Monthly Archives: January 2005

Sigh…

(23:07:20) Mike: I'm like that big oak tree that stands still as the seasons pass... friends go through the relationship cycle, yet I just stand here, waiting to be chopped down
(23:07:53) Anne: wow.. good metaphor. but sad too.
(23:07:55) Anne: :(
(23:07:57) Anne: bad times

Sad indeed.

Eye News

There is more good news to be had! I went back in for another followup checkup on my eye with Dr. Pearlman, and he pronounced that my was looking pretty good. A good portion of the blood vessels that were causing problems where hit with either the laser or cryotherapy, and were showing signs of scarring, which is good. The scarring is what actually keeps things from leaking. He said they may need to have one more similar surgical procedure to clean up the stragglers, but so far things look good. I also asked him about the extended dilation that I had in my eye, and he said it was completely normal for someone taking the Atropine drops that I was taking. That’s good news too… I was getting worried though. My eye was showing some signs of “waking up” in the bright environment caused by the sun and snow – the pupil closed up a bit, but only half of it! It looked like a weird oval shape. They had to dilate it again for the exam, which erased any progress it made. No biggie though. At least I know the effect will wear off with time.

Clean bill of eye health, so far…

There’s good news to be had. At this point, Dr. Saxe has given me a clean bill of health, and says I can return to work if I choose. Since money doesn’t grow on trees and I’m getting kinda stir crazy, I figure I’ll head back into work tomorrow. It’s really too early to tell whether the surgery was effective, but we’re going to keep an eye on that over the coming weeks. I was seeing about 20/40 out of my right eye before the surgery (compared to 20/15 in my left), 20/70 the morning after surgery, and I’m seeing about 20/50 today. I’m headed in the right direction. I finally have the OK to stop using the drops that dilate my eye, so hopefully I’ll be able to see wether my vision is better/worse/same once the pupil stops being the size of a dinner plate.

I was pretty bored at my parents house while I was laid up, so I took a few pictures to pass the time. I couldn’t really go outside because the light and total whiteness from the newly fallen snow was too much for my eye to handle in its dilated state. Because of this, I took most of the pictures inside of the house, or looking out a door or window. Most of them were rather average, but I did get some neat ones….

[picture]

This one was taken from my parents backyard the morning before the surgery. I thought the sun looked really cool coming up through the big pine tree in their front yard.

[ace]

This one has dooce written all over it. I took this one about an hour ago after my doctors appointment. I happened to catch Ace in a good pose for once.

Home… safe and sound

For all that are curious, the surgery went fine and I’m home safe and sound at my parents house. We battled through the snow this morning for my follow up exam, and all was fine there too. My parents are in the kitchen preparing a nice meal for me, since I haven’t eaten more than a few snacks in over 36 hours. I’m quite excited.

My eye looks pretty nasty right now, but it looks worse than it feels. It might be the vicodin talking, but I don’t really feel all that much pain. It’s pretty sore when I try to look to the far left or right, so needless to say, I’m avoiding that.

They didn’t end up cutting into my eye like they thought they would, but they did use the laser and still froze some stuff. They also shot a steroid into my eye that is supposed to help keep the swelling down, and will also help to keep those problem blood vessels under control.

I’ve got some before and after pictures, and I’ll probably post them after my meal. I’m starving.

 

Cynical

cynical
adj.
1. Believing or showing the belief that people are motivated chiefly by base or selfish concerns; skeptical of the motives of others: a cynical dismissal of the politician's promise to reform the campaign finance system.
2. Selfishly or callously calculating: showed a cynical disregard for the safety of his troops in his efforts to advance his reputation.
3. Negative or pessimistic, as from world-weariness: a cynical view of the average voter's intelligence.
4. Expressing jaded or scornful skepticism or negativity: cynical laughter.

Yup, that’s me lately – #1 and #3. Ain’t life grand.

Eye Exam 3: Rise of the Hemorrhages

Well, I’d like to be able to say that my third trip into Lansing Opthamology was filled with splendor and wonder, and that I found out things would go well and I’d live happily ever after, but that wasn’t the case. After the angiogram, I met with Dr. Pearlman and another specialist, Dr. Saxe. They looked over the photographs taken earlier and weren’t very “pleased.” I apparently have small hemorrhages (damn I hate spelling that word) in quite a few places, and because things are so far along, the laser surgery doesn’t seem to be much of an option, which is a drag.

