Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Third Retinologist Visit in Three Weeks.

Yesterday saw my third visit to the retinologist in three weeks.

This time I went for a follow up on last weeks laser treatment and OCT scan.

The OCT showed swelling behind the left retina like Mount Everest.  No wonder for over a week I had not been able to see to complete even the simplest of tasks.

The laser treatment was healing nicely and my retinologist decided to go ahead with an injection of Lucentis to deal with the swelling.

As usual the injection was over quickly.

Anyone out there facing their first injection into the eye, DO'NT worry about it at all. It is not as bad as it seems. Actually it is worse for anyone observing so don't take anyone squimish into the room with you.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Laser Treatment

On Monday 14 May I went to see my retinologist.
She had decided a few weeks ago to do some laser surgery on my eye. This was to ring fence the old damaged area of my retina. She said this would help reduce long term swelling as the region is now dead and was sending chemical signals telling my body to send help as the area was damaged. This natural defence system was then countering the injections of either avastin or lucwentis, making them less effective over the long term.

The left eye has no central vision. A little periferral acuity to detect light.

The laser treatment itself took about five minutes. First they applied some numbing drops.

Then a large contact lens was put on my eye. I placed my head in a headrest and was told to look into a light.

This light was a guide for the laser, the doctor sat opposite me as in a regular examination. Then there were some bright flashes, this was the laser working.

I did feel the occasional sting as a nerve was hit  the laser but it was not too bad.

After the surgery my eye was sensitive for the afternoon. A little like if someone pokes you in the eye. The eye also watered quite profusely for about an hour after the surgery.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Save your face. Buy a Hat.

Walking down the street is like an obstacle course at the best of times.

You have people leave a basketball hoop out on the sidewalk, fire hydrants, even the occassional open manhole cover.

Add to that the items above cane level. The low hanging tree branch, the pick-up truck side mirror just at the height to smack you in the eye.

For these items other than learning to accept a smack in the face there are few answers.

I am tired of the smack in the face though. So for that reason I bought myself a hat.

The Western style hat seems perfect for my needs.

It is comfortable, close fitting so it stays on in a breeze. Here in the Central Valley of California it is also almost invisible, they are everywhere in the rural areas. By the way they are also a lady pleaser. Don't tell my wife that part though.

Anyway, the hat as a good strong brim. This keeps the sun out of my eye helping to ease the strain on my eyes. The tall crown and wide brim also push away any low branches of trees and rose bushes.

Finding my way to a bus or train seat was always fraught with the danger of a banged head from the coat racks or overhead lockers. Now the hat takes the hit not my scalp. It is so nice not to ride the bus with no blood trickling down my face from that encounter with the coat rack.

In all my hat cost me a little over $60 from Boot Barn. You can pay more if you like, but this hat suited me, the price was a bonus.

Save yourself a bang on the head. Get a good sturdy hat.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Second Opinion

Monday May 7, 2012 saw me at the eye doctor for a second opinion regarding laser surgery on my left eye.

The doctor did not really give me very much information as to what has actually happened in my left eye. He just confirmed my retinologists opinion that laser surgery to cut off and ring fence the damaged area would be the only real solution.

It will not bring back any vision, of course. The laser treatment should hopefully reduce swelling from the central retinal vein occlusion, thereby making fewer injections of Avastin or Lucentis neccessary.

At the moment I feel some shock as to the thought of partially destroying the left retina. Even though the region to be lasered is already dead, it seems to mark a major defeat.

This CRVO took five years to destroy my left eye. I guess all the treatments we threw at it did buy some time.

Anyway, I now have an appointment with my retinologist for noon on Monday 14 May for the laser surgery.

This will be a hard week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blind and Now Diabetic: Insulin Dosing Tip

As things go I guess this year is shaping up to be tough.

Losing the sight in my left eye then after blood test now finding myself to be Type II Diabetic and in need of insulin injections.

Giving myself insulin injections has not been too bad. My Endochrinologist had me take a dose in the morning then another dose at night after a month she decided to give me different doses morning and night.

I have had some trouble getting the medical insurance to pay for a pen type insulin injection system. This would be ideal, you turn the top and count the clicks to find the dose. so ten clicks of the pen top is ten units etc.

But no the insurance insist for the moment I use the old style needles.

Being blind here is not good. I have to ask my wife to measure the doses and she was able to make several days injections in advance. Very easy with a single dose morning and night.

So now with two different doses?

My wife here showed her genius.

She made up several days doses as normal, but to differentiate the morning and evening doses she put each set of prepared injections in boxes.

The morning box is lined with aluminum foil. (A = AM Dose).

The evening dose box is lined with paper (P- PM Dose).

It is simple to remember and tactile for me to easiky tell dose apart.

My wife can be brilliant in a crisis!