Sutures out at 19 months

Well, it has been a very long time since I wrote about my transplant.  In a way that is not inappropriate.  It has been very uneventful.

I was expecting the sutures to be taken out for a couple of doctor appointments and each time the doctor told me they were looking fine and could stay in.  Dr. Goodman told me that the longer the sutures are in the better.  He was watching to remove them before they wore enough that they would break.

So I was a little surprised on this last appointment when he asked if I had time to take out the sutures.  I did have time but I hadn’t expected it.  But last Friday, roughly 19 months to the day, the sutures came out.

It was a thoroughly unpleasant 4 or 5 minutes.  But it is now done.  When I was deciding to get the transplant done, the thought of having the sutures out was really the most intimidating thing.  Well, it wasn’t fun but I certainly don’t regret having the transplant done for a few minutes of discomfort.

Really, a lot of the discomfort was in the complete inability to consciously control my good eye.  The way it works was, the left eye was given a series of drops over a half an hour to numb the eye and to disinfect it.  Then the doctor put a clip between the eye lids to keep the eye open.  Then he told me to keep my right eye open and looking at one point.  By doing this the left eye would also stay fixed on one point and he would be able to clip the sutures and then remove them.

Well, he needed to tell me a couple times that my right eye was closed.  I eventually just reached up and held it open with my fingers.  This seemed to help.  I certainly went faster if I was able to keep my eye still.

Anyway, it is done.  Now from my experience here are a few things you should remember if you are expecting to have the sutures removed.

  1. Bring tissue (they have tissue at the office but once you leave….  Your eyes will be watering and my nose was also running a lot.)
  2. Bring sunglasses (My eye were pretty sensitive to light.)
  3. Bring artificial tears
  4. Don’t expect to get a lot of work done for the rest of the day, especially if it involves trying to read from a bright screen.
  5. I wouldn’t expect to drive home from the appointment
  6. Have Advil or Tylenol ready.

I rode the bus to work after that.  If I had known, I would have gotten a ride … home.  I ended up working for a few hours, but I was quite distracted and really couldn’t do any work.  So I went home in the middle of the afternoon.  That was a good move.  I stopped at the library and got a book on tape, Master and Commander, and then layed down and listened to it.

By the evening things were much better and the next morning everything was back to normal.  I should say that it was never painful.  I was just aware of discomfort and wanted to keep my eye closed for the most part.

After the appointment I was also given a prescription for a antibiotic and steroid ointment.  This was placed in the eye.  It  was a little difficult to do on my own.  It was just awkward.  It worked much better to have my wife put it in.  (It took a lot less cleaning up my eyelashes.)  I am also continuing to use the Predforte 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri).

So I think I am nearly done.  I have a follow up appointment in two weeks.  I would still do this whole process again.  My vision though not perfect is much better than before.

I hope this is helpful information.