Monday, August 29, 2011

My Hydrops Episode

Imagine being detected with a rare degenerative eye disease, and in as much as you deny to yourself that something is wrong, your body will remind you that things arent as normal as you wish them to be.

As I've stated in my previous entry, I did not religiously wear my contact lens even though I was constantly reminded by everyone around me to wear them.
To them, it was the only way we could suppress the cornea from further distraction and would help a lot for me to function normally. To me, I was normal, and the contacts just hindered me from looking normal and restricted my actions since I was always squinting as if to suppress the wind from hitting my eye.

I got through college then moved back to Canada then eventually moved to Las Vegas and nothing abnormal event.
You could say i was pushing my luck and i was glad it was not running out.
When I moved back to Manila and eventually got a job in a call center, I considered my skin asthma more restricting than the eye condition.
Of course there was the occasional mis-reading of numbers while focused on the computer screen, but nothing really dangerous.

Nothing dangerous.
I was in a financial program.
Still positive about all this.
Sure glad i havent made any critical mistake all these years.

I forgot which month it was but i remember it was in 2006, one year into my employment.
After a long work week, it was finally the weekend and all i wanted to do was relax and sleep since i wasnt feeling well the whole week.
Usual cough and colds, i thought.
With the cough and colds came the headache.
I thought it was the normal headache caused by cough and colds, and i could say a gradual change in eye grade since I've been a bad girl.
Had a massage. Masseuse has strong hands. Massaged over my head and the eye lids, No problem really.
After the massage, headache and colds were still there, but i felt a bit relieved.
And then light sensitivity.
What the heck?
I presumed due to the allergies, i was just really squinting a lot.
I didnt want to associate it with my eyes, deep inside, i really was just scared.
Scared something was wrong.
Scared i was going to get the sermon of my life.
Work week has started and i still was not feeling well. Not feeling well because of the light sensitivity.
Did not go to work Monday and Tuesday with an excuse that was so far from what i was really feeling.
Wednesday, decided to go to work already.
Apparently, that was not going to be the case.
Our household help noticed the black part of my eye was all white.
Panic set in.
Found myself going to the emergency room instead of the office.
Since we came there in the evening and office hours were done, didnt get to see my eye doctor till the next day.
Diagnosis...Corneal Hydrops

What is Corneal Hydrops?
Corneal Hydrops is a nasty complication resulting from Keratoconus. Thankfully, it is a rare one (one site says only 3% of eyes with Keratoconus get it, which makes the prospect of getting it in two eyes pretty remote). It can occur at any time and with no warning, though it is more common among advanced Keratoconus patients

The image on top on this entry is how an eye with corneal hydrops looks like.

Now, how do we deal with corneal hydrops?

See you on the next entry.

Friday, August 26, 2011

My love hate relationship...with my contact lenses.

At the time that my keratoconous was detected, i had a grade of 20-1000.

Seriously. It was that bad.

A grade of 20 on the left, and 1000 on the right.
If you asked me before and you asked me now why it was just the right eye on degenerate mode, I wouldnt be able to answer you.

No one would believe i had that eye grade.

Of course, if a disease was detected, the next thing to do was find a way to treat it.

I thought i would just need to wear glasses.
Apparently glasses would not be good enough.

I had two choices.
Wear gas permeable lenses, or in layman's terms...hard contact lenses
Have a corneal transplant.

We were warned that corneal transplants were usually done as a last resort and there would be no need at that point to do a transplant.
Which means...i had to wear contacts.

To anyone wearing soft contact lenses out there, you guys are lucky.
It was a struggle getting used to those lenses, but of course i had to get used to it because it would suppress the cornea from further shaping into a cone.

I only had to wear contacts on the right eye but eventually doctors had one on the left done as well. Not because it had started to degenerate but when you have only one good eye, even if it wasnt affected, the grade will change as well.

So now it was one hard lens and one soft lens.

I have to admit i was pretty bad on wearing my contacts religiously.
I had this thinking that since i still had one good eye, i could still manage and there were a lot of times that i pretended i wore my lens but i did not.
Or days where i would leave the house not wearing the contacts and just wear them when i knew i would be seeing my parents.
I remember going to driving class and drove without the contacts on. I was too afraid that while driving the lens would just fall out of place and distract me. While driving in the Pioneer area, i didnt know whats worst, having the lens fall out while driving or driving without peripheral version, or at least at that time, minimal peripheral version.

I know, lens have to be clean all the time, and i made sure those lenses were clean even though i did not wear it for most of the time :D
Im not sure how many times i had to replace the lens because i lost it or there was a scratch...mind you, all of them unintentional. Why would i intentionally lose it or crack it, i still had to wear them once they were replaced.

But what can i do?
I was also dealing with skin asthma and i had scaling under my eyes.
Then it had to go through the rigors of wearing the lens, making sure it was properly placed and if it was not you just keep on blinking and blinking.
I was stressing the upper part of my face with what i had to go through everyday
And i just needed a break every chance i could get.

I guess i still did pretty good for the first few years even with not regularly wearing my lenses.
Started in my last year in highschool, managed to get through college, lived away from the family for a certain time and i started working still having to wear those contacts,

People always reminded me to wear the lens to avoid going into a corneal transplant and preserve the cornea from being crunchy.
Of course since i did not obey, i had to pay the price.

See ya on my next post.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Getting introduced to Keratoconous

It all started with a casual trip to the optical shop back in 1998.
My little sisters wanted to see how they would look in glasses and somehow, they thought in their young minds, it would be possible to have eyeglasses on if they had their eyes tested. I was just standing around the shop, watching them insist on an eye test so that they could get their glasses on.

My sisters had perfect eyesight.
Sorry girls, no glasses for you.

Since we were already there, I was asked to sit down and have my eyes tested
I simply shrugged off the idea of having problems with my eyesight because
as far as I know, I have 20/20 vision.

I confidently sat on the chair and had my eyes tested.

I didnt know how to react when the optometrist said there was some kind of abnormality and she suggested i see an eye specialist.

I refused to get worried, I thought it was an astigmatism or some sort.
Worst case scenario, I had to wear glasses.

Doctors appointment scheduled for the following weekend
The doctor's name escapes me now but he's like "The Godfather" of eye specialists at that time.
His clinic was somewhere in Taft, and he just had a simple office, void of the intricacies of doctors offices in this era.

He checked on me and confirmed I had Keratoconous.

I didnt know what to say. At that time in my life the only eye conditions i knew of were Cataract, which i always read about in Rizal books, and Glaucoma, since my grandmother had that eye condition.

As per Wikipedia,this is how my condition is described

"Keratoconus (from Greek: kerato- horn, cornea; and konos cone), is a degenerative disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than its normal gradual curve.

Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light all often reported by the patient. It is typically diagnosed in the patient's adolescent years and attains its most severe state in the twenties and thirties. If afflicting both eyes, the deterioration in vision can affect the patient's ability to drive a car or read normal print"

Okay...I was 15 years old at that time, so yes it was diagnosed in the adolescent years. At that time everybody was excited to have their learners permit and learn how to drive, I guess that will have to take a back seat.

Doctor lectured it was a rare disease among Asians, usually it would be Caucasians who would get it. Wow! Hahaha! He even asked if we were from Baguio. We had a house in Baguio that time and frequently travelled there. He said most Pinoy patients of Keratoconous were from Baguio. Up to this day, i cant find the reason why most of the patients are from Baguio.

Condition known, now off to how to treat it.

That will be in my next entry.

See ya!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Welcome to my Life!

Welcome to my little nook on this vast information superhighway.
Let me introduce myself before I go ahead and share whats on my mind.

My name is Kristine and I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Filipino, 29 years of age and legally speaking, I am single.
Facebook relationship status wise, Engaged. Since May of 2010

Why am i writing this blog?
Well there's a lot that i want to share about my life.
Specially about the condition i was dealt with.
How i lived with it, How i coped. The operation. My recovery.

If you do get bored as you read on, please be patient as i do want to share a lot and posts may be lenghty.

Other than that, I do want this to be a fun blog. No bad vibes please.

And as i always say before i left the Philippines to get my treatments here