xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: My broken eyeballs

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My broken eyeballs

I used to have this eye disease called Keratoconus. Keratoconus (or "KC" as the cool KC kids call it) is an inherited, degenerative disease of the corneas which, in layman's terms, makes them all fucked up. I think probably a visual may help you at this point:

KC is bad enough as you can see, but, of course, I never do things half assed. No, if I'm going to have a degenerative disease, I'm going to have the worst possible version of it in the entire world.

I first started having trouble with my vision when I was in high school, so I've been going to eye doctors for about 20-25 years now. I'm an expert. The thing with KC is that there's really not much you can do about your vision except get really good at squinting. Glasses don't work, because the fucked up cornea is the problem and since it lies on the front most part of your eye, light is going to hit it first and then get all warped and shit. It's kind of like a broken prism; or, nothing like that. So, to fix your vision, the only thing that works is the hard/gas permeable contact lens, and it's a bitch to find a good fit, but, since I also have that astigmatism, hard lenses never fit me properly and they were always flying out and getting lost. I think at least 3 of them went down the shower drain in one year; until I figured out I probably should stop showering with my lenses in. (I'm slow.) I went through countless doctors and versions and varieties of lenses and the best I could ever get vision-wise was 20/80. Without anything it was something like 20/400. I don't even know because after a while they stop actually measuring and they just tell you your vision is 20/totally fucked.

There is a cure for KC, however, and that is a cornea transplant. Yep, that's right, first they wait for somebody to FUCKING DIE, then they slice off the front of your eyeball and sew the dead dude's cornea onto the empty space. Yeah. That IS as horrifying as it sounds, and I did it. Twice.


In early 2001, hubs and I were trying to get pregnant. I also have a condition that's supposed to make it difficult for me to get pregnant, and we had only been trying for 2 months, so we weren't really expecting anything yet. I had my first transplant surgery scheduled for May 23, 2001 (yes, I remember the date) and I was really freaked out about it. Did you see how I described it up there? Freaky shit. The day before, I thought I'd go to the store to calm my nerves and there, I bought an expensive bottle of champagne with which we would celebrate afterwards, and "fuck it, why not?" a pregnancy test, even though I had just taken one 2 days before and it was negative. I had nothing to do that afternoon, why not pee on a stick, right? So, pee I did. And then I looked at the result: it was supposed to be blue for not pregnant and pink for pregnant. Mine was purple. WTF?? Was I pregnant?? I PANICKED. I ran to my doctor and made them take ALL my fluids and put a rush on the test. Did I need to cancel my surgery? I had no idea what to do. I called hubs, crying (what a lovely way to learn your wife might be pregnant, am I right?) and he said "go to the store and get more tests." So I did. I went to CVS and bought 4 more pregnancy tests. The results on those were much less vague, so I canceled the surgery.


So, I had my first transplant when Child 1 was 6 months old and my second shortly before I got pregnant with #2. The KC is gone but I still have the astigmatism, so I get to continue my journey with eye doctors, which I've been doing for so, so long now. The past few years I've been going to the eye clinic on campus, which means I see students who are learning, and they've always been very nice and sweet and it's a delightful place. This was my experience today, though.....

Yes, they're open on Sundays, because they're students and student labor is free so I guess they have to work whenever they're told. I was there 2 weeks ago and today I went back to try on some new lenses to see how they worked, but because my eyes are so football-like, it's hard to get a good fit. So, she put it on and I couldn't see a thing. She said "let's let it settle a bit" and then I still couldn't see a thing. She said "let me try to adjust it" and then she shines the fucking SUN in my face and says "Look directly at the sun while I nudge the lens" and then says "okay, now look at the eye chart, is that better?" And I'm like "NO, you fucking idiot! NOW all I see is an enormous purple BLOB where the wall used to be!" So we had to wait for the blob to go away. And then I still couldn't see. And then they dilated my pupils and I had to drive home completely blind. That was fun.

My eyes suck.

The end.