Sight for Sore Eyes

21 Jan

I am overjoyed, incredibly relieved, and flat broke.

But I’d have it no other way.

A few months ago we received some pretty devastating news from Link’s eye doctor.

It started 2 to 3 years ago.  He was having trouble seeing, so we made him an appointment.  No biggie.  We ALL wear some sort of eye correction lenses, so it seemed only natural to have him join in the act.

He came home that day with a prescription for bifocals.  We thought it kind of odd that he would have bifocals at the ripe old age of 17, but we accepted it and ordered him a pair.

He had trouble with them from the beginning.  He claimed they didn’t help.  We sent him back to the doc who assured us he just needed to get used to wearing them and looking through the lenses.

He gave it an honest effort, and before long, we quit asking, and he quit complaining.  It became an out of sight, out of mind problem, so to speak.

The topic came up again when he got his full time job as an overnight shelf stocker at a local store.  Seems he was having trouble reading the boxes, so it was taking him much longer than the others to stock his shelves. Rather than fire him, the store offered to give him a different job during the day.

And we decided another eye appointment was in order.

We were shocked and devastated by the news.

He was diagnosed with 2 unrelated but critical issues.  One was an infection in the retina of his left eye.  The other was a severe case of distorted corneas, or keratoconus.

With his cornea so misshapen, the light coming into his eyes was completely distorted, causing him to have a very difficult time seeing.  We were told it might possibly be fixed with hard contact lenses.  If not, he would need surgery or perhaps a cornea transplant.

Our hearts broke.  Fears for our oldest son flooded us, as we tried to come to terms with what this might mean for him.

We made appointments with the specialists immediately.  Before we could treat the keratoconus though, we had to make sure the infection could be cleared up, otherwise any treatment for the corneas wouldn’t matter.  So once a month, he received an injection in his eye.


A shot.

In his eye.

I thought the same thing…..

He’s received three shots so far and may need a fourth.  However, since he was showing signs of improvement  he began seeing  the cornea specialist.

On his second visit, they had him try on a pair of hard contact lenses.  The idea being the lenses would force his corneas back into shape allowing the light to come in as it should.

They warned him that things may look worse because the contacts weren’t prescription, but as soon as they placed them in his eye, he could see!

Unfortunately they didn’t let him come home with them.  Instead, they sent him home with the memory of his brief clear vision, and told him to come back in a week to be fitted with the correct size and prescription.

And those contacts came in today.

His vision isn’t perfect, but it’s close, and it’s SO much better than what he’s lived with these past few years.  He’s a quiet, reserved kid, so his reaction was a shrug of the shoulders and a “yeah – it’s good.”  Which I know really means, YEAH! IT’S GOOD!  I can only imagine how excited he must be to be able to see his beloved computer screen and books clearly….

and the clock, and his phone, and the TV, and…. the writing on the boxes.

This may not be the end for him, but it’s definitely a more promising outlook for his future.

Perhaps I have all you to thank for your crossed fingers?


Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Family, Health and Fitness, Parenting


Tags: , , , , ,

21 responses to “Sight for Sore Eyes

  1. territerri

    January 21, 2013 at 2:12 am

    As parents, we worry about every little thing with our kids. But this? This had to be so scary for all of you. I can’t imagine not knowing how bad it might be, worrying that he might need surgery or a cornea transplant! I’m so happy for all of you that the contact lenses are providing such a vast improvement. What a relief it must be!

    • shadowrun300

      January 21, 2013 at 2:29 am

      I was up many nights, very worried for him. It’s scary to think his sight can’t be corrected by glasses, or normal contacts. And I had NO idea how bad his eyesight was. I don’t even think HE knew, because he’s lived like that for so long.
      His contacts aren’t as heroic as we first thought, however. I wrote this last night, BEFORE he tried to take them out. It took him 3 hours and an emergency trip to the doc to remove it. His eye is so inflamed and red today that he didn’t dare put them back in. I’m still hopeful that with continued practice, he’ll get used to putting them in and taking them out, but his eyes need a rest first.

      • territerri

        January 21, 2013 at 2:32 am

        What a frustrating setback! Poor kid! I hope things improve with the contacts and soon.

      • shadowrun300

        January 21, 2013 at 2:38 am

        Yeah, once again, I was heartbroken. But, we’ll work through it together and stay positive (and try to keep HIM positive). Thanks for your good wishes. Hopefully I’ll have another happy follow-up blog soon!

  2. Abby

    January 21, 2013 at 3:03 am

    How stressful! I’ve never even heard of distorted corneas. Like you said, he probably didn’t even realize what he wasn’t seeing. I surely hope he gets passed this setback.

    • shadowrun300

      January 21, 2013 at 3:11 am

      I’d never heard of it either! But the distortion causes his vision to be very distorted and only fixing the shape of his corneas will help him see better. So yes, I hope he gets passed this setback as well and can wear the hard lenses. Surgery is not an option I want to think about yet.

