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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Grafted Life (Update #2)

Well, I had yet another checkup for the eye's cornea graft, where the last stitch that was still sewn in to the cornea had popped loose and went in to an infection.

After battling the infection, and in turn, an abscess that was right at the top edge of my transplant and the sclera (white portion of the eye), I am VERY happy to report that all of the medications had done their job, and the abscess was irradiated.

But I am also now left with a reminder. Of what I went through, and of what NOT to do again in the future.

Waiting. Too long. I waited a day or two too long to go in and the end result is a scar on my eye that will never go away, or even fade some. The stitch that popped had a nasty infection (that I'd mistaken as ALLERGIES), that once removed, had caused the abscess. The abscess appeared within 24 to 48 hours post-treatment to remove the infected stitch.

So, take it from me, do NOT wait. As soon as you see a red look to your eye, have any amount of pain or burning, GET IT CHECKED OUT. Especially if you have had the eye issues that I have had to endure, and most especially if you have received a Corneal Grafting Transplant for ANY kind of reason.

Do not let ANYTHING hurt that precious gift that you were able to receive. A second chance at sight.

Now, I am down to only using my OmniPred (Prednisone/steroid) drops four times a day for another two weeks, then only twice a day after that. And my Doxycycline pills once at night, to keep my Roseacea from flaring up and attacking my skin and my eyes.

Also, my latest eye chart test pegged me at 20/30 vision. Up from 20/40 last week at that checkup. And my doctor has said that out of 30 to 40 of his patients being Cornea Transplant Recipients, I am the ONLY patient in his care with my type of graft (keratoplasty) due to Perforation of Ocular Roseacea.

As for the rounding of my cornea, my doctor had said that we got the best rounding of the cornea as we possibly can. He said all along that it wasn't going to be perfect, but it's better than having it flat up against my pupil like a flat tabletop.

All in all, it was a good visit. I'm back on track. I've also learned a hard lesson about being a "tough old broad" (at almost 35 years young), and NOT doing what I should have done at the very first sign of trouble.

Like the Cornea Specialist had said, my transplant is a lifelong commitment and will hit a roadblock here and there. As will my Roseacea. And as long as I keep my follow-up appointments and tell when I even remotely think that there is a problem, then we can always stay ahead of the game and avoid other close calls of graft failure/rejection in the future.

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