Thursday, March 13, 2014

Surgery date for husband coming soon (Keratoconus update)

I know my blog is mostly about sewing and I'm hoping to share some other things later for the homemaker and even home-schooler.
But right now I would like to give an update of why my blog hasn't gone so far and how my family seems as if it is traveling at the speed of light sometimes. Before the birth of our second daughter, a little over two years ago, my husband was diagnosed with a disorder known as keratoconus. (Say what?) Keratoconus is where my husband's eye though either genes or by series allergies has gone from looking like a normal contact lenses shape to looking more like a cone of ice-cream popping out from his eyeball. When he went to Lens Crafters for his regular glasses three years ago, he was told that his vision was still distorted after all the eye tests. We were referred to an eye surgeon to check up on my husband's astygmatism. At the time, our out of pocket expenses for medical care were high and thinking it was just some sort of "little" problem, we postponed his visit for a later date when we could afford it.

Months went by and my husband decided he should follow up as he was having some vision errors that were unexplained. They examined him and asked the optical surgeon, Dr. Bowden, to review the pictures and testing they did in office. I can remember my husband calling me..."Well, looks like I'm starting to show signs of keratoconus." My response was "What?" After he got home we researched and started to find out about more of this disorder. But in the beginning, it appeared that all he needed were special contact lenses to help his eye keep it's shape and not cone out as it was beginning to.

Months went by and we had our second child. I had a horrible pregnancy and was diagnosed with everything from Pre-eclamsia, gestational diabetes to eventually placenta previa at 2 weeks til inducement! I was hospitalized from about six months til c-section at eight months. This was hard on our family...not to mention me! I came home tired and had a terrible time healing. I bled twice out my incision site and felt as if death was at my door! But finally, I got better and things were somewhat back to normal with our family...or so I thought.

My husband resumed a check up through the doctor. The contacts were not working well. We were informed at this visit, his right eye would need intacts. (Contact lenses surgically installed over the cornea to stretch it back into shape.) We were also informed that his left eye was also showing worsening signs and he may need an intact in that eye as well. When we went into the "billing" room...we were floored at the cost. Most of the procedure was not covered! Our out of pockets were needless to say out of reach! Plus we still had to get approval from our insurance company to see what they would pay for! That was December...ya know, the month the insurance ends and a new plan begins. Time went by, he was approved on December 30th...Hello..no surgery dates available!

January started and so did our new insurance plan. We went back at the end of January for a follow up. My husband's eyes were again checked..bad news again. Right eye has gotten so bad we need a corneal transplant. Left eye still intact but uncertain if that will progress. We were also asked about my husband's weight....apparently they had also changed the laws about how much someone can weigh when they are put under for surgery. So now the goal was lose over 50 pounds to meet requirements!

Months went by again. My husband tried several methods of losing weight, but he was just going up and down. During the summer, we had a recheck of his eyes once more. This now revealed he needed a double corneal transplant! So, desperate for change, we sought the help of a natural nutritionist. She told my husband to go gluten free. He did and lost 20 pounds in four weeks! We were excited but then a plateau hit. And something else happened.

My husband called me on his way into work that morning..."Honey, I'm on my way home, I just had an accident, I rear-ended a truck" My husband could no longer judge the proper distance and the morning sun in Florida was just too bright for his condition. This was scary. We decided I would drive him to work with our family...in the mini-van I might add! My mother in law also helped drive him when she was able. Two months passed and my husband was now having even more trouble seeing...at work. He was typing things incorrectly, he was having more headaches, and even dialing phone numbers wrong. His boss at the time encouraged him...take company disability and get your eyes fixed..otherwise you'll be good for nobody. I encouraged him as well and he finally went on disability. A few months passed and he started losing more weight.
So now after sitting on the sidelines...my husband has been approved for surgery at the first of April. It's scary to think about but it needs to happen so we can move our family forward. They will do a right corneal transplant and when the doctor feels that has healed (anywhere between 3 months and a year) they will schedule him for the left corneal transplant.
Until then, I will try to blog as much as I can and as often as I can...but my God and my family do come first. Right now is a time for our family to prepare for the unknown. Thank you for all the support and keep coming back Sew Hungry For More!
If you would like to know more about Keratoconus, there is another blog here that you need to check out.