The day of the cataract op was bright and sunny. I did wonder how much I would be able to see afterwards. I mean, I was so used to poor vision in my grafted eye unless I had a hybrid lens in, I knew I had nothing to lose.
This was the end of a long journey with keratoconus that had started many years before. Any small improvement would be a bonus, of that I was sure.
Sat in the waiting room in St Richards Hospital in Chichester I was joined by 2 elderly patients also waiting for their cataract operations. I am relatively young for this procedure but it is not uncommon post corneal graft. The music on a Mac was playing some dreadful song on a loop, and it was less than glam sat there in regulation gown and slippers.
The anaesthetist came and talked me through the general anaesthetic, what happened and so on- no worries there as I have had quite a few GA now! Then my surgeon Mr M Teimory arrived to see everything was OK and to assure all the patients on his list that morning. The nurse adminsitered several pupil dilsting eye drops to get the eye ready for the op.the waiting room in St Richards Hospital in Chichester I was joined by 2 elderly patients also waiting for their cataract operations. I am relatively young for this procedure but it is not uncommon post corneal graft. The music on a Mac was playing some dreadful song on a loop, and it was less than glam sat there in regulation gown and slippers.
That was it, just waiting for the call to go to the operating theatre, which came quite soon after. I walked into the operating room, and was made to feel at ease by the staff, as we discussed amongst other things- punk music and tattoos. Then next I remember waking up in recovery- it was all over!
My left eye was bandaged and there was very little pain, just some discomfort. Once I had woken up properly and a had a cup of tea, I went back to the waiting room. Armed with a prescription and an appointment for the following day back in Worthing, I could go home.e operating room, and was made to feel at ease by the staff, as we discussed amongst other things- punk music and tattoos. Then next I remember waking up in recovery- it was all over!
That night was fine, I had a few painkillers and took it easy. I had no idea what the vision was like yet, as I still had the eye patch and bandage on. Friday was a new day!
On Friday I went back to Worthing eye clinic to see Mr Teimory for a check up. The eye patch and bandage was removed, and I was so disappointed. It was al just a big blur still. Was that it? Oh well, back to lens wearing I figured, although i was really down about it. However the op was fine and both my graft and the surgery site were doing well, Mr T was really pleased. I couldn’t read any lines on the old machine mind. He gave a me a prescription for Dexamethasone and chloramphenicol to take both four times a day (no FML for a while), and asked me to come in on the following Monday for another check up.
Pleased it was all healing OK but sad about the visual acuity I went home.
On Saturday morning I awoke and went to the bathroom as you do, and panicked. God! Had I gone to bed with my lenses in? What an idiot! Hang on I wasn’t able to wear any lenses yet- what was going on? I closed my left grafted eye and opened it again- the blur was gone! I actually had good pretty clear vision! I could see things at a distance! I quickly put my RGP lens into my ungrafted right eye- WOW. Suddenly everything was clear and sharp! Really close up wasn’t so good (I am talking cm’s from face) but everything else was amazing! I found I could watch TV with both eyes open. I sat in the garden and enjoyed the detail on the trees and leaves- unaided! This was a revelation. It was really quite emotional. I considered how far I had come and the time it had taken to get to this point. Had it been worth it? Hell, yes.
On Monday I was back with Mr T and with a pinhole reading 6 lines on the chart. A week later it was 7 lines. He says that I should only need a really simple, perhaps soft toric lens, to give me really good vision correction. I can drive with two eyes open and almost read number plates close up if I squint a little- this is a whole new experience. My mum noticed that for the first time since I was a young child, that I no longer have a ‘lazy eye’. Every day is a new feeling!
I am booked into see my contact lens fitter Lyn at Collisons in Worthing in another four weeks. But I have told friends and family that if what I have now is as good as it gets, I will still be really happy.
I hope my story is a reminder that nothing with keratoconus is easy and it can be a long process- but there is hope and it is worth it in the end. I never thought I would have such great vision again, and I am so grateful to Mr Teimory and his team for everything that they have done for me.