Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +613

A black patch would've been cool...


OK, so I did say it plenty of times on Tuesday afternoon — at least, until about 4:00 PM, when the patch came off — by instructions from the doctor and the nurses. I was also instructed to rest for the afternoon and take it easy on Wednesday. Nobody had to remind me, as even cataract surgery appears to be an insult to the body, and mine did not like it much.

I snapped a blurry picture of my eye patch, but I could not tell it was blurry until today, because my vision was rather blurry — even in my good eye. Also, I tried to read some messages on screen and reply to a few, but staring at my monitor hurt my right eye and my vision was pretty bad for Tuesday afternoon and most of Wednesday — probably due to swelling from the surgery. This afternoon, my vision has improved dramatically, though my right eye vision is still a bit blurry. I am hoping it will continue to improve over the next few days. One lesson I learned in the last two years is that I heal much slower than when I was younger and before my CML/GvHD adventure.

Look Ma! Two eyes!

Colder World

My world has become a bit colder, whiter, bluer than before the surgery. One of the two cataracts removed from my right eye was an old fashioned yellow cataract and it added a warm, sepia-tone to my vision when using either just the right eye or both. The tint is gone, and colors are a bit crisper and colder than before.

With Marian's help, I take eye drops (an antibiotic/steroid combination and an NSAID drop) to help prevent infection, reduce swelling, and control pain. These may continue for up to three weeks. I'm just hoping my eyes will be good enough to drive when we have to make our next obligatory visit at Mayo Clinic on November 15. One would think that, with all the available communication technologies (video conferencing, teleconferencing, even Skype), capable physicians here could work with capable physicians there, and save not only the awful expense of moving our bodies 400 miles for tests and consultations that could be done here and via electronic communication, but could also remove the very real dangers of travel in our neck of the woods during the gales of November, the storms of December, and the deep freeze of January/February. However, these options are not offered — and how do you argue with the people who worked so hard to save your life?

My Mysterious Medical Status

Blood was drawn early this morning and tests were run at Portage Health. A nurse called me with the numbers, and they look pretty good. Considering I had surgery day before yesterday and have not done my "morning constitutional" for three days (it was raining too hard this morning), I was quite pleased with them. There is not much new to report, other than a few mysterious purple spots on my forearms, which seem to be responding to steroid creams. I still manage to get out of breath while washing dishes. I find this embarrassing, but have accepted it as part of my "new normal" — a normal that seems to change almost daily.


There's nothing special to me about the number 613, other than this is day 613 since my transplant. February 21, 2013 will mark my two year anniversary of the gift of life from my brother Kevin, but that day seems a long way ahead. Although some of my transplant contemporaries (and friends) have passed on in the last few months, it seems I have been touched by God and carried forward in His strong embrace. My emotional roller coaster ride — from sadness and fear to joy and gratitude — has been exciting, tiring, and a bit scary. Physical symptoms come and go so quickly, I hardly have time to notice before they depart, only to be replaced by a new cough, a new mark, or a new pain. One thing is certain: Life with GvHD is never boring.

Thanks to all who pray for us and send us your good thoughts and best wishes.

I will write more as my eyesight improves and I can spend more time staring at a computer monitor. Until then, God bless and good afternoon!


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