Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Honey, we need to call the eye doctor...

"my contact just fell out!" My husband said calmly. He said he saw a gray film along the outside of his vision and all the sudden he was seeing more clearly. He wiped his eye, the gray film caught the tissue and POP. Out fell the Prokera ring that was placed on his new cornea to release helpful medicines into his eye. It was scary, but it had been ten days since the surgery and we were scheduled to see the doctor the next day. We called Dr. Bowden's office to ask if we should rush him in for a check up of his eye. They called back with an appointment time, basically get there as soon as possible. We gobbled up lunch and drove all the way across town to the doctors office.

When at the doctors office, my husband was checked to see his current vision. His right eye registered at about 20/50 on this date, but not much of a change since the day after surgery. They examined the wound and it was healing as it should. While the ring fell out on it's own, everything seemed intact. He was advised that a different porous contact lense would be placed in his eye. This would be more like a plastic band-aid to help the eye continue to heal and protect the stitches.

My husband was asked to come in about ten days time to check on the lense placed in his eye. Things are "looking" better for him every day. Healing is continuing and so are his many, many drops. He is now able to do a few things but should still avoid running or any other strenuous activities. We keep his eye covered most of the time with a clear patch and elastic around his head. My daughters kindly say that dad's a pirate!!

We have another doctors appointment soon and at that point we will see if he needs another contact lense or if he is able to just wear an external eye patch. So as always come back...Sew Hungry For More!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Days after the transplant

"Ok, Mr. H, we are now going to remove the patch and I want you to tell me what you see." The nurse stated as she began to pull up an eye chart for my husband. As they removed the patch, my husband looked at me and smiled, "Wow, I can see you more clearly honey!" We both were trying to hold back from crying. The nurse ran through the regular eye chart routine. They were evaluating his sight. I asked what his vision is rated as of now. "It looks to be about 20/40!"

We again waited and were placed in another room for Dr. Bowden's evaluation. "What's his vision now?" Dr. Bowden asked the nurse. "20/40" she stated. "Really!? That's fantastic!" The doctor stated. We were advised to keep up all the drops/the prescriptions. I think there are like 10 bottles and we use them about 2 hours to 1 hour apart! At first it was a lot on me as my husband had to rest and couldn't see with one eye to accurately place the drops on his eye. (Weeks have gone by and now he's a big boy again, doing the drops by himself.) Before we left, the doctor placed a dissolving ring/eye contact on my husband's eye. This distorted his view completely again as it was film and plastic. However, the contact was to dissolve over 10 days and place medicine into the eye to allow even more healing.

As we left the office, I asked what my husband's vision was two years ago when we were advised he needed the surgery. "Let's see," said the nurse, "20/400!!" My husband had to have all 5 layers of his cornea replaced because of all the scarring and bad tissue in his eye. Now after surgery, so far so good! Dr. Bowden informed us that this is probably the BEST outcome he has ever had for this type of replacement. Most people have very fuzzy eyesight after the surgery and it's hard for them to see the biggest E on the eye chart. At the same time, my husband and I are not that surprised. We have been praying to God and knew it was in his hands. Our church has been praying as well. God is good. And while it was a little nerve racking, we know that God is faithful when we are faithful.

Well, gotta go...I'll blog about the ring coming out in my next post as well as our crazy last few weeks with doctors appointments about every three days! So come back...Sew Hungry for more!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Right Corneal Transplant

"Hey, Can I have some more of those numbing drops?" My husband asked as he awoke from his right corneal transplant. "Sure, let's get some of those over here," The doctor stated as he was finishing sewing up the last of the stitches.

That morning had been a long morning. Probably my longest ever. We woke up before the sun rose and drove to the first surgery center. While I waited in a room, Dr. Bowden cut my husband's right cornea in the other room. They left it in place, patched it up and we went to Baptist Surgery Center to complete the operation. While I drove my husband, I asked him, "How do you feel?". He said, "Well that was a weird experience. But they did give me some valium." It was funny, he was relaxed. I on the other hand was nervous and scared about the major procedure about to occur. Why did he have to get his eye cut at one place? Well, the doctor wanted to do a zigzag cut that would be more precise and allow better healing when the new cornea was installed. We both know he was the expert, so we didn't question the procedure.

When we arrived at Baptist Surgical Center, We waited in the waiting room. Dr. Bowden had to finish up with the patients at his center, then also drive to the surgical center. I think we waited an hour. My husband was number 3 in line, but he was the only corneal transplant that day. When they called my husband back, they prepped him to wait in the back before the surgery. They placed an IV in his hand, a heart monitor complete with stickers to the chest, a gown on his upper body and placed his shoes in a bag. He was ready! I looked at the doctors board and noticed he was an hour behind. I could see the other two patients ahead of us in make shift rooms as there were only blue curtains between us. And so we waited...again.

Over an hour later, we were still waiting. It was lunch time. The nurses were warming their lunches in the breakroom and the smell of chinese food caught wind. Sniff...Mmmmm. We were both hungry. My husband jokingly asked where his was and the nurses laughed. "It's wrong you know to have a patient lose 65lbs just to have surgery and on the day of, you decide to smell the hallway with food smells!" He stated. We laughed about it and continued to wait. Finally the anesthesiologist came to my husband and introduced himself. We also watched the two other men go back to the operating room and then go to the recovery room. The time had come. I knew I had to slip out to the waiting room and wished my husband well with a kiss.

An hour passed and I was still in the waiting room. Two hours passed. I went to the nurses desk to ask if the procedure was over. "Not yet, Mrs. H. We will call you back when it is." They told me. I called a few family members and friends to talk about my husband's status and to check on my girls. Finally, after what seemed like forever, they called me back. When I approached the back, he was patched up and sitting up. He was eating graham crackers and drinking water. The nurse stated he would be ready to leave in about 15 minutes!!

As I said, this was a long day on August 4, 2014. We woke up at 5:30am and didn't return to our home until 2:30pm!! I had a headache after only eating a pop-tart, coffee, some crackers and a lot more coffee!! My husband needed help up the stairs and Grammy still had the girls. I called her to check on their status as my husband soon fell asleep. Whew..my 3 year old had just laid down for a nap. So I decided to take one too after this long day. As they say, now the real work begins as my husband's restrictions are to do...NOTHING! And I will talk later about how he is currently doing as well as his eyesight in a later posting. For now, gotta go...come back Sew Hungry for More.