Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Windows To the World...

EYES! Yes they are our windows to the world.

The precious commodity that we all take for granted until our sight is in jeopardy. I actually am one of those that have never taken my eyes for granted. I was born with very poor vision. My parents did not know how bad until my twin sister and I went to our first eye doctor visit around age 5-6 (not quite sure). The first comment my sister and I said to our mother was we did not realize the trees had tops! I am almost 40 but that day changed my life forever. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

I know this is the holiday season and everyone is stressed about income and what to buy for others this year. All I want is good eye sight. My eyes have been deteriorating over the years and they are so bad that my vision could not be corrected by Lasik alone. By my age you would have expected my eyes to get settled and not get any worse...well not the case. My eyes hover around -18 and-19 diopters. A diopter, in my case, is a negative number (which indicates nearsightedness and a lens that minimizes things). A diopter simply indicates how powerful a lens is in order to properly focus light on a person’s retina, and it is defined as being “the inverse of a person’s focal length in metres.” Focal length is the distance you need to see an object clearly for a fine-detail task, for example to read a book. A –2.00 lens would mean the person can only see a distance of up to 1/2 of a metre clearly. In my case I am a -18 and -19 so I see a distance of 1/18 in one eye and 1/19 in the other - yes it is not fun. If I do not have my contacts in or glasses on I cannot see the precious faces of my kids or see my husbands face until he gets close enough to me to give me a kiss

Many people also have astigmatism, which means that their nearsightedness or farsightedness is not the same in all directions. This is because their corneas are not perfectly round, but stretched irregularly, like a cylinder (or the back of a spoon). I am of course in this category as well.

Astigmatism makes vision blurry at any distance. A good analogy is having my kids erase a pencil mark on their paper and leaving a smear mark, which makes a blurry mark. The image looks distorted in a particular direction, rather than being distorted in all directions. Astigmatism does something similar to that smear mark on top of the nearsightedness or farsightedness that we already have.

On December 3rd I went in for a procedure that has been around for about 20 years worldwide - in the USA less than 10 years. I had a Verisyse™ Phakic Intraocular Lens placed into my right eye. They do one eye at a time. In a few weeks I will go ahead and do my left eye. I do not want to do the procedure injustice so I recommend you visit the link to find out more about the procedure.

This procedure is more in depth then I had expected. I was told by the doctor my full vision will not be clear for up to 8 weeks! The day after surgery I was able to read the GIANT E on the eye chart. It was a bit blurry but it was the clearest I had ever seen he E in my entire life without my contacts or my glasses. It truly was a life changing moment.

It is a bit challenging writing this blog post because I have a contact in my eye that has not been operated on yet and it is very blurry out of my operated eye. I am not able to drive for several weeks and I need to stay away from my 5 mile a day run for a bit - that is very challenging! The end result will be life changing and I cannot wait so the sacrifices I make now will be well worth it!

Because of my Astigmatism the doctor had to use stitches that he will remove in intervals to help to correct the Astigmatism. I need that in both eyes. I also have very large pupils so to get the best results without the HALO effects and glaring effects that some get from LASIK my eye doctor used a larger lens but the prescription was not to the strength I needed. They just do not make them in my strength as large as I needed. I will need to go back in several months for follow up LASIK surgery to make small adjustments. I wish I could just do the LASIK but from where my journey began my CORNEA was too thin. Once it is corrected to 20/50 vision - I hope - then the LASIK can be done.

Thanks for letting me share my story and I will definitely follow up with my progress.
Create A Wonderful Day!
Shelley Kimberly

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It is moving and wonderful because of your success – not just with the surgery, but in managing life’s difficulties.

I “hear” you because I had a similar childhood experience with my hearing.

To those of you who never experienced these types of physical setbacks, count your blessings. To those of us who have, count your blessings because it gives us a beautiful appreciation for what we have.

Sarah said...

I am not anonymous, the computer just decided I was!

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