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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

do these pants make my EYE look fat!?!

Okay, so I just returned from seeing Stephen D. McLeod, MD at UCSF.

My eye pressure today is 27 (normal is 14, plus or minus 2). It feels enlarged; it's more uncomfortable than painful, fortunately. When you look at both of my eyes, the left eye is visibly larger than the right one! My dear friend, Pat Sweeney, drove me to the hospital and we've been joking all morning. She told the tech that she was trying to sterilize a needle with the cigarette lighter in her car while driving in order to poke my eye to reduce the pressure! The tech had to absorb that for a minute before realizing we were kidding.

Dr. McLeod is very pleased with where the new lens is positioned in my left eye. He was very happy to say it's "on optic"! He reported that my VITREOUS has separated from my RETINA (which is very different from retinal detachment). Vitreous detachment is the separation of the eye's internal clear gel from the eye wall or retinal. Dr. McLeod said it's sometimes common after surgery for the vitreous to detach. On rare occasions retinal detachment can occur, which is dangerous. He doubts that will occur, however told me what to watch for just in case.

While there are many things that may contribute to increased eye pressure, mine may be caused in part by the inflamation in my eye as it's healing both from the surgery and the vitreous separation. Dr. McLeod prescribed new eye drops to help relieve the pressure. He's also taking me off the antibiotics, and decreasing my steroid drops. This new cocktail should help shrink my humongous eye by reducing the pressure. Yeah! The pressure in the eye is likely affecting my vision, as the lens capsule is shifting according to the pressure. As long as my new lens is where it needs to be, I'm a happy camper! That means that as my eye returns to normal pressure, my vision should improve.

We talked about how I presently cannot see out of the eye, and am uncomfortable driving, etc. Dr. McLeod doesn't want me to drive until I regain more confidence and can actually see to drive. (Remember, 20/200 uncorrected is legally blind, and my left eye is currently 20/400.) He referred me to an optometrist at UCSF, whom I have a call in to, to be fitted for a soft contact lens soon. He said I may start exercising again, which is nice. He is leaving the suture in my eye to help hold the new lens in place. The wild thing is that I still cannot see where the suture is, and my eye looks completely normal (except for it's miracle-grow size)! A lot of friends (particularly men) have asked if my eye is still all bloodshot. Surprisingly it's looked normal the entire time!

Since my case is not a cut-and-dry cataract case, my eye is expected to take longer to heal. I'm a 'special case' (in addition to being a 'drama queen', but we all know that!). The doctor estimated my recovery will be about 1 month, as opposed to 1 week. Remember, my eye sustained all sorts of damage internally from the champagne cork striking it dead-on. The winery told me that the entire lot of sparkling wine that season was improperly pressurized, and they had many faulty bottles. All I know was that I witnessed one cork strike the top of a two-story A-frame the week prior to my accident. That force hit my left eye square from waist-high. So, while the current pressure in my eye doesn't feel great, it sure beats that pain it went through with the accident, and I know I'm in good hands with Dr. McLeod.

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