Friday, March 28, 2014
Transplant complete: no vision for many months
Today is the day after my cornea transplant. What a journey this has been. After waiting for 6 months to have the surgery, it finally happened. I have been without any vision in my left eye, aside from being able to see light and darkness an occasional fuzzy shape, for almost 18 months. I had adjusted to sight in only one eye, and at times during my wait, struggled with the idea of even taking the donor cornea, feeling that I could make due without it. Making due, however, isn't all that God has for me, so at 6:30am yesterday I registered as patient #4 at the Wheaton Eye Clinic.
I can't even begin to count the number of prayers that were being offered up on my behalf prior to and during my surgery. Every single one made a difference. I woke yesterday with such a calm 'blessed assurance' that it could only have been from God. I even found myself praying for Scott that he wouldn't worry about me and for patients #1-3 who checked in prior to me once we got to the Surgery Center.
They called me back and began the pre-op protocol. The hairnet, the warm blankets (those are the best part...) and the IV. Then the eye drops began...lots of drops. I had no sedation and no calming meds at this point, but my relaxed demeanor was heaven sent. At the prompting of a sweet girlfriend, I kept replaying the verse from the familiar hymn "turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace"
It was perfect because suddenly nothing mattered but Him.
As the surgeon came in, I remember her telling Scott and I how beautiful the donor cornea was. My only concern was knowing where it came from.....a clue to this mystery family we'd been praying for over the past month. All she knew was that it was from a 54 year old who had died of a massive heart attack. Thankfulness swept over me and as I was wheeled into surgery my prayer changed.
I was awake for the surgery. I had numbing drops and shots all around the eye to block the pain. I felt some of it but I kept fading in and out as I dreamed of my precious kids, my amazing Scott and my donor. I felt the stitching of the new cornea in place (see the tiny stitches in the photo above) and the final step was the worst, two shots directly in the eye to curtail rejection.
What a journey, I sill have no sight, it will take months for this donor cornea to work in tandem with my eye, but I have no pain. Tonight I am tired, incredibly grateful for my huge circle of amazing friends, my family, my mom who is taking care of two of my kiddos, my right hand assistant Abby, my adoring husband, a family who I have never met who lost their dear loved one this week, and the possibility of seeing a blade of grass again this summer. Thank you for all of your support as I recover.