Friday, February 15, 2013

An Update on Harry

Harry had an appointment with his regular eye doctor last week. This seems like the easiest way to update everyone who wants to know what's going on.

A few weeks ago, Harry had another tear in his left cornea. The good news is that it is all healed up. Unfortunately, it has caused even more imperfections in the already damaged cornea. In December, the cornea specialist recommended the use of contacts for the next ten to fifteen years to help regain his vision. (You can read the details of that here.) Cory and I took him to several appointments trying to get the contact in, and it wasn't going well at all. I went into last week's appointment with a whole presentation of why the contacts weren't a good idea for Harry. (Trying to put them in made tearing the cornea more likely, it seemed more invasive than the possibility of having two surgeries fifteen years apart, etc.) As I started to launch into my arguments, the doctor told me that I didn't need to convince her, because she was one hundred percent on the same page as me. So, that was a big relief. It made me appreciate, once again, what a great doctor she is. It's nice when some positive things happen at the appointments. :)

On the less positive end of things, a few eyelashes have returned in his right eye, which has been relatively problem free since August. They are scratching his cornea, though thankfully, not in an area that is affecting his vision. It is pretty uncomfortable for him, and increases his risk of an infection. So, they will need to be dealt with. His right eye hasn't had any vision problems, so it's important to get this taken care of before it starts to cause problems. These are lashes that have already been removed with electrolysis and have come back. The chance of lashes returning is about one in three. Since these didn't respond to electrolysis the first time, the two most likely solutions are cryogenically freezing the lashes, which has a one in ten chance of the lashes returning, or doing the reshaping/skin graft surgery that he had on his left eye in August. (You can read the details of that here) Harry has an appointment with the surgeon in about a week and a half. We haven't seen him since late September, and though he's very nice, we parted hoping we wouldn't need to see each other ever again. So, we'll know more about what will happen with the right eye after we meet with him. The dilemma in what treatment to choose is that if the eyelashes keep coming back, he will need to have surgery over and over again, which would probably lead up to him having to do the more intense skin graft surgery. So, do we want to potentially put him through several smaller surgeries and still do the bigger one, or skip straight to the bigger one, which could possibly be unnecessary. What Cory and I would like is for Harry to have to do the least invasive and the least amount of surgery possible. Hopefully, the surgeon will know just what to do!

For the left eye, Harry has an appointment with the cornea specialist on Monday to reassess the contact situation. The three likely possible outcomes of that appointment are: that he'll say to keep going with the contacts, he'll decide to do a surgery on the cornea using a laser to reshape it and fix the imperfections, or he'll recommend a cornea transplant. (Harry's regular doctor assures me that the last one is very, very unlikely and would be the last resort if the other options didn't work.) No great solutions here, but the reshaping surgery is the one we are kind of hoping for. It has the best chance of being permanent and not super invasive.

So, that's what's going on. We appreciate everyone who prays for Harry. His specific prayer needs right now would be that the doctors are able to make the best decisions, and that the treatments are successful. Also, once we figure out how to get the left cornea into better shape, we would appreciate prayers that the vision in his left eye will return. His left eye vision is 20/200, so while he can see some out of it, it is considered legally blind. Prayers for him to not be uncomfortable, and to recover well from the treatments the doctors decide on would be great, too! Again, thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for him all this time!

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