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Day 9 and First Post Assessment

August 31, 2011

So it’s now 9 days since my operation, and today I had my first post assessment appointment at Sunderland Eye Infirmary. When I arrived a nurse did a routine eye test, as well as a pinhole test which involves looking at the eye chart through a circle of tiny holes. The vision in my right eye had improved in both instances- with the pinholes I could manage to read one more line than I could previously, and without the pinholes I could read the top two lines. Obviously the letters were still very blurry, but before the graft I had no chance of making out any letters on the eye chart, so the fact that I’m now even back in the ‘chart’ club is an improvement in itself!

The nurse also did a Glaucoma test, which involved putting anaesthetic drops into the eye and then very lightly tapping the eye. I’m not sure how it works, but she said that everything seemed fine and the eye pressure was normal. One of the side effects of using steroid drops can be the development of Glaucoma in the eye, which like most things eye (and general health) related, is much easier to treat if caught early.

So then I had my appointment with Mr Morgan- my consultant and surgeon. He asked how everything had been and there must have been a note of surprise in my voice when I said ‘everything’s been fine’, because he laughed and said that a lot of corneal graft patients expect the experience to be a lot worse than it actually is. You imagine lots of discomfort, various things going wrong, the eye looking weird after the op etc, but actually it’s been pretty much plain sailing so far. Over the last few days the gritty feeling in my eye has almost completely gone thanks to using the Lacri Lube gel at night, and the eye itself looks boringly normal. If you were standing right in front of me you wouldn’t be able to tell I’d had an operation on it- even the stitches are very hard to see. I had imagined having to take weeks off work, but actually I would say that after six or seven days I was at the stage where I felt I could confidently start work again.

Mr Morgan then had a good look at the eye, and even bought in a student doctor to have a look (one thing I’ve noticed as a corneal graft patient is that we’re a great training tool for junior doctors!), and after examining it he said he couldn’t be happier with how it looked. He said that at this very early stage I shouldn’t worry about what I can read on the chart, but said that even if I can make out just one or two letters now it bodes well for how my sight will be in the future. He also said that because I’d had a partial graft I don’t need to worry if I get a little knock or bump to the eye (although to obviously try and avoid if possible), because the eye is structurally still quite strong. He said I could probably start exercising again in about two weeks , and to just basically keep taking my steroid drops four times a day. The antibiotic drops only lasted a week, so I’m now just taking the steroid drops, which I’ll be on for about 6- 8 months.

I’m due to see him again in three weeks. He mentioned that the next appointment will be about working on something called refraction, which involves getting the eye to focus properly. Often corneal graft patients have become used to having poor vision in their eye before their operation, so after the graft you need to basically learn how to use the eye again.

And that was the end of my first post assessment! Again, everything seems fine and *touch wood* things seem to be going to plan. It’s only 9 days since the op, but the eye looks completely normal, the grittiness has almost gone and the vision has definitely improved to some degree. Obviously there’s still a long journey ahead with regards to my vision and watching out for any signs of rejection, but so far I couldn’t be happier with how things are going.

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2 Comments
  1. thanks for writing these experiances int his blog. . i live in Copenhagen Denmark. and my eyes were perfect until i got 17 becuase i was rubbing my eyes , i have been using glasses until last year i wanted to do LASIK then the doctor diagnosed my eyes with KC and he said i am not a candidate for LASIK but for INTACT. i have no clue where to go and what treatment should i take. i went and i saw a danish eye specalist and he advised that i need to wear contact lenses and recommend to go to a eye hospital that corss linking might be good for me. i have two questions for you, A) aren’t you wearign glasses or contact lesnese anymore? B) what is the exact name of the surgery were done for your eyes that you got a very positive result?

    i would appreciate your comments.

    thanks.

    Jamil

    • Hi Jamil, thanks for your message. I think you should definitely investigate the option of having Cross Linking treatment, as Cross Linking basically stops the KC from progressing and means that you won’t reach the stage that I have where you need a cornea transplant. I’m not currently wearing contact lenses- the vision in my left eye has always been quite good so I’ve found that I can cope ok without them. However, my vision isn’t perfect so I do use glasses sometimes when I’m reading. Once the graft has settled in my right eye I’ll be able to get fitted for contact lenses in both eyes, which will hopefully give me perfect vision.

      I had my operation at Sunderland Eye Infirmary in the UK, and it was performed on the NHS which means that I didn’t have to pay for it directly, but I assume there is a different system in place in Denmark? My advice would be to research the best eye specialists available in Denmark and enquire about having cross linking treatment with them. Good luck! Steve

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