Its been three months since I had my INTACs surgery in my left eye. I would love to say that it’s been an easy 12 weeks. But it has been difficult. My main issues have been struggling with the persistent off-balance, not-quite-right feeling in my head (not in a crazy way!) which has only grown worse since the operation. My only explanations after numerous discussions with doctors and the consultants, who were pretty vague about this issue, are that it is a) as a result of wearing my older prescription, and therefore the cause is and always has been entirely based on my contact lenses/eyesight, or b) the feeling is something else, perhaps vestibular (inner-ear) and not related.Either way, I have found it tough going. It has been a difficult few months personally in my family’s lives, and at work the calls and emails keep piling in, and so this probably hasn’t helped!
Though perhaps not what anyone reading this blog who is going for INTACs wants to hear, but my vision has been very poor in my operated eye even this ‘long’ after the op even with lenses (The reasons for this are to follow). I returned 2 weeks ago for my 3-month check up after surgery. Unfortunately my vision is worse again than it was. Better than pre-operatively by a smidgen, but worse again nonetheless. The reason for this is due to the nature of the INTACs. As my previous post stated, they stretch and then give like a kind of suspension spring, as the cornea gets used to the rings in between the corneal layers. So vision can get better or worse as things move on. On the plus side, I can’t feel them or even see them when I look in the mirror, though as in the image above if you shine a light near my eye then the rings do appear. But they are barely noticeable in usual context. My only pain has been when putting a contact lens in for the first few seconds of wear, which I think might still be catching on wear the incisions were made by the laser. But that’s just a theory. Aside from that it’s painless.
But despite the worsening again of my vision, the consultant advised she believed they can improve it with new lenses. So, off I went to see the contact lens specialist a week later. He advised me that my left contact lens is not fitting properly now and no lens is properly able to fit on my eye now (which is strange, I thought, because surely the INTACs were meant to make the eye more normal and tolerant on lenses – my confusion with the contact lens specialist grows ever deeper), and so the semi- scleral keeps ‘leaking’ the fluid cushion used to help form a medium for light to enter my eye. I asked after much investigation online (not always a good idea, but this case helpful) also if I could try larger lens as my main issue vision wise is as always the ghosting in both eyes. After INTACs that hasn’t changed. From my reading I wondered if larger lenses would vault the cornea more and then lessen the ghosting. He said that at present there were no larger semi-scleral lenses in the UK than those 14mm ones I have now, and the full sclerals would probably be uncomfortable. However a new 16.5mm lens would be in the UK in time, all being well, by early December (the way he described it, there was a man in Canada in a Jepetto- style workshop crafting lenses out of the tears of a new born deer, such was the master craftsmanship in creating these new lenses). Until then, unfortunately, and predictably, I wou;d have to wait another few months. I would have to make do with a slightly more powerful right lens and hope that come December the larger semi-scleral will help my left eye. It wasn’t the best news I wanted. I would have preferred something a little more encouraging. But then, I suppose good things come to those who wait. Or perhaps it was all good things must come to an end…? Visually that is certainly the case this far!
I’ve made the decision that should the new lens not make a difference in December that I will ask to go to Moorfields. East Grinstead have been helpful but I tend to see a different consultant each time and so I feel less continuity of care than I would like. Additionally I do feel like I don’t ever quite get the best out of my time with the contact lens consultant despite asking various questions. Perhaps this is just me. Perhaps there is nothing more to be done for my deformed eyeballs with their quest to become less like rugby balls and more human. But I feel that maybe there are more options. I don’t know what they are, but there must be more.
In the meantime, I am trying balance exercises, which might help my balance (funny that), and am trying to go to the gym regularly, so at least there is one part of my fitness I can control! It is difficult, I won’t deny, and it seems to get more so each day. But work have been great and I have a supportive family, and so maybe then I will make it through all this after all?
Roll on December, and the debut of the master craftsman’s lens!