  3. Rock Chef

    January 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Hope things work out well – seeing well is so important, especially for playing games 🙂

    When I was a child my eyes were wonky meaning that I saw 2 of everything – I thought this was normal until a chance comment (“yes I can see both cars!”) alerted everyone to my problem.

    I had eye patches, an operation and glasses with uneven lenses in an attempt to give me normal vision.

    My eyes are still wonky. I can still see both cars. But I am OK with it. Link seems to be OK with things at the moment, so fingers crossed for him (and you!)

    • shadowrun300

      January 22, 2013 at 1:35 am

      You know, when I first learned how bad his situation was, I was most heartbroken that he may not be able to play his games, or do his video editing that he SO loves.
      Thank you for sharing your story. It gives me hope that he’ll be okay, whatever the outcome.

  4. The Thin Lady Inside

    January 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I can imagine what a scary time it’s been for all of you! and for him too! I am so happy things are truly LOOKING better for him… in every sense of the word! … 🙂 Hugs!

    • shadowrun300

      January 22, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Thanks TLI. We just have to get over this little speed bump of getting used to them so they don’t irritate his eyes so much. He has yet to put them in since that first day. Hopefully by tomorrow, most of the redness and irritation will have gone away, and he’ll be able to try again.

  5. meleah rebeccah

    January 22, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Oh no!!! I can’t believe Link walked around with such a serious eye problems for so long. And I am CRINGING for him. A NEEDLE – IN THE EYE – Every month?!! \

    Dear lawd. That’s horrible!

    Thank goodness his new contacts are actually helping him!!

    • shadowrun300

      January 22, 2013 at 1:39 am

      I bet you ARE cringing for him! If anyone can relate to how bad that might be – you can! 🙂

  6. towardshealthylife

    January 22, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    It must have been very worrying for you guys and so frustrating for your son! Not being able to see properly makes everything difficult in life. Hopefully everything will work out fine and it won’t take too long for his eyes to get use to the lenses! Keep us updated 🙂

    • shadowrun300

      January 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm

      He’s got them in today, and so far he’s finding them fairly comfortable. The true test will come tonight when he has to take them out….

      • towardshealthylife

        January 23, 2013 at 4:08 am

        I am sending good vibes in his direction!

  7. lottajoy

    January 23, 2013 at 1:17 am

    That pompous, arrogant first eye doctor! arghh. Poor kiddo. My sister has the same thing. They said hard contacts would help, but she turned wimpy at the prospect of putting them in. Silly woman. And yet she still complains.

    Congratulations on finding a doctor who actually earned his degree.

    Were you aware that your email directs people to your unused blog? It took an accident for me to find you. Might want to look into that.

    • shadowrun300

      January 23, 2013 at 1:27 am

      I like to play hard to get….
      but if it keeps you coming back, I’ll look into making it easier. 😉
      The new doctor was a godsend! I try not to be upset about the 2 years of seeing correctly that he missed out on, and focus on the fact that he can see now. Some tweaking is still necessary, but it’s exciting to watch him see things for the first time – like the individual hairs on his head. And the lines on his hand. My heart is bursting with joy for him!

  8. agg79

    January 23, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Poor Link. That’s way too early to be wearing bifocals (hell, I still don’t wear mine). I hope that the contacts work out for him. They can be a pain but they can open up some opportunities, if he gets the hang of them. I wore hard contacts for years and I cannot tell you how many times I scratched a cornea getting them in/out (just pour some vinegar in your eye if you want that experience). Now, a shot in the eye, that takes some real steel. I just cringe reading about it. No way I can top that. I hope that he is able to knock out the infection and the contacts get easier (they will!). Good luck and we’ll keep crossing our fingers for you guys!

    • shadowrun300

      January 23, 2013 at 2:30 am

      Bifocals wouldn’t be THAT bad, if they had been the solution. I think he coulda lived with it.
      I wear soft lenses, but I’ve heard hard lenses are much more difficult to get used to. He’s been doing great with them so far today. We’ll see how tonight goes when he takes them out.
      I’ll pass on the vinegar in the eye, thank you, and just take your word for it. Thanks for the crossed fingers! We’ll need ’em for a little while longer….

  9. dweezil1968

    February 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    well fitted contact lens can transform your life with keratoconus, it can take a few tries to get the fit, vision and comfort right but it can be done. If he is mild or early KC then do consider cxl or collagen cross linking to halt progress of the disease.
    Only 1 in 4 with Kc need a corneal transplant, so three quarters live normal lives with contact lens.
    good luck- if you need more support check out our blog and busy KC community on twitter and Facebook- just search ‘keratoconusGB’

    • shadowrun300

      February 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Well this certainly gives me some hope. Lately, his trouble has been with his eyes watering. He says they don’t really hurt, just water a lot. He’s also seeing lines or stars whenever he looks at a light. The doc says his eyes are being reshaped and perhaps that’s why. I’ll definitely be over to check out your blog – the more info and support, the better! Thank you so much!


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