Monthly Archives: March 2011

Fix This One

Just about everyone I’ve talked to at the Eye Center have asked me which eye they were operating on.   I’m sure it’s part of quality control.  Anyway, I thought I might play a joke by arriving with this helpful note affixed.

Well, tomorrow is the day.

Developments today are minimal – verified that pharmacy had new prescriptions and asked nurse about migraine medicine and surgery.  I have gathered up my plungers and other supplies related to my scleral lens and will put those in storage after tomorrow.

All in all, I’m ready to go.

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Diary Entries, Pre Surgery, Surgery-Story


Pre-Op Activity, Weekend Stuff

Somewhat boring entry today…I had conversations with two staff at CEI Thursday, received directions and instructions for surgery day.   Also filled one of my prescriptions at the pharmacy, and blocked out my work calendar.  My office-mates and friends have been offering support and curiosity about what’s happening.

I can’t eat or drink after midnight on Tuesday night, and I need to wear a button-down, short-sleeve shirt to facilitate various wires and tubes.  I will take out my semi-Scleral lens for the last time upon arrival Wednesday AM.   I will call the pharmacy tomorrow afternoon to be sure they received prescriptions from CEI.

Both CEI staff asked me if it was the “left eye” that was being worked on.  I told them it was not a confidence inspiring question, and I might mark my left eye with a “THIS ONE->”  before I go in.  Hilarity all-around.

I sent a message to the staff today asking if they would be capturing video or photographs from the procedure.  If they do, I’ll share them with you in my diary entries.

I think my next post will be Wednesday morning.

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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Diary Entries, Surgery-Story



Thoughts on Organ and Tissue Donation

On Monday or Tuesday, someone is going to die.

A man, a woman, older or younger, black, white, Asian, Christian, Jew, Atheist, Gay, Straight…. someone will be lost.. Thanks to a 10 second investment, signing a donor card or answering a donation question, an eye will be harvested, sent to an eye bank and the corneal tissue delivered to Dr. Holland. The unselfish act of a total stranger will give me better vision, someone else life with a kidney, another dying person a heart or lung, perhaps.

I think that, if you are healthy and have not signed an organ donor card, you are committing a selfish act.

I was surprised to learn that 95% of Americans “support” organ donation, while only 38% are registered organ donors? I think it’s probably a combination of laziness, ignorance, paranoia and anti-scientific leanings. But mostly I think it’s the ridiculous opt-in system that we use in the US right now.

If you believe in heaven – donating your viable organs will look very good on your resume at the pearly gates check-in queue.

How many people die because people, rather than having some deep philosophical misgivings, simply forgot to sign their card? I’m a major advocate for opt-out organ donation nationwide and presumed consent.

Presumed consent, advocates argue, combines the principles of supply-side efficiency, respect for individual conscience, and individual’s positive, yet qualified, duty to promote the good of society.
-Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network

If someone is bothered by the donation of their organs, let them do the work of un-registering themselves. During that process, they will take an internal ethical journey, at each step justifying their position. I think many would reconsider after reflection.

More than 100,000 people are currently waiting for organ transplants, and close to 20 die each day because of organ shortages.
– National Institutes of Health

I’m also an advocate for preference of donors in receipt of organs/tissue should they need it. Excepting those with health issues that prevents donation, I think that when there are two people with equal need for a given organ, preference should be given to the one who has signed their donor card, such as it is in Israel

All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

USA Resources:
Created and maintained by Donate Life America, contains important facts and information about donation and transplantation as well as details on how to become a registered organ, eye and tissue donors in each state.
Donate Life America’s Spanish web site, contains facts and information about donation and transplantation and addresses concerns that are specific to the Hispanic community. It also details how to become a registered organ, eye and tissue donor in each state.
Created and maintained by United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), is the organ transplantation information resource for medical professionals and the general public. UNOS brings together medicine, science, public policy and technology to facilitate every organ transplant performed in the United States.
Created and maintained by UNOS the site contains in depth national, regional, and state donation and transplantation data.
Created and maintained by UNOS, the Transplant Living Web site is the definitive information and education resource for transplant patients and their families.
The oldest transplant association in the United States, the EBAA is a nationally recognized accrediting body for eye banks.
The American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) is a professional, non-profit, scientific and educational organization. It is the only national tissue banking organization in the United States, and its membership totals more than 100 accredited tissue banks and 1,000 individual members.
The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) is the non-profit organization recognized as the national representative of fifty-eight federally-designated organ procurement organizations, serving more than 300 million Americans.

Interactive Body (opens in new window.)

I am seeking the source of the terrific illustration above so I can provide credit. Is it your illustration? Please email me so I can attribute it.
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Diary Entries, Pre Surgery


Corneal Transplant Countdown – 1 week to go

Springtime in Kentucky by Scott Clark

Springtime in Kentucky is Coming

It’s been a good week.  The signs of Spring are all around Kentucky.  If there is a more beautiful place to be in the Spring than Kentucky, I’ve not found it.  Soon foals will be visible in the plank-wood fields in the rural parts of the state and Lexington’s downtown will get busier during the day as people come out.

I bought myself a present – a new commuter bike, and to get it, I made a short 350 mile roadtrip to Indianapolis, listening to an Audiobook (“Shopclass as Soulcraft”).  Knowing I may not be driving much for the next couple of weeks, I thought it would be nice to go on a short mission.  I was right, it was fun – and I got a great deal on the bike!

I have had mostly good days with the semi-scleral lens, wearing it for 11-12 hours daily – my absolute max.  I’ve done well on watching the clock and not forgetting (easy to do on good days, when your eye feels great.)

But the calendar is ruthlessly counting down the days until I go in for my DALK procedure.   I’m apprehensive about it, but reason with myself that I’m already functionally blind in my left eye. It’s not as if I have great vision and am treating some invisible condition with a risk of losing what I have.  The overwhelmingly likely scenario is a successful procedure next week.   So, let the days come and I’ll check in again in a while.



The “7” photo to the left is by Alan Campbell.  The field is by me.
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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Diary Entries, Pre Surgery, Surgery-Story


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