Saturday, December 04, 2010

Do You See What I See? Part V

Dr. Corey came in and Emma began whimpering.

"It's almost over," he told her. "You won't feel this at all."

He prepped us a bit on what to expect with the actual medication shot. Just like a basketball that's all ready full of air, getting a bit more air, Emma's eye pressure would increase when she got the injection. This leads to blacking out in the eye for a little while. If the eye pressure (and sight) don't return to normal fairly quickly, the doctor will withdraw a little fluid from the eye to correct the pressure.

Emma and I took our positions, her eyes on the wall and her hand in mine. Emma was more wary than she was for the first injection. She closed her right eye making the clamp hurt and once the injection began she turned her eyes back toward him, so he was unable to continue until she looked at her spot on the wall.

To Dr. Corey's credit, Emma didn't feel a thing. But the medication swirled in her eye making the room spin and go dark.

"It's gone," Emma said rather calmly.

"You can't see?" Dr. Corey asked.

"Uh huh," said Emma. "OK I'm ready to go now."

"Um. We've got to wait to make sure you can see first," Dr. Corey said.

"Oh. I can see," Emma insisted. She wanted out of there.

Dr. Corey lingered a bit rechecking her eye pressure until he was sure she was fine. Then Emma fairly bolted out of the room.

We picked up some nifty wraparound sunglasses that fit inside Emma's glasses and I led her out of the building and down the stairs to the car and directly to school.


Since the procedure, Emma's mentioned that lines are a little straighter. Dr. Corey told us that sometimes Emma's kind of macular degeneration can be corrected with only one injection. But he warned us that sometimes it takes many shots. He leaned into me at one point and told me that he thought Emma's eye would take many injections before her vision returned to normal.

Dr. Lloyd called this week to follow up and see how Emma was doing and answer any question I had. He told me that had Emma's left eye started to degenerate 7 years ago--when we discovered the blindness in her right eye--that the doctors would have only been able to say they were very sorry. And we would have sat helplessly watching Emma go blind.

But now, seven years later, there are two different injections--both with good track records. And Dr. Lloyd felt optimistic that there would be more good treatments in the future.

For now we just wait and see. Emma's vision has not yet returned to normal. Her next appointment is a couple days before Christmas. It's likely that she'll need another injection then. But Emma has come to terms with the fact that it's shots in the eye or going blind. And as much as she doesn't want to get shots in the eye, she wants to go blind even less.

I've put Emma's name on the temple prayer roll. We will be fasting for her tomorrow. But I have faith that whatever happens, will be the Lord's will. This trial, regardless of outcome, will help Emma, me and many others come to better appreciate the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

If you would, please join us in praying for Emma that her eye might be healed.

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