Thursday, June 29, 2017

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back...

I thought I would share these baby animals I did (in Prismacolor) for my sweet baby nephew one year ago. It is really hard for me to believe that he is about to be one year old!  I don't get to see him nearly often enough.

Well, my eyes have had a pretty good day today.  But, Tuesday and Wednesday... not so much!  After feeling great on Monday once the bandage lens was removed (I suppose the numbing drops they put in probably gave me a false sense of "everything's great"), the pain and sensitivity returned with a vengeance on Tuesday.  Yesterday (Wednesday) was not much better, but today has been a pretty good day.  I kept a diary with the first surgery, so I should have realized that I was not quite out of the woods with the pain on Monday.  I also probably overdid it reading everything I could on the computer.  Ups and downs with this kind of thing are to be expected.  I am still very thankful it is done and am sure that once the healing is complete, I'll be seeing much better.

I have a blogging friend, Cheryl, who is also going through some real challenges with her eyes.  She had surgery on them today.  If you think of her, would you please say a prayer for her healing.  It is amazing how we can take something for granted (eyes, teeth, etc.) until they begin to fail us.  Then we know JUST how valuable they are.  When it hurts just to blink, well ... just think of how many times you blink!

Along with the surgery, I have found that I am quite allergic to the cleansing wipes they use before various procedures.  After having broken out at the dentist after oral surgery, the eye doctor after eye surgery, and even a very bad rash down my forearm after having blood drawn at my yearly endocrinologist visit (photo at right from that), I finally narrowed it down to the brand of wipes they were using to cleanse my arm before drawing the blood.  The eye doctor and the oral surgeon all used the same ones.  Now, trying to convince your doctor not to wipe down a machine with that wipe before you stick your forehead and chin on it, well that is another thing, not to mention not wiping down your face with it before surgery.  Today I have this same rash on my forehead, chin, eyebrows, undereye area, and even my eyelids!  Hopefully it won't last long, but boy is it uncomfortable!

As always with my original scripture images, you are free to use this graphic by right clicking and copying or saving.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world. I have enjoyed catching up with a number of you this week! And if you're having a holiday over the coming week, I hope you have a wonderful and safe one!

Monday, June 26, 2017

New eyes... and God's goodness

I don't think I have shared about my eye condition with you here, but I have a corneal condition called Salzmann's Nodular Degeneration.  This is a pretty a rare condition for which they cannot really pinpoint a cause, but what it means in practical terms is that I have little white deposits or tissues all over my corneas.  They actually float as well as spread and grow larger over time.  Ten years ago I had surgery to remove them, which was really painful and tough to recover from.  It made me not want to have the surgery again.  However, I finally got to a place with my vision -- particularly with the detailed artwork I do and the computer work -- that I knew it was (past) TIME. 

Because of the white circular tissues/scarring, I was seeing hazes and four, six, eight images/halos of what I was looking at. One morning I wake up being able to see okay, and the next not very well at all, then the next day fine. Knowing it was time to address this, I decided to have the surgeries done one at a time so that if anything went wrong I would still have one (not very) good eye.  I just had my second of the two surgeries this past Tuesday, and I must say that in 10 years they certainly have improved the recovery process.

I am still recovering sight-wise, but the pain management is much better now than 10 years ago. I also had my husband videotape the surgery -- I won't share it here, as it is really difficult to watch.  Amazing to see the doctor working on my eye with those tools and not be able to feel it. He painstakingly removed every bit of scar tissue on my eye. It was pretty rough the day after the surgery, as I was in a LOT of pain.  I was able to manage with 3-4 ibuprofen every 4 hours.  But the next day I was much better - no ibuprofen needed - and the next even better.   For these surgeries, I was fitted with a "bandage" lens which protected my eye after the surgery and was especially helpful when I needed to blink. This "bandage lens" was not used after the surgerical scraping 10 years ago, and every time I blinked it felt as if I were scraping my eyeball with sand.  These kinds of improvements in tools and technology are amazing to me, and I am truly thankful.  

I went back today for the doctor to remove the recovery lens, and I am seeing okay.  I can see really well now in the first eye that he worked on. (Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone back for the second surgery!) So, I pray/believe it will only be a matter of time before I am seeing really well in the second eye. One amazing improvement with the new surgeries is in the type of "bandage" contact lens they used for my healing process. It is called an amniolens and was developed by a Christian doctor who believed that there was a way to develop a process for more rapid and full healing using young tissues, but who was not willing to use fetal tissue.  Through much research and experimentation, he discovered that the amniotic membrane of the placenta has many of the same healing properties that stem cells from fetal tissue would.  This is harvested from the placenta after birth and freeze dried for use in many types of healing for eye tissues.  You can learn more about that here:

"Ming Wang vs. Science vs. Faith" — Film Competition sponsored by The Veritas Forum from Veritas [1] on Vimeo.

I am thankful to God for science and those who persevere in hope of helping people through new discoveries.  Part of Dr. Wang's story is in the film "God's Not Dead."  I am constantly amazed that though I have this condition, God knows how intricately he has crafted my eye and has given me hope through this new discovery that my eyes will heal and in some ways be in even better shape than before.  And, I am seeing well enough to use the computer again... and hope to soon be holding a paintbrush or pencil and doing some new artwork.  Hope all of you are well.  Now that I can read, I'll be making the rounds!! 😊👁👁🙂