotel for rest. Then my sister presented me with two stuffed kitties from the gift-shop, one has a mustache for some reason, the other was a cute little fluffy black kitten. I sat the fluffy one on my tray, as the nurses gave me a bit of yogurt before I left the hospital.
By the time I reached the hotel, the pain began and I was super sensitive to every light. We had to turn off everything and it hurt so much for me to even look at the screen of my cellphone. This doesn’t happen to everyone who have the surgery, it seems that I’m just super sensitive to light after my surgery and it triggered migraines, which was the bulk of my pain. The next day, I returned to the clinic and a nurse provided me with dark glasses, which made my situation a lot less painful.
Dr. Maguire dimmed the lights of the room and preformed my first eye test. The moment felt like a freaking miracle! Just less than two days after my surgery, my left eye have the acuity of 20/100, without glasses or any other corrective lenses! I can’t remember my left eye having this much vision, because it’s been well over sixteen years since I’ve been able to read anything with that eye, long before I was first diagnosed with Keratoconus.
The best part of it is, my acuity will rise even greater over the next couple of months, this is just the very beginning! My sister confessed to wanting to cry in that moment, because I could not read the huge E on the top of the chart before, and now I was reading three lines below the E perfectly. Dr. Maguire was very pleased and impressed with the outcome, as he gave a hearty “Hooah!” (US Army response of affirmative) and noted that my current vision is “walk around vision”. The best is yet to come and I’m certain that I’ll be okay from now on. ^_^
My journey is not over yet, as I have an appointment next week, and more appointments after that, to remove stitches and to check on my progress. However, just as I am stubborn in spirit, my body is stubborn to continue its course in healing. The pain has fallen by a lot in the last few days and my sensitivity to light is fading away. In fact, I’m writing this usual rambling blog, just four days after my surgery, without the aid of Rupert (my screen-reader). What do you think? Pretty good, eh?
Anyway, I know that the majority of my readers aren’t here for such eye ramblings and I will return back to my usual inherited madness and randomness. I just wanted to leave just one last post about my eye issue, which will hopefully be resolved for the next ten to twenty years! I’m happy and excited about my future! Hooray!
As always, thanks for reading! I’m going to rest a bit now, but I’ll catch you on the flip-side! ^o^v
P.S. – I owe all of my thanks to my sister, Edith (roommate), Julie (best friend), Mahonia, Dr. Brenda (my therapist), all the medical doctors and nurses, and most of all to Dr. Leo J. Maguire, who has put his expertise to hard work in order to help give me a second chance in life. I very much appreciate all of the support I’ve gotten from everyone, mentioned or not, as it taught me that the world may not be such a bad place after all… at least not all of the time. And yes, there should be an annotation above my head that reads, “Dani will remember that.” =p