Friday, December 08, 2006

Rules for people with kerataconus: Make good friends with a reliable optician/optometrist, one who is not terrified that you have a corneal irregularity or frightened of fitting RGP (rigid gas permeable) lenses on a graft. There are a lot of optometrists who would rather deal in fashion lenses (and charge accordingly) and can't believe how frequently your vision changes. When I was first diagnosed, the ophthalmologist I was seeing at time once practically refused to fit me with lenses because my eyes would be changing. So, you are going to leave me really visually impaired just because I'll need new lenses in 6 months? Make good friends also with an ophthalmologist/eye surgeon for the same reasons. Some surgeons are more comfortable dealing with cataracts and glaucoma and even eye injuries but kerataconus may be something they studied in eye-doctor-school but can be reluctant to do the sometimes radical things to your eyes. The doctor I was referred to when I got to Australia freaked when he detected a blood vessel approaching the graft. If the vessel reached the graft the cornea could be rejected and I'd have to get a new graft. He then told me two things I found out later were false. There was a SEVEN YEAR waiting list for corneas and once you rejected one the powers that dispense the corneas would be reluctant to give you another. So he told me to take the lens I had out of the offending eye and never wear a lens in that eye again, thereby causing me to be essentially blind in one eye. I asked for a second opinion and he sent me not to another doctor in Canberra but to Sydney, where that doctor only confirmed what I believed and that it was safe to wear lenses once the irritation that had caused the original problem had subsided. Back in Canberra the quack (my term of endearment for this Dr.) removed all the stitches from my graft in one session without anesthetic and sent me on my way. Ow is a very large understatement. Fortunately the Library was offering free eye check-ups for anyone doing computer-based work and I went to a different optometrist. When I saw on their list of specialties kerataconus I practically danced for joy. Now I have my eyes monitored and trust them completely and they referred me to a different eye surgeon who is fantastic.

Why am I going on about this today? I have been noticing some deterioration in my vision, both distance and close. I wear reading glasses for close work and the lenses seemed out of sync; what was clear at X inches for one eye was not clear for the other eye at the same distance. So I saw said wonderful optometrist today and I was not losing my mind (one of the things that has made me depressed is straining to see) and my vision has changed and I need new contacts and new glasses. So I'm looking at probably $1200 in eye stuff soon. I will be getting new lenses made by Nikon on my glasses that are sort of bifocals in that they grade from looking straight ahead at a computer screen to a stronger grade if I'm looking down to read (or knit). It will mean going back to wearing full size glasses for a lot of what I do at the Library and perhaps at home too. While I've hated wearing glasses for eons, I hate not being able to see worse. One of the many things I resent about my father's tight purse is that he deemed contact lenses for me as too expensive and I later found out that my eyes probably would not have deteriorated so fast had I been wearing contacts from an earlier age (they were one of the first things I bought when I had a real job). Penny wise, pound foolish.

Hot and dry again. All normal TV has left the screen for the silly season, where we get bad American shows that were cancelled or snippets of good ones or other unwatchable things. So I have been watching Bangkok Hilton which was a mini-series Nicole Kidman did when she was very young, and Season 6 of Gilmore Girls which might get shown here, except they stopped showing it in the middle of the 5th season last summer so who knows what they'll do this year. Foxtel has just added the Scifi Channel so there's lots to watch there. I saw the very first episode of the X Files last week. I am not a fan but it was kinda amusing to the the two before they really knew each other. I was quite cheery at work yesterday due entirely to loading Cheap Trick and Def Leppard onto the iPod and I came home and loaded all the remaining Def Leppard. Some reviewer once called them "the thinking person's heavy metal band" and I must agree. I was dancing in the stacks.

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