Sunday, January 21, 2007

D'Eye - Another Operation

It was 9.30 am when we arrived at the Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital on the appointed Friday, 19th January 2007, when Ram had to submit her right eye to a minor operation. It was scheduled for 10 am. All tests, usual ones before an operation is performed, i.e blood pressure, glucose level and others, electrocardiogram and so on, had already been done. We went straight to the Operating theatre waiting room and had all the paperwork and formalities (deposit and bills!!) done and we waited. Tessa came a short while later. We were still waiting at noon as the doctor apparently had an emergency operation to perform that morning. Soon I had to leave for my Friday prayers at the mosque and left Tessa to accompany Ram.

After Friday prayers I went straight to the hospital. Ram had just been wheeled out of the operating theatre then. Her right eye in bandage and covered with a plastic shield. It was reminiscent of the day she had her first operation, the cornea transplant procedure, on the same eye three years ago, coincidentally on the 19th January 2004. Only that three years ago she was wheeled out on a stretcher, heavily sedated but this time she was sitting in a wheel chair and not sedated.

She was asked to rest on a reclining sofa and after a while the bandage was removed while the plastic shield left on. Her right eye was a little swollen, partially closed and red around the eye lid. She still could not see well with this eye yet and she slowly began to feel pain on the right side of her head. She had to take a pain killer and continued to rest. Tessa meanwhile left us as she had to prepare for an official trip to Zurich and Davos.

By 5.00pm Ram was feeling a lot better and she was allowed to go home. She rested the rest of the day. Sita, Fahrul and little Najla were at home. Little Najla was at first cautious with her grandmother seeing the plastic cap covering her right eye but soon she got over it and readily came close. I prepared all that was necessary for treating the eye and to get into the motion of the six hourly cleaning of the eye and applying the eye drops (steroids??). We had very light, soft dinner that night and Ram slept quite well. She woke up the next morning feeling a lot better.

We went back to the hospital the next morning to keep an appointment with the doctor. The doctor was satisfied with it but prescribed an additional oral medicine for Ram. Another steroid? Ram was to come back for another appointment on Thursday. Ram could see quite clearly and could even read fine prints. However she has to take care not to expose the eye to direct light source and to cover it well to avoid contamination. So begin the routine of six hourly washing the hands, cleaning the eye, applying medicine and so on. Hopefully, and by the grace of the Almighty, her vision will come back. We are full of hope and we submit to Him for His grace and guidance.

Tess, remember the 'crochet' skirt Najla is wearing? Two generations now!!

MKI Ramblings Unlimited,

Petaling Jaya

Thursday, January 18, 2007

D'Eye, D'Eye

Many of my previous postings here were on problems and what my wife has to go through on her eyes. She has an eye problem called Fuchs’ Dystrophy, a degeneration of the cornea that is destructive to her sense of vision and normal function of the eye. Ram has had her right cornea replaced with a donor cornea some three years ago. But sadly, one year after the cornea transplant procedure was performed, she had an infection so bad that she almost lost the new cornea. She was saved ‘in the nick of time’ so to speak and the infection was eliminated and vision restored although not up to the level desired. Since then it was a series of procedures performed to right the vision to normal. It is still far from normal now. Details of what Ram went through are archived in this blog.

After the infection incident the cornea began to develop astigmatism. This had gotten worse over time. Although the doctor attending to Ram tried various methods to correct the vision it appeared as though it is incurable. She continues to have bad vision moments. Sometimes she sees very well and sometimes she does not. I can stand about ten feet away from her and she can see even the slightest expression on my face and other times when I am barely 5 feet away and she can not even make out my face!! Reading too has had similar problems.

So it was, after about three years, Ram is battling with vision. To make matters even more complicated she has developed cataract in both eyes too. She kept an appointment with her doctor yesterday. The doctor said that the cornea is over tensioned in one section and loose on the other thus worsening the astigmatism. As the cornea has adhered to the eyeball she had tried to cut it a bit, some several months ago, to loosen the tension but to no avail. She suggests that the loose portion be stitched up to balance the tension and this procedure, a minor operation, is planned for tomorrow. The cataract problem is to take a back seat for the moment. Her other eye meanwhile continues deteriorating and vision on this one is cloudy and images distorted, just like the right eye before the transplant procedure was carried out. Her doctor is aware but is not attending to it yet, not until the right eye is properly corrected, she said. Eye drops are prescribed for this eye to relieve pain.

Ram is apprehensive over this stitching procedure on her right eye. She had gone through it before and I guess memories are flooding back in her mind. She is prepared to go through it but at the same time she is ‘scared’. Not so much of the pain she has to endure but more of the expectation and aspiration after the procedure is performed. Will the procedure help her regain full vision? If not, how long more and what else can be done? That is the question uppermost in her mind. I pray to the Almighty for His guidance and for His pleasure in granting Ram full vision. Amin

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya