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Sunday, September 5, 2010

About Eye

Nine years ago, while on vacation I noticed a spot interrupting the vision of my right eye. It was a greyish smudgy sort of spot and initially I thought it was just something on my contact. When I put my glasses on later the spot was still there. Hmmm.
Fast forwarding through many doctors appointments here's the condensed story - for some random reason the vessels at the back of my eye were leaking blood and causing the blind spot in my vision. I went through two treatments where I was injected with a photo-sensitizing drug called Visudine and then the vessels were cauterized with a laser. Result? The blood stopped leaking and dried up. What is left is a lovely little scar on the back of my eye that has eliminated a significant amount of my central vision. I now suck at baseball and various other activities have become slightly more challenging. But I have full peripheral vision and my left eye has basically taken over so I barely notice the handicap.
Since then I've been seeing a retinal specialist in Calgary, AB (with decreasing frequency) to monitor my eyes. I was just about to ask him if it was really necessary that I keep coming. It costs a tank of gas, a day of work for Trevor, now we have two kids to drag along or find care for and feels like it wastes a day - it's somewhat of a nuisance.

I thought too soon.

The eye appears to be "active" again, said the doctor on Thursday at my first checkup in over two years.
Great. Here we go again.
Science has evolved, as science does, and there is an improved method of treatment available now. It is an injection of a drug call Avastin. It was first commonly used to treat cancer and they now also use it to treat the eye because it "suppresses the growth of blood vessels that feed tumors. It acts against the chemical called VEGF, the protein that appears to be the primary stimulus also to the growth of vessels in the eye in many diseases and also causes leakage from retinal vessels in vascular disease. Avastin is a specially formulated engineered antibody to this protein which neutralizes it." (taken from the pamphlet the doc's office gave me)

The best part? It gets injected directly into my eye.
I'm excited.
It can't be any worse than having a laser beam shot into my eye. Yes, they do freeze the eye and no I never felt any pain or anything with the first type of treatment. It was just an unpleasant experience.

I will likely only need one, maybe two, treatments and it costs $150 per injection. I don't complain at such a low price in a country where health care is free but I'm not sure why it isn't covered. It doesn't really matter, it needs to be done.

At this point it doesn't really concern me. (Aside from the idea of getting a needle in my eye!) That eye is pooched anyway so what's a little more damage? It's the hassle of treatment and follow up appointments in a city two and half hours drive away.

It is what it is and I'm glad it's nothing really serious.
I would be lying if I said it wasn't affecting me but generally I'm fine.
It could always be worse and there is very little chance that the same will ever occur in my left eye.
For those of you that pray please pray that all the procedures go smoothly and without incident, for safe travels, and for our kids wherever they may be. The appointments are on Wednesday this week and my mom will help us out by either watching the kids or accompanying me with Trevor doing whatever she doesn't. Follow up will likely be six weeks after
I believe and trust in the power of One far greater than I and that He will be with us.

1 comment:

Sheriberry said...

I am sorry to hear you have to deal with this again. I will be thinking about you and will pray that the procedure goes well and fixes the problem for good. Hugs!