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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Corneal Transplant Grafts and Autumn Allergies

Lexington, KY AllergyWell, I looked at my iPhone Allergy App today and it says 10 out of 12 “Very High” for ragweed pollen – my nemesis.   Lexington is the Allergy Capital of the USA (at least in Spring,) and ragweed is the worst.  I take a daily Zyrtec which helps a lot, but several weeks out of the year it’s overwhelmed by the environment.

One interesting thing I noticed this Fall (my first with a corneal graft) is that my grafted eye doesn’t itch.   My ungrafted eye is itching like crazy.  I’m guessing it’s the nerves on the eye making the difference?  Or something about the surface that is dispersing the allergen?   Whatever, it’s a real blessing.

No matter what, I will always avoid rubbing.  Even though my right eye is past the highest risk for developing Keratoconus (I’m age 45) I still know that my corneas have a genetic weakness somewhere in there.

Everything is going great otherwise.  I’ve had a few headaches and some throbbing on my left eye.  I’m hoping it’s not eye pressure but as of the last visit that was on its way down.  I have another appointment in a couple of weeks.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Diary Entries, Surgery-Story

 

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Little Things #3: Ability To Really Get Back into Mountain Biking

Mountain biking in Kentucky is generally called “Cross Country” riding.  The terrain is made up of undulating hills usually 150-200 feet maximum.  A good 10 mile ride will take several hours and offers a tremendous upper and lower body workout.  It’s more like cross country skiing than downhill skiing for lack of a better example.  The reward for a long climb is usually a roller coaster ride through a tunnel of vegetation, airborne some of the time, making split-second decisions on how to manage what’s coming at you.  You’ll encounter wildlife and get away from the city in a very special way.

The wooded trails require depth perception.  Things come at you and you must make a decision, react and adjust your “line”  to overcome it.  Branches can be low, rocks can be loose, and alternative paths through difficult terrain can make the difference between a thrill and a spill.  It’s definitely possible to ride with one bad eye, but you must ride slowly and carefully or choose “open” trails like the fire-roads I rode in CA.   Kentucky has very limited trails compared to most states (go figure) and most are of the wooded variety, so this is great for me.

I’d say ride wherever and however you can, good eyes or not, and adjust your pace and path.  As my surgical eye gets better and better, I crossed a “binocular” threshold where I am comfortable on cross country wooded trails again.  When I stop in the woods to enjoy a babbling creek or to watch a white-tail deer , I’ll say “thank you” again for the priceless gift that my donor gave me.

<photo by trailsource.com used under CC license>

 

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5-month DALK Follow Up – 20/30 Corrected Vision – 5 sutures out!

Had a very good 5-month visit today where 5 sutures were removed.  We’re playing “suture roulette” now, chasing the astigmatism around my cornea.

My astigmatism went from 9 diopters to 4 diopters, which is excellent.  I’m now seeing 20/30 corrected!   The graft is also healing very well.  My steroidal dose was cut in half and my eye pressure is now stable/managed.

For the first time in 10+ years, when they adjusted the settings on the eye testing optics, I reached a 20/30 level of vision.  It used to be a pure blur.  They used to flip the lenses around and I’d say “same, same, same”…it never got better or worse.  But now, it’s like it should be.

Dr. Holland said if I was in a hurry, I could possibly get fit for contacts, but I’m going to wait and let the graft heal as long as possible.

It couldn’t have been a better visit.    Back in 8 weeks.

Roulette Wheel Photo by Photo: Heather Rai

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Dr. Visits, Recovery, Surgery-Story

 

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Another Appointment Friday

This is a really short update to let everyone know I’m doing fine.  I have another appointment Friday with Dr. Holland when I assume he’ll do another topography and remove more sutures.   I’ll report back then with a usual update.  My only concern is eye pressure, but I’ve been diligent at meds and hope it’s stable.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Diary Entries, Recovery, Surgery-Story

 

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