Keratoconus my story – Getting Married! by Mary-Anna

Getting married and having KC – an inspirational tale from Mary Anna

For those of you who have organised a wedding, you know how stressful it can be. Of those people, if you decided to decorate yourself and pretty much make it your own, you know that there is a lot of added stress.

Now take that planning, picture it in your head: It is the week of the wedding, you have to organise decorating the hotel, the menus have to be designed, the bridesmaid are asking for advice. Close your eyes picture the head table for the bride and groom, add a second table slightly out of focus and about 3 cm down and 3 cm to the left. There is a window behind the table. Add a ring of light around the top of the table blurring the edge. How many chairs are there? You have no idea, too much light.


The wedding organiser in the hotel is asking questions about the set up while you try to imagine the top table. Your husband to be trying to help as much as he can is holding 2 pieces of material asking which ones is for the table and which is for the centre pieces, your mum is in the background asking what table number is in front of you and all the while you still can’t focus on the top table.

This was my experience the week before the wedding. It was not enjoyable.

I have Keratoconus. My cornea shape is distorted and has been further distorting as the 2 years have went on when I was first diagnosed. Although I usually wear glasses only one eye benefits, my left. My right eye is much further progressed and requires a hard type contact lens.

Flashback to 2 weeks and 3 days before the big day. Waiting nervously is me, at a contact lens clinic. I am about to pick up my first contact lens for my right eye. I am excited, I have waited for a long time to get an appointment for the fitting and now I finally have one to wear. The fitting goes well, the lens irritates my eye to no end but I didn’t care! I finally had a lens for my eye. 2 weeks and 2 days before the big day. I have to leave my lens for my right eye aside.

Today is focusing on my left eye. I am about to go in for Crosslinking.  A relatively short procedure which will hopefully halt the progression of KC in my left eye. Again I am excited, I will just cope through the pain, it is definitely worth it and I am about to get married in just over 2 weeks! The next few days are pretty rough. My eye hurts too much to open and my other eye is not much use at all. I can’t even put the lens in for these next few days so I depend on my family and my husband to be to guide me through the house, to put the never ending drops in my eyes and I have to just trust that the colours for ribbons for the flowers matches in, that the jewellery matches. I have to put all my trust in everybody else for the next few days.

The next week flies in, I slowly build up the amount of hours that my right eye tolerates my lens. Meanwhile my glasses sit neglected, my left eye, the good one. still not able to see out of it clearly. The amount of drops is ridiculous but I press on, excitement building. Then here I am standing in the hotel and I just want to explode. My head is sore, my lens wouldn’t sit properly the day before and now it is hurting and not fixed on my pupil I just can’t get it to sit right. My head is swimming with voices, I feel the tears well up but I make rash decisions keen to get home.  Home to familiarities, home where I don’t need my eyes to get about. Home to my parents’ house.

The morning of the wedding was a blast. My parent’s terraced house was so busy. My four bridesmaids rushing about, the hairdresser waiting patiently, my two young sisters feeling the excitement and running about the house, my poor dad feeling lost in a sea of girls. Nothing could spoil this day.

Before my makeup is done my mum helps me put a round of drops in my still recovering left eye. Glasses still left forlorn on the bathroom shelf gathering dust. My lens for the last few days has not been covering my pupil making it impossible to see, a few times I almost lost by blinking but nevertheless I attempt it again. After half an hour and a very bloodshot eye my mum speaks reason, ‘It’s no use, it doesn’t fit anymore’ Again I fell tears well up inside me, How am I going to see my family, my friends, my beautiful husband to be. It’s too late for that, I will be a Mrs in just an hour or two, and the show must go on.

I’ll not bore you with the details but believe me they were blurry details. The day went fantastically, I had my family and my now husband narrating the wedding, who was waving, who was dancing. I could not have asked for a better day, for a better family, for a better husband.


There can’t be many wedding where the maid of honour has to run about with drops in her bag telling you it was time for another round. Looking back at the photos I realise how beautiful everybody was and how I will not let Keratoconus dictate my life.

7 months on and I am still waiting for another type of lens, the shape has yet again changed. My left eye has fully recovered with great results. Glasses prescription has drastically changed and I have to now wear lenses in that eye too. I would not change my wedding day for the world, even with the blur and ghosting and headaches.

It was the best day of my life!

Mary-Anna McHugh


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