I wrote this to friends on December 14:
I saw the doctor yesterday--well, actually I saw three doctors--about the possibility of getting an artificial cornea since I've had two failed ones. The cornea docs sent me to the retina doc because they saw detachment on my scans, and the retina doc wants me to see the doctor in Detroit who did my surgery in 1998 to make sure I don't need another reattachment surgery before I have the cornea surgery. Are you confused yet? If not, you're doing better than I am!
I went through this with the detachment showing up on scans a couple of years ago, and Dr. Trese looked at the scans and said it's old detachment that can't be treated and that what he treated in 1998 is stable. I'm hoping that will be the result again and maybe I won't even have to go to Detroit. That trip got old real fast in 1999 and 2000! For now, I'm waiting on a call back from Dr. T.
The cornea surgery is a two-stage procedure done over three months. I will be completely blind in the transplant eye for that three months because they actually use part of the white part of the eye to make a natural bandage. Then after the three months is up, they take it off and we see what I can see.
They've done only two of these artificial corneas in the state. One was for an old man who had had eight previous unsuccessful transplants. He had no vision at all before surgery and ended up having so much damage from other eye conditions that he has only light perception after surgery. The doctor seemed to think that the fact that I have some vision right now and the descriptions I gave of what I could see before my transplants failed are good signs that the artificial cornea will benefit me--and if something goes wrong they can remove it and do a typical transplant again.
Mom didn't want to even discuss the possibility of going to Detroit until after Christmas. So I brought it up tonight. And it appears that I'll have to wait until the end of this month. My parents can't do it this week. I have company coming from out of town next week, and I won't sacrifice one of those days for Detroit. So that trip won't happen until the end of January. I don't even know if Medicaid will cover the artificial cornea. I'll probably have to raise money for this. I really wanted to be able to have the second stage done by my birthday in May. Yes, it's awfully early to be upset about May, but I know how to do math and this just doesn't seem possible. I'm just so tired of feeling like I'm supposed to take a back seat to everyone else's work, fun, sudden whims, etc. I know this is impatience, actually an emotional tantrum. But why can't I be the one to have the blessing for a change?
And I feel so guilty saying all this when tsunami victims are looking for their dead family members' bodies while they're naked! Hmm... This is the same thing I was thinking in 1991, but God still answered my prayer in 1992. Is there some significance in this? Is it ok to ask even though I know that I just want something because it makes me comfortable? What about "You ask and have not because you ask wrongly...?" There's not anything I could do with a little extra vision that I can't do for other people now. I really do seem to want it solely for my own convenience. It wasn't always this way. I don't know what else to say. I'm just feeling very hopeless and like God is turning away from me.