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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vision update

The eye surgeon (optical surgeon?) in Great Falls called me yesterday afternoon to follow up, unfortunately with frustrating news. 

They will only operate on a "stable" eye, meaning one that has stopped changing. My vision prescription has been stable enough over the last two to three years to make me a good candidate for LASIK. The scar tissue found last month, however, negates my current eligibility for corrective surgery. 

The cornea specialists that he works with seemed to think it was caused by a virus, which he said "got your eye pretty good." Since I have no recollection of an eye infection, he thinks it was a passing virus, and the tissue will eventually heal on its own.Additional steroid treatment might help. 

On the off chance the virus that caused the scar tissue was something in my system, like the same virus that causes cold sores, the virus will just be in my system. The kicker? A steroid treatment would make the virus worse. 

There isn't a lab test they can do to figure out which kind of a virus this is, so the diagnosis is to wait out a recovery period of at least a year, monitor every three months with cornea mapping, and anticipate having a stable eyeball in a year to 18 months. If after that time period the scar tissue has cleared up, they'll do LASIK in both eyes. If the scar tissue hasn't cleared up, but remains the same as it is today, PRK in the left eye and LASIK in the right.

Yeah. A year. 

The crummy thing is that dropping $4,000 on LASIK is pretty far outside of the realm of our financial resources. FLEXing it, as a medical expense, significantly improves our ability to afford the procedure. Ironically, our FLEX withholding is currently on a January-December rotation, which would have meant I could have FLEXed out the money necessary beginning in January, combined it with the leftovers from the 2010 year and had the procedure anytime before March 1. But the City is changing our flex withholding next year to match the fiscal year of July 1- June 30. 

That means that if a year from now my cornea is stable enough to have surgery, I have to wait until July of 2012 to FLEX out the money for the procedure. 

Have I mentioned that patience is a virtue that I really, really don't have?

But I do now have $500 in 2010's FLEX to spend. New glasses, I suppose?

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