As the date of my eye procedures drew closer, I was filled with anxiety. The feelings were so intense, I was a little afraid I might have a heart attack. I could not relax, I could not calm down, and I could not get my body to respond to what my mind knew, that everything was going to be okay. I doused myself with calming oils, took long, hot showers, read fantasy novels, wasted time on Pinterest, but nothing helped me calm down. Finally the Sunday before we left, I was able to enjoy a church service entirely centered on Jesus Christ and his love for us. I started crying in the first ten minutes of the meeting, and continued to cry the entire time. My body needed to release some serious tension, and it came out in liquid form, but I wasn’t sad. I was crying because I felt so loved, because I was full of gratitude toward all the people who helped make this possible, because my heart had finally stopped pounding, and I was able to breathe deeply and calmly.

My wonderful mother-in-law, Jill, came to our house to watch the kids. We took off Tuesday evening and stopped for the night in the lovely Primm, Nevada. No comment.  Our drive went smoothly and we pulled in to Beverly Hills, CA, with enough time to walk around and enjoy making snarky comments about how people waste so much money and effort on such unimportant material things. The office at the Boxer Wachler Eye Institute was nice and relaxing. The staff was kind and welcoming; we were offered snacks and beverages. Then it was time for the initial eye exam, to make sure their findings lined up with the records I had previously sent and had reviewed by the doctor. I felt validated in my decision not to wait for treatment when I saw the scans showing the corneal bulging starting in my right eye, which previously did not show any actual deterioration. We were sent to a pharmacy to pick up lots of eye drops to bring with us the next day.That evening we enjoyed down time, with no kids, no work, no cooking, no laundry, and no cleaning in a hotel in a great neighborhood across from a Jewish deli. When money is tight, you notice that the only vacations you get center around things like surgery or someone dying, but you take it when you can get it.

My anxiety began to build again as we got ready to head out for the procedure. Everyone at the office was very kind and understanding. Every step was explained to me, so nothing was a surprise, and the vicodin helped a bit ;)


The INTACS procedure was first. They started numbing my eye before we even went into the operating room. The assistant marked my eyeball with pen, to insure correct placement. Then we went into the operating room. The room was very cold and the machines were kind of loud. I laid down on the table and they gave me Cornelius to hold on to and covered me in a warm blanket. My eye was numbed with drops, taped and clamped open, and sterilized. Let me tell you, I had a death grip on that poor stuffed animal. I could see everything they were doing, I could feel pressure, but no pain. Dr. Brian explained what he was going to do and what I was going to hear and feel before every step. That really helped me feel more in control and not freak out. The whole thing took maybe seven minutes. Then they helped me up and the doctor took a quick look with the slit lamp to make sure everything was okay.After that we headed to a smaller, warm room. I sat in a very cushy recliner chair as the assistants proceeded to drench my eyes with numbing drops and the C3R solution, which is orange, yellowish. After about ten minutes Dr. Brian came in and clamped open both my eyes, which felt weird, but did not hurt. He calibrated the UV light and made sure I was okay. Then I sat there for about 30 minutes just looking into the light as the assistants continued to paint my eyes with numbing drops and solution every five minutes. They let me chat when I needed to chat, and let me be quiet when I wanted to be quiet. I was offered music if I wanted it.  And that was it.

 We went back to the hotel and I put on these fetching goggles to protect my eyes while I sleep and then I went to sleep. I woke up and had a little food, put in eye drops ( two steroids, an antibiotic and wetting drops) had another vicodin and a valium and went back to sleep. I’d say I was on the verge of pain in the left eye which had the INTAC put in and discomfort in the right eye. The next day it was just discomfort, controllable with a Tylenol. I have had fillings that were worse. I guess the nervousness comes from the fact that it is eye stuff and eye stuff is scary.

The next day we went in for the post-op visit. My eyes were feeling pretty good. I noticed a difference in the stacked/ghosted images in the left eye already and my right eye vision seemed sharper. The staff tested my vision, 20/20 in the right, and already 20/30 in the left! The scans were even more exciting. The difference in my bulging of my cornea was clearly noticeable. People who don’t have KC cannot imagine how just the sight of these scans can cause your heart to start racing. Will it be worse, or the same?! but to have it be better in just one day? Excellent!


They did not dilate my eyes at this appointment and so we decided to head over to the LACMA to test them out. It was pretty exciting to be able to see fine details in paintings without covering my left eye with my hand. I was even more exciting to be able to look at things with lights and enjoy them instead of having to look away because of sensory overload from the crazy ghosted images and glare. The next morning at the Getty was even better and I had a great time art- geeking out over the Renaissance exhibit and oohing and awing over the grounds and gardens.

It’s only been a few days, and my eyes still get a little tired a few times a day. The feeling goes away if I can close them for a few minutes and rest. I use wetting drops frequently and I’m on a mega dose of antioxidants and omega 3 oils to assist with healing and dryness. My eyes are still really sensitive to sunlight and I’m guessing they always will be. I’m so relieved to think that my corneas are now effectively locked in place. No further deterioration should occur and I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’ll have my eyes scanned by my doc here in three months and at the year mark. I’ll use the sleeping goggles and prescription eye drops for a week and then that should be it. My vision may continue to fluctuate over the next six months and I’m excited to find out where it finally settles. I also need to get my two biological sons tested, since there seems to be a genetic link to Keratoconus. Sigh.


So that’s where I’m at. I am completely exhausted and very happy and looking forward to an uneventful new year! You all helped make this miracle happen. I hope you understand even in a small way how much this has met to me. Love to you all!