Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Getting my eye poked

As I mentioned before, I needed an injection in my right eye to fix the lesion/macular degeneration on my retina.
I chose the drug Avastin, which is 12 times cheaper than Lucentis (google it if you want), and the doctor only does the procedure for this drug on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
My original appointment was on Thursday, but earlier in the week, one of Taufik's drill bits broke apart while drilling granite formation and that meant he could not miss the early morning meetings with customers, and on top of that he had another mid morning meeting on Thursday which he could not miss. He requested that I change the appointment to Wednesday instead, because or else, he would not be able to go to the hospital with me.
So I called the hospital asking if it was possible for me to change the appointment, but unfortunately wednesday's appointment was full. I asked them to just put me on a waiting list if there is any, Manalah tahu ada orang kensel ke..
But they didnt call me back.
Upon Taufik's insistence, I called up the hospital again on Tuesday 6pm, not hoping too high for a positive response, since it was after office hours. Surprisingly, the nurse said, "There is a place for you, you can come tomorrow morning". Yay!

After dropping off Taufik at the LRT station (he could not miss the early morning meeting) and my kids at school, I again parked my car, rode the LRT to Asia Jaya, walked to THONEH and got registered by 8:30am. By 9a.m. I was brought to the DayCare Centre where I was asked to put on a robe over my clothes, take off my tudung to put on a hair net (ini kira darurat lah kan?) and was bought into this huge waiting room with comfortable lounge chairs.
The nurses tested my blood sugar and blood pressure, and gave me the OK to go. They put an X over my right eyebrow, cleaned my eyes and served me kaya toast and milo (coz I didnt have time to grab breakfast). Only then did I find out how close I was to not getting my injection that day. There was another lady that had failed her blood pressure test and could not go through the procedure today, and I was taking her place. Subhanallah, I was *this* (gap between thumb and forefinger) close to being sent home empty handed. Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah.
While waiting for my turn, i received an sms that Taufik had arrived and was waiting outside. I was relieved and felt comfort in knowing he was out there even though he was not allowed to come inside the operating theatre with me.
My turn came just as I had finished eating my toast and had 2 sips of Milo. I followed the blue blob I identified as the nurse (coz I was almost blind without my glasses on) into the operating theatre and she asked me to lie down on a gurney.
On my right, Dr. Gayatri was administering the injection on another patient and as I lay there reciting all the Qur'anic verses I knew, I was also eavesdropping. I overheard the word "slight hemorrhage" and heard Dr. Gayatri telling the patient to sit up without opening his eyes. A vision of bleeding eyes came into my mind.
Robbi Yasser walatu 'Asser, Ya Kareeem!!!
Oh Allah Please make it easy!
It was then my turn.
The nurse put a piece of paper, with a hole to expose only my right eye, over my face. She asked me to close my eyes and swabbed around my right eye. She then asked me to open my eyes to administer the local anesthetic, but some of the liquid she had swabbed with went into my eye and it stung, so I couldn't open it. Panic lah kejap. The doctor suggested that I blink rapidly while the nurse put the anesthetic drops, and alhamdulillah that worked. She administered a second drop, just in case.
The doctor than asked me to look straight ahead, as she put a clamp over my eyelids to stop it from closing up while she does the injection. She then told me to look to the top left. Good thing I had impaired vision on that eye, coz I couldn't really see whatever she was holding. She said, "Okay now you are going to feel a slight pressure on your eye ya..." and so I felt a slight pressure, and "Okay all done!" she said.
"What??? That's it??" I asked.
"Yup! And you were all anxious for nothing", She laughed at me.
When I got up from the gurney, I noticed a block spot at the bottom of my vision, but otherwise, everything else felt fine, Alhamdulillah :)
After the nurses checked that I was okay, they let me take off the robe and put on my tudung, and I went out to meet Taufik. I was told to wait in front of the doctor's office for a post-op consultation, but Taufik and I went to have some breakfast at the canteen first before we went to see the doctor.
The anesthesia was starting to wear off by then and my eyes felt a little sore. Not unlike the feeling of an eye infection, or if it were to be poked by something, which it had been.
This was the first time Taufik (or someone other than me) talked to the doctor about my case, so Dr. Gayatri took the time to explain what's going on and how this medicine is going to help me. I was to see her again on Monday for a follow up, and after a month she'll do another OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) and decide whether I need more treatments. I were to continue putting on eyedrops till monday.

After meeting the doctor, one of the nurses explained to me about post-op care for my eyes. I cannot get water or soap into my eyes for 2 days, so that means no washing my face or shampooing my hair. I were to put antibiotic drops every 2 hours that day and every four hours the following days till monday. I were to call the hospital immediately if my eye get really irritated or red, if I start to suddenly see a lot of 'floaters' (black spots) in my vision, or if my vision gets worse.
haiyo so meng-kancheong-kan.
I seek protection and healing from Allah.

After settling the bills, Taufik and I walked to the AsiaJaya LRT Station. He asked me, "Erm, are you okay to drive?"
"I can drive as well as a one-eyed man can", I said.
"Coz I have to get back to work lah... ", he said.
"Hm... okay", I was a bit dejected, but what to do.
"You're gonna be driving dalam taman tu je from SS3/43 to SS3/44 aje kan?", I think he was trying to assure himself more than he was trying to assure me.
"Ok, see you at home lah nanti". :P
"Erm, you come pick me up at the LRT station ya?"

So I did as I was told (you don't fool around with your eyes) and took my wudhu musafir-style (i.e. wet my hands and spread water around my face, as opposed to the malaysian-stye, splash macam nak mandi), making sure no water or soap gets into my eyes. Good thing I had washed my hair on Wednesday morning, so it wasnt that bad when I finally got to shampoo on Friday.

By Saturday I was actually seing improvement in my vision. There was still that gray blob, but it was getting lighter grey, and more transluscent. I could almost see the outline of my hand when I waved it in front of my face, when previously it would dissapear behind the blob. Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah.

When I went to see the doctor yesterday (monday), I told the nurse that did the eye chart test that even though I still could not read the letters, at least now I could see that there is a chart there. Dr. Gayatri scoped my eye and said she sees a fading of the lesion and that is very encouraging. Alhamdulillah!
So she made me an appointment for Wednesday 25th April (3 more weeks). I am to administer the antibiotic drops into my right eye 3 days prior to the appointment. If the OCT results show that I require another dose of Avastin, she will give me the injection straight away.
She also asked me to monitor the vision in my left eye and to come right away if I see deteriotarion in its quality. I know now to do so, and not wait till I see the grey blob.

Alhamdulillah, I am happy.


  1. i laughed when u referred the nurse as the blue blob!

    this must have been quite a ride for u eh? may Allah heal you completely sweetheart!

    you are in my du'a.

  2. Well, she did look like just a blue blob without my glasses on.
    tee hee
    Ameen to your du'a! Ameen Ameen.