Saturday, June 4, 2011

Matthew's Surgery

I totally forgot to blog about Matthew's recent surgery.  My dad has been galavantin around the world, and his recent comment on my status update reminded me that I should have updated him, and you.
In case you are new to my blog, Matthew is my eldest.  He is 14.  He was born with a congenital cataract which was removed at one month of age.  Along with the cataract, his lens was removed.  Keep in mind this was 14 years ago.  His eye has some other issues and for reasons beyond our control, he went nearly blind in his right eye.  By nearly blind I mean he can see shadows.  I'm sure that, had he been born now, things would have turned out differently.  We try not to think about that.  We did the best we could.  We saw an expert in the field and did all we could, 14 years ago. 
Have I mentioned it was 14 years ago??
Anyway, due to the absence of a lens, he developed glaucoma in that eye. 
Because he has almost zero vision in that eye, anything we do is just to keep him comfortable.
He has been fighting this for years now, and nothing we do seems to work.
The last time he saw the doctor, his pressure was an all time high, 48.  Normal pressure is in the teens.
It was decided that we would try a laser surgery. 
He has had this same exact surgery before.  It brought his pressure down to the upper teens.  A month later it was back to the 30s.
He uses 3 medications to try to keep the pressure down, but it obviously doesn't do too much.
The first time he had this surgery was pie.
This time was a different story.
The doctor told me Matthew would be out for the surgery, which we took to mean general anesthesia.  Matthew was fine with that.  This was surgery number 12 or 13 (I need to write them down so I have that info!!) and he is used to them gassing him to sleep, then starting the IV.
When we got to the pre-op holding area, they talked about starting an IV.  Matthew was so nervous.  We said we preferred he get the gas first.  Then they explained that they would just be doing IV sedation this time around.  No big deal, just the fear of the IV.
He did great and said it wasn't that bad.  I was so glad they gave him lidocaine before doing it though.
They took him back, he remembers a bit, but not much. 
It wasn't long and he was done. 
By the time we got to the recovery room he was awake and loopy.  It was hilarious, and we all laughed at him.  How mean, huh?  But, in our defense, he was so funny, and he laughed with us!
OK, so the next day, no pain.  Surgery was on Tuesday and Friday we headed to Missouri to see my brother-in-law graduate grad school.  Graduations was Saturday, and there was a tree outside that called way too hard to my boys to climb it.
Up they went.  Matthew hung upside down, felt a "pop" and was in major pain.  He said the pressure was terrible.  We got home and he laid down and didn't want to move.  We tried a cool compress, but the feeling of anything touching it was excruciating.
So here we are, middle of nowhere, Missouri, with no clue what to do.  Oh, and that dad who was galavantin?? He's an ophthalmologist but was unreachable.  Just our luck!
We gave him Tylenol throughout the weekend, and he was able to function.  Oh, we also took it upon ourselves to increase his drops for pressure, because he said it was pressure pain.  His eye also got very, very bloodshot after this.  We knew it was supposed to get red, but it hadn't until that moment.
Monday finally came and we put a call into his doctor.  Of course, we had to leave a message.  The first call back said we needed to find an ophthalmologist and get him in asap.
Again, we were in the middle of nowhere! 
As we started searching the phone book and trying to figure out what to do, his doctor called back.
We talked about everything and she told me what drops to increase to every other hour.
That did the trick and brought the pain down.
The white of his eye turned yellow and you could see every blood vessel, bright red.
He had pain until we got home and finally saw the doctor.  A week after surgery. 
She looked and said everything looked great.  We have no idea what the "pop" could have been, or why the pain was suddenly so excruciating.
The big news is his pressure was down to 12.
This is great news, but I find it hard to get excited.  The doctor says we will be cautiously optimistic.  I just figure when we go back in a couple weeks, it will be creeping up again.  I would LOVE to be surprised.
He continues to have pain off and on, which I don't understand.  If it looks so good, why is it hurting him so much?
Also, something that is perplexing to me, that I didn't think about until after we left...Matthew has a thickened cornea, so they usually say the actual pressure is about 10 points lower.  Does this mean his pressure is 0-2??  And is that bad?  He keeps telling me his eye feels squishy.  That freaks me out. 
A danger of this surgery is doing too much of the laser and actually drying the eye up.  I'm praying that isn't the case here!
So, time will tell.  I think the pain is getting better every day.  He continues to amaze me.  My children are the strongest people I know.  Matthew never, ever complains about all he has been through.  I am so very, very proud of the man he is becoming.

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