Keratoconus – my story by Annmarie

Hi it’s @auntyamo from Twitter
My Keratoconus journey… past, present and future

It’s almost 3 years since my cornea transplant and still I’m amazed when I think of how I used to struggle to see properly.

I wore glasses from the beginning of secondary school but was well into my 20s before I was diagnosed with Keratoconus. For years I struggled to read and drive in darkness; it’s amazing now the difference in my quality of life. Even little things like on TV programmes – when there was something written down, usually a crucial clue to solve the mystery…. I’d have to pause the TV and go right up to the screen to read it.

Ahh the bad old days 🙂

I’m one of a family of 8 children, 3 of us have had cornea transplants.

One brother had both of his done in his early teens, well over 35 years ago in the days when you had to stay in hospital for weeks after the surgery, lying on your back most of the time.

He made many trips back and forward to the eye hospital as a child.Another brother had his surgery over 20 years ago, he suffered rejection at first but with adjusted medication he was right as rain in no time and has been fine ever since. His surgery and recovery were a lot more straightforward than his younger brother’s.

Then three years ago I had my surgery. Technology and medical advances have meant that I was in and out in 5 days. The care of the hospital staff was amazing and the after care and support is more than I could ever have asked for.

corneal-transplant-series-4

 

When you think of the advances in technology, understanding of the condition and research into treatments, it’s amazing really. I’ve benefitted from the fact that, overall there is a great improvement of the ‘lot’ of Keratoconus sufferers. I really appreciate work that has been done over the years to make my experience that much easier than my brother’s 35 years ago. Imagine what it will be like for those going through it 35 years from now.

I’m grateful to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin and the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank in Colorado in the US for their cooperation with each other and for bringing me and my donor family together. You can read that story here…  http://www.corneas.org/page.cfm/ID/415

 

And I’m also grateful for groups like Keratoconus GB who share information and give encouragement. No one with Keratoconus needs to feel isolated – we’re all in this together!

Annmarie Miles is from Dublin, Ireland. She was diagnosed with keratoconus about 15 years ago and had her first cornea transplant 3 years ago.
She is an avid blogger and regular Tweeter.
On Twitter and Google+ just look for auntyamo
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