Well, the time has come and I now have a surgery date for my first corneal transplant. The date is February 5th. 2013, in Portland with Dr. Mark Terry who was the first in the U.S. to do this type of surgery and has a success rate well into the 90% range. My husband and I will be staying in Portland for 7-14 days before returning home, depending on how things go.
I was just approved for pre-existing health insurance. What a huge praise! Our costs have gone from $60,000+ to more like $12,000-ish. (for both eye surgeries) Of course, now we're praying for provision for that amount, since we don't have it. I am hoping to get both eyes done in 2013. We know that God will provide and give us wisdom for how we can pay for the expenses.
Now that it's a go, I've been somewhat anxious, especially since it all happens with me being awake! Yep, awake! I know this is something I cannot do, so God will have to enable me when the time comes. I had to be put out just to get my wisdom teeth out, so the thought of my eye being cut open and a layer of my cornea being peeled off like wallpaper and a new layer of donor tissue put on, is beyond me.
Then, there's the donor tissue. I'm so thankful for it, yet so sad for the donor family. At the same time, I remember in my grief after my father died, getting a letter notifying us that two people had regained their sight due to my dad's donor eye tissue. I burst into tears, but it made me so happy to know that his death helped someone else. So, maybe that fact will give a little solace to the donor family and me as well. I will be praying for them. I sure never thought I'd find myself in this position back then.
My mother recently had cornea transplants in both of her eyes and she is doing well and seeing better than she has in her whole life. Her procedure, called a DMEK, was a little different than mine will be and my outcome will more than likely not be as good (she's seeing 20/25 without correction and she just had her first surgery in late June and the second in late September); the reason for the differing outcomes is that they are removing the same amount of my tissue, but replacing it with a thicker layer of the donor tissue, resulting in my cornea ultimately being thicker than it was originally. (called a DSAEK) The recovery time is longer as well. Months as opposed to weeks. This is still better than the full transplants they used to do, which took 18 months or so to recover from.
I guess that concludes my update. Please keep me in prayer as the time gets closer for my surgery. I know God will be with me and has my best in mind.