I have had four eye surgeries in the last nine years. As I explain in my Intro post on January 10, 2005 my blindness is caused by damage to the retina (at the back of my eye) which is the result of premature birth. I developed additional problems with my eye as I got older, including damage to my cornea caused by prolonged elevated pressure in the eye. This combined with a detaching retina caused a total loss of my remaining vision in 1998. In December, 1998, I had surgery to repair a detaching retina. At the same time, I also had a cornea transplant. In 2001, I had a second transplant because the one had failed. In 2005, I had another transplant but received an artificial cornea implant because the second transplant had failed. Each transplant failure resulted in the loss of the small amount of vision which had been restored by the retinal surgery. Currently, there is a membrane which has developed behind the implant and is blocking light from getting into the eye. This means that no one can see in and I cannot see out. Today's surgery is to remove the membrane.
I thought that it might be interesting for some people to read some past entries about my surgeries and recoveries; so I put together a few links.
January 13, 2005
In this entry, I am talking about my thoughts regarding things that influence reactions to disability. This entry is nearly three years dated, and I have revisited the topic, on at least one occasion as my thoughts have changed a good deal on certain issues since going through some of my seminary courses and spending so much time thinking about theological issues. I talked about some similar things on March 14, 2007.
January 15, 2005
In this entry, I am dialoguing with a friend regarding blindness and grief. The friend is an M.D. who has done some work with a ministry training people with physical disabilities to do peer counseling. Our dialogues have been enlightening and useful to me, especially as I have come to formulate my perspectives and figure out just how to express them.
January 27, 2005
In this entry, I revisit my 1998 surgery as I prepare for a new procedure (the artificial cornea procedure which is the background for today's surgery).
February 12, 2005
I am talking in this entry about the state of my vision, the expected recovery period following surgery, and more review of the 1998 surgery.
February 15, 2005
Surgery day: I post about the events during surgery and my reflections. Some interesting things happened that are confusing.
February 17, 2006
I linked to the day view from the calendar on this one because there are two entries. I did an update from the follow-up exam in the morning and another update in the afternoon about things I could see.
February 18, 2005
I talk about my feelings about experimental surgeries, implants, etc.
February 19, 2007
I'm marking off things I see.
February 20, 2005
More food discoveries...
February 21, 2005
I review 1998 post-surgery experiences.
March 6, 2005
I am reporting a significant discovery. This was the final significant discovery following the corneal implant. In 1998, the improvements continued for six months. This is common with retinal surgeries. My expected outcome with today's procedure is similar to the 2005 procedure since as far as we know my retina is stable.
This is probably enough for now... I will have more musings later and perhaps link to more entries if people like this. It's a bit therapeutic for me; but I can revisit this stuff anytime since it's all on my hard drive. I am often asked about the prognosis, though, and I hope it is a bit enlightening to have some kind of idea of what is and what isn't possible, at least in one situation.