Dr. Saxe explained the details of the other option, the cryogenic freezing surgery, and his explanation wasn’t exactly optimistic. It basically involves cutting through the outer layer of the eye (in the white part), and sliding a probe of some sort back to the ‘bad’ part of my eye, and then inserting the cold stuff in through the probe. Because of the nature of the surgery (cutting and snaking something in there, then giving my eye frostbite), it’s possible that the procedure will do more harm than good, and my sight might actually get worse instead of better. The other side of the coin is that if I don’t do anything, my sight will get worse, with 100% certainty, possibly leading to total blindness in my right eye. So, there’s really not much of a choice.

Chances are about 99% that I’ll be heading in for surgery this coming friday down in Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan eye clinic. Doctors at UofM tend to be top notch, which gives me more confidence that things will go well as possible. That helps, because the rest of it isn’t that promising.

When Gallery and Site Unite

In yet another structure update, I've merged my gallery into the main layout of the site, instead of the sucky popup that it had before. My site is so hot now you could roast marshmallows on it. Er, yah.

Slow down Mike!

Wow, I updated the site layout for the third time in the past few days. I'm nuts! I straightened out the site layout and styles like I wanted to the other day. I also changed the color of the menu so it didn't clash so much with the text area.

Right Eye Saga, Chapter 2

There is good news to be had. To quote Ahnuld Shwannenbrunner, ITS NOT A TUMOR. The retinal specialist, Dr. Pearlman, determined that I have what is known as Coats’ Disease. Basically, it’s a leakage of fluids and protein underneath the retina by dilated or malformed capillaries in the retina. This is normally something that affects younger children, and the doc said that I’ve probably had this condition for quite some time (many years) judging by the stuff he sees. I didn’t notice it until recently because of the location of the funkyness – out on the very edge of my peripheral vision. I’m seeing it now because the fluid and other junk leaking out underneath the retina is actually finding its way out into the main part of my eye, which is what’s causing the floaters and general blurriness that I see. Had this happened in my central vision, I probably would have noticed it long ago, and it could have been treated then.

As far as treatment goes, it’s still up in the air. He outlined two possible courses of action, “LASER” target practice or the deep freeze. Well, not those exactly. The “LASER” surgery sounds like it would be the easier and more desireable option. Basically they just zap the faulty blood vessels with the “LASER” and it seals them off, effectively plugging the leak. The freeze therapy sounds like it has the same result, but it’s a bit more invasive and leaves more of a mess behind in the eye. There’s more of a chance that remnants from the surgery will remain after the cryo surgery than the “LASER”, so my vision might be getting worse before it gets better if that route is chosen.

The main thing that will make things difficult is the location of the defects. It’s way out on the periphery, which makes the “LASER” shot a bit difficult. I go in again on tuesday for an angiogram (cool X-Ray pictures of my blood vessels) and another consultation, so there will be more details then. Maybe they’ll give me a copy of the picture too!

Sleepless in Lansing

No, not like the corny chick flick. Just can’t sleep. I did my best to force a switchover from 3rd shift sleep schedule to a normal one, but my body is resisting. I figured that being awake for 21 hours out of 24 would help me sleep, but apparently my body doesn’t listen to the will of my mind. What a pisser. I went to bed around 8pm, and woke up at about 12:30. I’m going to try to hit the sack again here in a little while.

Speaking of the night shift, I can say with a certainty that this was the most laid back stint of 3rd shifts that I’ve had, with the possible exception of the first one way back in September ’03. No big problems, low phone call and ticket volumes… just calm and quiet. It allowed me to get a decent amount of work done on a few more projects, which is definitely nice. Having to miss out on New Years festivities kinda stunk, but I guess that’s life. I had most of the other major holidays off this year while other people worked them, so I guess it was my turn.

I’ve been putting a decent amount of layout work into the site, but anybody who has visited the site before should see that. I definitely like the new layout and style – it’s much more colorful much less boring. The new RSS stuff is hot too, but I agree with Joe that it looks a bit cluttered. I’ll have to work on that. Not tonight though.