Jun 11, 2021

Old and dusty... and the road I'm now wandering down is too

It's been a few years, and there hasn't been much to report on CJ's end.  He's stable, gets EUAs once in a while and yearly MRIs, but he's basically outta the woods.  COVID obviously threw a wrench into everything, but people weren't pressuring us to get in and get them done rgardless of consequences, beacuse things are at a good enough condition as is.  Nothing new expected to grow any more.

He's got the one major tumor in his central vision in one eye, with mild issues in his other eye, but it sounds like he can correct around it and seems to do fine with it.  It hurts that I can't relate more than anyone else can at this point- I have zero frame of reference on having sight with two eyes to know what can and can't correct or how only partial loss can affect it.  I can be (and am) an advocate to make sure he gest the help he needs with school and anything else, and obviously continue to give all the love and support I have, but... it's mostly outta my realm now.

What IS in my realm now, is me on the other end of this path, and that brings me to posting again.

The corneal scar I've had on my left eye was starting to get more inflamed, irritated, and such a few years ago.  I got on some meds for it and it's doing better, which is good; however, it's also moving up into my actual line of vision, which means I randomly go from my usual crap-vision to BLUR with a capital F-U-C-Nuffin.

That was all fine and dandy (well, not really, but, y'know).  And then it started happening more and more often.  Once I finally got in to see my retina specialist this year, I told him that I think my vision was starting to give up the ghost.  He said bring it up with my regular ophthalmologist, which I did, and after my exam, he agreed on the assessment.

I had seen a specialist a few years ago when I first had the cornea issues, and was referred to him again.  My scar actually looks decent, in the grand scheme of things, but the radiation from long ago is starting to take its toll.  Metaphorically, the cornea is a skin-like cover over the eye; unfortunately, what produces my "skin" is starting to go haywire from the radiation damage.  It's not flat and smooth like skin should be, instead clumpy in spots, like having blisters.  Just blisters you have to look through and don't get the satisfaction of being able to pick yourself.

So now, in a few weeks, I get to go under anesthesia to get these blisters scraped off.

The best result is a smooth procedure with no surprises; however, with how scattershot everything is with the radiation damage, healing can also be a problem.  Not enough lubrication from destroyed tear glands or other possible infection could lead to irritation and make things worse.  (To help prevent this, I'm going to have an amniotic cover sewn in place over my eye for a few weeks after the procedure, like a coating of wax paper.)

If this does fix the problem, the radiation damage also means I will probably continue to have this irregular "skin growth".  The fix could help for a few weeks, a few months, a few years, or maybe longer, it's all up in the air.

If there's too little production (or reproduction) in spots, or issues with the healing process that lead to more scarring, corneal transplants may be on the table.  Same issues, just higher stakes with more involved.

And if things are exacerbated further, the final step is going after the "skin" producing parts with treatments on the caliber of a heart/liver/other major organ transplant, done by about five people in the US, including months of immunosuppressants and other intense drugs and such.

So here's to hoping for a smooth ride.  The next few weeks before and after surgery will be a bit harrowing, and not much to do but wait and see how things go.  I guess I've had my fair share of good and bad luck in life at least, so I'm not set on either a perfect outcome with no issues, nor doom and gloom.  We'll see where it goes.