I am absolutely stoked that my eye doctor has just approved me for my first corneal transplant surgery after battling scleritis for 3 years.
I have started a new blog to document this journey, it’s a corneal transplant diary. If you would like to follow this journey you can at:
Hope to see you there!
By the way I am super excited to be getting this chance at normal vision. I have never had anywhere near normal vision so I can’t wait!
I have been on Cyclophosphamide now for about 3 months and it was going really well. Well about 3 weeks ago I had a scleritis flare which was really painful and gave me a week long migraine because all of the eye socket was also inflamed. I have had 2 orbital floor steroid injections over the last 3 weeks and now i’m sporting a lovely bruise under my right eye.
Anyway I digress, back to kerataconus news. My doctor said that I desperately need grafts in both eyes but particularly in the left and we have been working to get the left one as healthy as possible before surgery, i.e. getting rid of the scleritis and corneal neovascularisation as much as possible. If I have the graft with the blood vessels growing into it the transplant will most likely reject and be a disaster (my doctors words).
I saw him on Wednesday and he is now saying that the vision in that eye is so bad due to the blood vessels we may as well do the surgery soon as we have nothing to lose if it fails. I have no useful vision out of that eye now even with a lens in so I tend to agree with him. It will make the surgery a bit more complex as he will have to cauterise all of the blood vessels first. I don’t just have a few blood vessels I have loads and they are really deep and growing into the middle of the cornea.
I am seeing him again in 2 weeks for a review of the scleritis flare so I will try and pin him down to a timescale of when my surgery is likely to be then. They are thinking about increasing my chemo to try and stop the break through flares which may not be fun as I might get increased side effects. I am prepared to do whatever I need to fix my eyes though.
The pic is a corneal topo of my eye taken probably about 8 years ago, its the only topo I have. I reckon my eye has changed heaps since then I would love to see an updated one!
Well that’s it for now, I have surgery in my not too distant future which I am very excited about, It will be nice to have an eye with some vision in it as currently I am seeing through a white haze.
Finally for the first time in over 2 years I am pain free from scleritis (eye pain). That is amazing and down to the Cyclophosphamide I started taking about 4 weeks ago. The first week I felt terrible, really nauseas then I came good and felt great for a couple of weeks. I was thinking this is brilliant, then in week 4 I am getting light headed, dizziness and fatigue. It’s worth it not to have that awful horrendous eye pain!
Assuming my bloods are ok when I go back to the rheumatologist in 3 weeks I can move on and start thinking about my corneal transplants and where I need to be to be able to have my surgery. I have severe corneal neovascularisation, the vessels I have are big and deep and there are plenty of them. They are not ghost vessels either, they are still active and blood filled. I can’t have my surgery whilst they are active as the graft would reject. In my doctors words “it would be a disaster”. One positive thing, in my eye check-up last week my doctor felt like there were less vessels in the right eye and maybe the Cyclophosphamide has got rid of some already. I hope so that would be amazing.
I had two wishes, 1 was to get rid of the pain – check! and 2 was to be able to see properly. So I am halfway there! Point 2 is going to be harder to achieve, every time I see my eye doctor I’m like can I get my graft yet and always the answer is no. Hopefully one day soon I will get a yes. I am so desperate to improve my vision, I really struggle in particular at work reading my computer screen. Some days are really awful and I can hardly see a thing.
I know having a graft doesn’t automatically guarantee good vision but it’s surely got to be better than looking through a forest of blood vessels, even if I have to wear a lens on it I will be ecstatic.
Keeping my fingers crossed that next time I get a check up even more vessels have melted away.