I Must Be Stronger Than I Look

Last updated: March 2022

Bear with me. I’m going to start at the beginning of my eye troubles. I was only forty-four years old when my right cornea burst! I was told that eventually, I would need corneal transplants but that my corneal dystrophy could be controlled for many years with medication. Wrong!

Corneal transplants

Nothing worked and after a year of struggles and more ruptures I had corneal transplants in both eyes. This was in 1987 and then the surgery involved replacing basically the whole front of your eye.

It worked for almost thirty years. Then they diagnosed that both corneas were failing. The replacements were not as successful and over several years I had a number of unsuccessful but eventually successful eye surgeries on my corneas.

A problem with my retina

I still had about twenty stitches in my right eye when my cornea doctor noticed a problem with my retina and sent me to a retina specialist. My spirit was crushed when he said I had wet macular degeneration.

After all, I’ve been through with my corneas I’m losing my vision because of my retinas. As most of you can imagine I went home and had a huge ugly cry.

Coping

I’m able to cope and drive out self-pity most days, but that same summer I got the news that my four-month-old colon resection couldn’t be reversed. A few weeks after my macular degeneration diagnosis my husband of sixty years passed away. About the time I was ready to pull myself together and rebuild a social life the pandemic struck so I still haven’t figured out how to manage getting out and about.

As I said, most days it doesn’t get me down. Modern medicine can do a lot. I get injections and have a hope that they’ll invent an injection that cures us. I’m eighty. According to the bible, the span of life is three-score and ten so by that standard I’ve already been living on borrowed for ten years! Challenges are what make life interesting.

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